When you assemble a group of the world's foremost writers of any genre, you're bound to have a winner, and Otto Penzler has one in Murder in the Rough. Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master, Lawrence Block, shows the dangers of routing a curmudgeon out of his rut in "Welcome to the Real World." Pulitzer Prize winner, John Sandford gives us a glimpse inside the head of a highly determined young woman who redefines "goal oriented" with his "Lucy Had a List." Ken Bruen's "Spittin Iron" is a tad dark, even for my morbid taste. "The Man Who Didn't Play Golf" by Simon Brett will amuse golf widows. (Buy your golfer hubby the book and stick the bookmark there.)
But my personal favorite is "The Secret" by John Westermann. Former cop, turned author, Westermann is known for his comic novels about the seedy side of law enforcement on Long Island. The chuckle-per-paragraph, the quirky characters, and the quality of Westermann's writing will delight the non-golfer, as well as the fairway-obsessed.
In his story, the membership of the luxurious, expensive Le Club Fantastique consists of "the normally deplored" nouveau riche of the Hampton set, "...dot com billionaires...and a Pakistani newsstand operator who won Powerball," who "pay dearly to feel good about themselves." And while these wildly wealthy outcasts are impressing themselves on a course built for ease, bragging about their new-found fortunes, swilling booze, and swapping wives, one of their least illustrious members goes missing. He turns up, of course, in the...well...you'll see. And laugh.
Told from the point of view of an assistant pro named Jay, who is up to no good himself, the story moves quickly and keeps you guessing. Oh...and the "Secret?" The one tip that pros take to their graves, the one that will change your game forever? Well, I ain't tellin'. This story alone is worth the price of the book.
(author of the Savannah Reid Mysteries)