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Final Fore
A Golf Lover's Mystery, No. 5

by Roberta Isleib

      Cassie Burdette may have occasional doubts about her golf game, but there's little doubt she's world class at being her own worst enemy. OK, so she only gave herself a panic attack to celebrate making the cut for the U.S. Women's Open and she's making serious efforts to be an adult and cut back on the drinking. But she's taken on a control freak sponsor who specializes in unwanted instructions and criticism at the worst times, and Cassie's never needed help setting off her personal jitters. She's agreed to dinner with her entirely dysfunctional family in the middle of the tournament. And she appears to prefer worrying herself to death over actually dealing with problems ranging from the loss of her caddy to whether to accept a controversial invitation to a PGA (men's) tournament to the state of her love life. That worrying, in turn, means sleepless nights, which means playing on caffeine and carbs, providing new excuses for her sponsor to nag and herself to worry. When she's not doing it to herself, there are the weird messages and threats she's been receiving to help fray her nerves. Still, she is here playing in the Open, something she could only dream of just a short time ago. But just when it looks like people might be more impressed with her golf game than her unwilling brushes with murder, an article comes out discussing "the golf detective" and a fellow player dies under mysterious circumstances. Is Cassie the next target?

Don't let the "Golf Lover's Mystery" label scare you off if you aren't a fan of the sport. I've been a fan of Cassie's since her debut and I'm of the Mark Twain "golf is a good walk spoiled" persuasion. She's often maddening, but also very real and someone about whom you care. The puzzles she solves strike a nice balance between being solvable (the author plays fair) but not too easy. And if you are interested in golf, you'll really enjoy the insider's view of what it's like to be part of the pro tour. Recommended.

The Book

Berkley Prime Crime
March 7, 2006
Mystery - Amateur Sleuth
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The Reviewer

Kim Malo
Reviewed 2006
© 2006