Reporter and bridge player Wendy Winchester once again plays ace detective when a country club member is murdered in a hot tub . . .
Now an investigative reporter for the Rosalie Citizen in the Mississippi River port of Rosalie, Wendy still likes to unwind over a game of cards. Following the demise of the Rosalie Bridge Club, she's started her own group at the Rosalie Country Club. During the first meeting of the Country Club Bridge Players, the dummy has barely been laid down when another dummy gets in a scuffle at the bar across the room. Bridge player Carly Ogle's husband Brent is at it again.
After the club's new female golf pro breaks up the fight, Brent storms off to soak in a hot tub. But Carly soon finds the bullying Brent dead in the water, clubbed over the head with the pestle the barkeep uses to crush leaves for mint juleps.
Racist, sexist, homophobic, and an all-around lout, Brent made enough enemies to fill a bridge tournament. So Wendy has to play her cards right to get the story—and stay out of hot water long enough to put the squeeze on the killer . . .
About the Author
R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other pulp fiction periodicals in the late ’40s and ’50s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Playing the Devil by R.J. Lee is the second tale in A Bridge to Death Mystery series. Wendy Winchester got together with Deedah Hornesby, director of Rosalie Country Club, to organize the Rosalie Country Club Bridge Bunch. To complete their first table is Carly Ogle and Deedah’s son, Hollis. They are enjoying their inaugural bridge game until Carly’s husband Brent causes a ruckus and then the lights go out courtesy of the storm. Thirty minutes later the power is restored, and Brent is dead in the club’s hot tub. Detective Ross Rierson is on the case and, of course, so is Wendy. Wendy, an investigative reporter for the local newspaper, is quick to dive into the case, gathering information and trying to fit the pieces together to solve the case. Playing the Devil can be read on its own if you have not had the time to read Grand Slam Murders. The information a reader needs to know about Wendy and the town is included in Playing the Devil. Wendy is the daughter of Rosalie’s police chief, Bax Winchester and is dating Detective Ross Rierson. She has a knack for getting information out of people and solving crimes. Wendy wants to be a top notch investigative reporter. Brent Ogle was an obnoxious and pompous man who was lucky not to have been killed earlier in life. It was only a matter of time before someone did him in. He went to far this time and the killer took advantage of a power outage to do away with the man. There were eight suspects (give or take) who all had good reasons for wanting Brent Ogle dead. There are pointed clues to help the reader solve the whodunit before Wendy arrives at the solution. I thought the mystery went with the story. Those who play bridge will like that aspect of Playing the Devil and a preemptive bid is explained as well as utilized. I found Playing the Devil to be a slow starter, but I felt the pacing picked up after the crime takes place. There are a variety of quirky characters in the small Southern town of Rosalie, Mississippi. I thought the author captured the feel of the south. Playing the Devil is a blithe cozy mystery with a loathsome lout, a mystifying murder, a surfeit of suspects, a dreamy detective, and a nosy newsperson.
Wendy Winchester is excited to get the Bridge Club playing at the local Country Club. But when a local bully is murdered during a black out while the bridge club was meeting, her investigative reporter chops are on full display. Eight suspects, all deny killing the man, but someone is guilty and Wendy aims to help find out who. This book was a struggle for me to read. It seemed to drag on and never full captured my attention. That’s OK as everyone has different tastes and this one is just not for me.