||May 1, 2007
Independent Mystery Bookstores
Chapters Indigo (Canada)
Read Chapter 1
After a local sports radio talk-show host calls for a volunteer to knock some sense into the baseball team's temperamental pitcher, Manziuk and Ryan must catch a murderer swinging a lethal bat.
In Glitter of Diamonds, the second book in the Manziuk and Ryan series, N. J. Lindquist again hooks her readers with deftly-drawn characters, complex story-lines, and thought-provoking issues, served up with her unique mix of tongue-in-cheek humor and gentle compassion. This time, Lindquist takes the reader into the world of major league baseball and its surrounding media.
After Stasey Simon, an outspoken sports talk-show host, asks on-air for a volunteer to knock some sense into the home team’s temperamental new pitcher, Manziuk and Ryan hustle to catch a murderer swinging a lethal bat before the case escalates into an international incident.
Still trying to figure out how to work together, Manziuk draws on his own love of the game, while Ryan struggles to make sense of a sport she’s never watched.
While keeping the characters and plot in the forefront, Lindquist also manages to explore the intricate, almost symbiotic relationships between the management, players, fans, and media that make Major League Baseball a vital part of the North American culture.
[Ryan] sat sideways on the corner of his desk, her eyes on [Manziuk].
She quickly jumped off. “Sorry,” she said. “That’s a bad habit of mine.”
“I yelled at you for doing that once before, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did. I’m sorry. I guess you don’t like informality.”
He shook his head. “It’s not that. Woody sits—he sat—there a lot.”
“Oh,” she said in a small voice. “How is Detective-Sergeant Craig?”
“He seems to be doing okay, except he’ll have to take early retirement. But as soon as he’s recovered from the bypass, he should be able to go fishing and take a world cruise and do a few other things he’s talked about.”
“You’ll miss him.”
Neither spoke for a long moment.
“He was a good cop,” Manziuk said, giving what sounded to his ears too much like an impromptu eulogy.
After another strained moment of silence, Ryan asked a question about the case they’d recently solved. For several minutes, they moved into a brief discussion of a few technicalities. Any tension had evaporated by the time the phone rang.
Manziuk picked it up. “Yeah?… Oh, that’s just great! I don’t have the report done for the last one. You know, I think I’m overdue for a few days R & R.… I’m going on a cruise with Woody when the doctor says he’s fit enough to travel, and you won’t be able to call me in the middle of the ocean.… Who’s available for secondary?”
Ryan took a couple of steps so she could stare at the picture on Manziuk’s wall. It showed a serene valley with a tiny mouse just visible in the grass, and in the sky an eagle searching for prey. Ryan bit her bottom lip. She was barely breathing.
“Yeah, I guess.” There was a long pause. “Okay, I’ll take care of it.” He hung up. “They’ve got a body.”
Ryan continued to stare at the picture as though fascinated. “Oh?” she asked, her voice implying it was no concern of hers.
“I guess nobody told whoever did it that I was tired and needed a rest.”
“I guess.” She moved toward the door. “Well, good luck.”
“I’ll need a secondary.”
She turned to look at him.
“You doing anything?” He was looking directly at her, his eyes measuring.
She put one hand on the doorknob. “You want to take along a female who can’t keep quiet?”
He shrugged. “At least it doesn’t get boring with you around.”
She put her free hand on her hip. “I’m not sure my blood pressure can stand working with you.”
He kept his eyes on her. “If you do your own job instead of trying to do mine as well, I won’t have to yell at you more than once a day.”
“Thanks a lot.” She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet. “You just need to pay more attention to what I say. You aren’t the only one who can think, you know.”
He stood up. “Are you planning to talk all day, or are you going to back me up here?”
Her jaw set, she faced him. “Just tell me one thing. Do you want a partner or a secretary?”
“Why would I need a secretary?”
She released the door and took a step toward him. “You don’t need a secretary.”
“I didn’t think so.” He stepped from behind his desk, grabbed his hat, and pushed past her to lead the way out of the office. “You a baseball fan?” he asked over his shoulder.
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Some baseball player’s been found dead at the stadium. In the bullpen.”
She had to run to keep up. “Murdered?”
“Looks like it.”
As they hurried through the silent outer office, she made a quick detour to grab her purse. Lunging into the elevator as the door was closing, she asked, “Did you say they found the body in a bullpen? Why on earth would they have cattle at a baseball game?”
"In her second mystery after Shaded Light, Lindquist, a master of plotting, seeds her tale with concealed clues and innuendoes that keep readers guessing until the very end. Reminiscent of golden age mysteries, her latest will appeal to fans of classic mysteries."
Mysterical - E
"Baseball. There are few things that say lazy, hazy summer days than that sport. But this book is anything but lazy or hazy – and is one hell of a read. A Christie–style mystery, this one does a good job of it.... There are plot twists enough to keep you occupied, and enough other entertaining material to please even the most demanding reader."
Reviewed by Natalie York
"All that is gold does not glitter;
not all those that wander are lost."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien
Glitter of Diamonds is the second book in Canadian author, N.J. Lindquist's Manziuk and Ryan mystery series. I have not read the first book in the series, Shaded Light, but if it was anything like Glitter of Diamonds, it is worth reading.
Glitter of Diamonds is set in the competitive world of baseball. The fictional team, The Toronto Matrix, has a new fireball of a pitcher, Ricardo (Rico) Velasquez. Recently emigrated from Cuba, Rico seems to have let fame and fortune go to his head. His presence is sowing discord among the team. He taunts the relief pitcher constantly and is known to throw baseballs at TVs if he doesn't get his way. The Matrix have been trying to build its family-friendly image and with each game Rico tarnishes it more. His actions on and off the field are a goldmine for the media. One sports talk show host even recommends that someone needs to knock some sense into the temperamental pitcher with a baseball bat. It must have sounded like a good idea to someone because they do-- and end up killing Rico.
This is a modern-day whodunit, much in the style of the classic Christie novels. There are plot twist galore and you are guessing to the end. My only complaint is the long list of main characters. I had to constantly refer to the major players list for the first seven chapters at least. After that the pace picks up and you won't be able to put it down. I had to stay up all night to finish it because I couldn't stand going to sleep not knowing who was responsible for killing Rico.
Armchair Interviews says: Lindquist did not disappoint.
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