Roberta Isleib hits it straight with her debut mystery, Six Strokes Under. Protagonist Cassie Burdette is on the verge of leaving her hometown of Myrtle Beach to attend Qualifying School for the LPGA Tour when she makes one last visit to her psychiatrist before she goes. Following the appointment, she comes upon the body of the shrink in the next office and immediately becomes a suspect. Too curious to keep a low profile, Cassie gets caught up in the investigation, which involves another hometown female golfer, Kaitlin Rupert - it's her shrink who was murdered - and her recovered memories of sexual abuse by her father. Isleib sends both golfers into a doozy of a bunker as the investigation and the murderer follow them to Q-School, where they really should just be focusing on their games.
As Q-School progresses, Cassie re-connects with an ex-flame, puts up with distracting advances from Kaitlin's brother, and stares down the pressures of high-stakes golf, all the while engaging in her own brand of amateur sleuthing -- especially when she comes across another body. She gets help and moral support from friend and caddie, Laura Snow, as well as golf psychologist Joe Lancaster.
Although Six Strokes Under takes the reader deep into the world of the women's pro golf tour, it's not just for golf lovers. There's a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book -- an absolute necessity for golf dummies like me. Isleib, a clinical psychologist, is at her best when she's working the psychological angles in golf and in the lives of her characters. As a main character, Cassie's got a sharp wit and a lot of heart. I'm looking forward to following her golf career...and keeping score with the bodies she finds along the way.