Five Star, Jul 2004, 25.95
In Cowden, England, at the annual cricket match between the comedians and the writers, someone kills Frank Lester. Though an accountant, Frank was a big fan of comedy so he joined that squad for the match. Detective Constable Frank Mitchell leads the inquiries until his superior Detective Inspector Don Parkham arrives at the scene.
The two cops learn that the murder weapon is a baseball bat, which frustrates Don as no one except Marilyn Monroe's ex-husband plays that sport until you reach Massachusetts or is it Maine. It just does not seem cricket to Don that an American sports item was used. As the police dig deeper, they find a host of suspects from both teams, but none with a clear motive to swing the bat at a fandom accountant.
This amusing British police procedural at times will sound like Abbot and Costello having one of their famous dissertations as the story line never fully takes itself seriously yet provides a fine investigative tale. The two cops are a delight to observe in action as they misunderstand one another yet work together to solve the case. The climax sums up the book nicely as Don insures that Frank's two-year son has the proper equipment of cricket not that foreign game with bats that make it impossible to miss the ball.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner