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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Double Switch by T.T. Monday (Part II)

Double Switch by T.T. Monday (Part II) –In my last post I started a review of Double Switch by T.T. Monday. I considered how baseball has been portrayed as a theme in mysteries. Monday goes deeper into the game than many writers. What made Double Switch different for me as a sports mystery is that the sleuth is a major league ballplayer.
Still pitching in the majors at 36 Johnny Adcock has developed a sideline conducting private investigations for members of the baseball community. He is one of the few credible private investigators to have no concerns about making money from his cases. Adcock does the work free of charge as he is being paid over $1,000,000 a year to pitch for the San Jose Bay Dogs.

Tiff Tate arranges a disguise to see him in the bullpen after a game to ask that he help a client, Yonel Ruiz, a Cuban slugger who managed to escape the island and reach the Majors.

Ruiz appears to have been inspired by another power hitting defector from Cuba, Yasiel Puig, currently a star with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tiff is a brilliant character and unlike any I have come across in a mystery involving sports:

            Tiff Tate is a major operator behind the scenes in Major 
            League Baseball, right up there with the superagents and the
            major-market GMs. In exchange for a fee rumored to be in
            the mid-six figures, Tiff designs a custom on-field look for
            each of her clients, making recommendations on everything
            from uniform styling and grooming to the song that plays
            when walks up to bat. In an era when start athletes earn
            several times their annual salary in endorsements, Tiff was
            one of the first consultants to recognize the primacy of an
            athlete's image, the importance of building a unique and
            marketable persona.
I think of designers making over women on daytime talk shows. While I am unaware of anyone in real life making over professional ballplayers it is a great concept.

Tiff is concerned that her client is being threatened through his family back in Cuba.

In real life ballplayers from Central and South America have had to worry about kidnapping and other dangers from criminal organizations.

Since Adcock has become known for his investigative passion no one in the game is surprised when he asks questions that would be intrusive from other people.

Monday has abundant knowledge of baseball and the way of life and personality traits of major league ballplayers.

Adcock has an outsize ego which is common among elite athletes. You need confidence, even cockiness, to excel in a demanding game. It leaves Adcock often self-absorbed and insensitive.

Adcock’s approach to romantic relationships runs to casual sexual encounters. It is not a surprise he is divorced. Sex is easily available to professional athletes.

At the same time he maintains a solid relationship with his teenage daughter, Izzy. As with many divorced fathers Adcock talks of her being his priority but his off-seasons are not spent near her home.

From covering professional football as a reporter and reading constantly about sports I think Monday has over-emphasized the flaws of the average major leaguer but he does not cast them as evil.

The negatives did not dominate the book but I was left alittle weary of the amorality of those characters in the book who a part of  the major leagues. I have found more moral people on  professional sports teams than those portrayed in Double Switch.

Giving Adcock an unabashed ego makes for an interesting sleuth. Adcock knows he is an elite athlete. His confidence carries over to his sleuthing where he is equally sure he is one of the best. While his personality is occasionally irritating readers will remember Adcock. Nero Wolfe knows he is a genius and embraces opportunities to display his intelligence.

Double Switch is a good book and well worth reading. I would like to see how Adcock’s character develops in future books.
Monday, T.T. - Double Switch (Part I)


  1. It does sound interesting, Bill, and well-informed in terms of the context. And I agree with you: Tiff sounds like an absolutely fascinating character. She reminds me of a jury-consultant character I read about in a legal mystery once. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Tiff made the book unique. I wish she could be a continuing character.