Hanging Curve (Mickey Rawlings Series #6)


"Equal parts baseball and mystery are the perfect proportion." --Robert Parker

A Race To Stay Alive

1922. Another year, another team. Utility infielder Mickey Rawlings is now warming the pine for the St. Louis Browns, a team poised to go all the way. Rawlings should be overjoyed with the situation but the lack of playing time has him sneaking off to play incognito in the semi-pros. The competition is just as rough, though. In fact, some of the best players to ever throw a ...

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Hanging Curve (Mickey Rawlings Series #6)

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"Equal parts baseball and mystery are the perfect proportion." --Robert Parker

A Race To Stay Alive

1922. Another year, another team. Utility infielder Mickey Rawlings is now warming the pine for the St. Louis Browns, a team poised to go all the way. Rawlings should be overjoyed with the situation but the lack of playing time has him sneaking off to play incognito in the semi-pros. The competition is just as rough, though. In fact, some of the best players to ever throw a curveball or line up for a swing are his opponents. The only reason they aren't in the majors is because of their team color--black. Turns out that's the least of their worries. When the star pitcher of the Negro East St. Louis Cubs is found lynched after a win, Rawlings has to do everything he can to track down the killer and prevent a repeat of the deadly race riots of 1917. If he can stay alive. . .

Praise for the Mickey Rawlings Baseball Mysteries

"Full of life." --The New York Times Book Review on Hanging Curve

"A richly atmospheric journey through time." --Booklist on Hanging Curve

"A perfect book for the rain delay. . .a winner!" --USA Today on Murder at Fenway Park

"Delightful. . .mixing suspense, period detail that will leave readers eager for subsequent innings." --Publishers Weekly on Murder at Fenway Park

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Flappers, jazz and Prohibition are often used to evoke the hedonistic 1920s, but Rawlings discovers different hallmarks-- black baseball, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and lynchings--for his fine new mystery, which doubles as a cultural and political history. Peripatetic ballplayer Mickey Rawlings carries bat, glove and sleuthing skills from Cincinnati (where he played in his most recent outing, The Cincinnati Red Stalkings) to join the American League's St. Louis Browns for their 1922 season. Using an assumed name to hide his major league identity because of organized baseball's ban on interracial games, Rawlings plays with the semi-pro Elcars against the Negro East St. Louis Cubs as a lark. An ugly confrontation during the game is prologue to the later lynching of the Cubs' star player. Spurred by fear that the volatile situation could lead to a repeat of the terrible race riots of 1917, which left hundreds (mostly blacks) dead in East St. Louis, Rawlings tries to figure out who is behind the murder. In the process, he learns and reveals much about the grim realities behind baseball's ban on black players and also much about himself. Though filled with glimpses of baseball greats from both races and hinging on a well-constructed case of murder, this novel stands out particularly for its skillfully drawn background and intelligent use of historical and social detail. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
This sixth volume in the Mickey Rawlings Baseball Mysteries series is dedicated "to Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Charleston, and all the other Negro League stars who showed how the American game could be played at a time when much of America refused to see." Mickey Rawlings, 30-years-old in 1922 and a utility infielder with the St. Louis Browns, is in love with baseball and with Margie Turner. He plays one game as a ringer against the black East St. Louis Cubs, and the Cubs' star pitcher, Slip Crawford, is later found hanged. Through Karl Landfors, a muckraking journalist who calls on Rawlings' sense of justice, and Franklin Aubury, who is working with the NAACP, Mickey begins to talk with both white and black ballplayers to solve the mystery. His romance with Margie is also ongoing. An Author's Note informs the reader that in the 1920s, 28l blacks were lynched in the United States. By 1924, there were over four million Ku Klux Klan members, and the "Invisible Empire" was strongest in the Midwest. In the novel, devices such as "Komplete Kar Kare" advertise that Klan members run a dealership. There is much attention given to the East St. Louis riot of 1917 and to harassment and murder by mob. Although the KKK's influence declined, it wasn't until 1947 that Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier of 60 years. Advanced readers who love baseball and history will appreciate the author's solid scholarship. He previously wrote Before the Curse: The Glory Days of New England Baseball, 1858-1918. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students, and adults. 1999, Kensington, 350p, 18cm, $5.99. Ages 17 to adult. Reviewer: Maureen K. Griffin; Teacher/Libn., Williams M.S.,Chelsea, MA, March 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 2)
Kirkus Reviews
Hanging Curve ( Oct.; 272 pp.; 1-57566-455-0) Journeyman infielder Mickey Rawlings's biggest innings have always been off the field, and it's no surprise that his sixth season (The Cincinnati Red Stalkings, 1998, etc.) will take him away from his current team, the St. Louis Browns. This time out, he's to play as a ringer against the Negro League's East St. Louis Cubs—and against the KKK and a city still sporting the five-year-old scars of the murderous race riots of 1917. (Author tour)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758288332
  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Series: Mickey Rawlings Series, #6
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 414,803
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    For Fathers and Sons

    As a former history teacher and the father of four boys, I can tell you 'Hanging Curve' provides a common ground for discussion between the generations. The combination of historical facts, the issue of racism, and baseball makes for meaningful dialog no matter what the age of the reader. Sometimes its difficult to find topics in common between fathers and sons. Troy Soos' series of books, particularly this one, makes the find easy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2000

    Rawlings may be batting .200, but Soos batting 1.000

    This is by far the best of the Mickey Rawlings Mysteries books yet. Soos captures the true-ness of events during the troubled times of the '20's. The people, places, and events of 1920's St. Louis are captured brilliantly in this book. Whether you are a fan of baseball, of mysteries, or of period pieces, this book is a must-buy.

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