Aug 13, 2009

Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith's Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery is a unique murder mystery set against the backdrop of the 2007 Red Sox summer season. Fan favorites from Jason Varitek to David "Big Papi" Ortiz play minor to significant roles in uncovering the truth behind the death of Cinthia Sanchez, the abandonment of her child Arturo Sanchez (also known as Baby Ted Williams), and the Pestano Pipeline of illegal Cuban players making their way into Major League Baseball.

"Francona's door opened just as the players, like statues come to life, moved at the same time. They spread out through the clubhouse, dashed through the shower room and bathrooms, rifled through the lockers, looked in the wastebaskets, under the trainers' tables, rummaged through the equipment cases. Tito tried to make sense out of what Cochran was trying to tell him." (Page 13)

Red Sox fans will love this novel, and those who read mysteries will enjoy this police procedural as well. Readers could take a few chapters to get into the novel with its story followed by blog posts and comments. What Dirty Water has that many other mystery novels don't is a true feel for the city of Boston, Fenway, its fans, and the team. Smith and Smith are third and fourth generation Red Sox fans, and their knowledge shines through in every page as readers journey with Boston Police Detective Rocky Patel and Sargeant Marty Flanagan from Boston to Los Angeles to Florida and beyond.

"The sun is setting. The pock-marked ground is in shadows. The rookie thinks he sees a broken line--a groove; it cuts a faint four-foot-long path across the ground. His eyes follow the groove. He can make out more bits of that groove running toward Agassiz Road. Then he follows the groove in the other direction and not only makes out yet more bits and pieces heading into the reeds, he sees a second groove parallel to the first. He blinks. He leaps to his feet shouting to the two officers on patrol who have humored his hunt for "a clue." They have actually seen far more behavior in unjaded rookies than what this guy was doing." (Page 185-6)

Boston Police Detective Rocky Patel and Sargeant Marty Flanagan have different religions and methods, but each is dedicated to the job and justice. Beyond the mystery and the Red Sox trivia, Dirty Water uncovers the fear immigrants have of law enforcement authorities at the same time they struggle with the frustration of desiring justice from the same authorities. Overall, Dirty Water is a well crafted mystery, but readers may want a little more substance in terms of what motivates these characters, particularly those from immigrant families, to overcome their fears and join law enforcement.

My book club will be discussing this on August 29. I'll keep everyone posted.


I forgot to provide you with Jere's Blog A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory and the book's blog, Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery. Check them out.

Giveaway Reminder:

1. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre (2 copies); Deadline August 14


Sandy Nawrot said...

I have more than one set of friends with roots in Boston, or are die-hard fans of the Sox. I may want to read this book just for them!

Kitten said...

I read Mary Ann Tirone Smith's memoir, Girls of Tender Age, a year ago. She had mentioned at the end that she was writing this book, but didn't say anything else about it. I'm glad to see that this project has finally come to fruition.

Blodeuedd said...

Nice review, I do like Boston and would like to read something from there

Anna said...

Glad you liked it overall. You didn't seem so sure at our lunch discussion the other day. I haven't started it yet, but I'll have it done for the meeting. What's funny is this was hubby's choice, and he's still at the beginning!

Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Sandy: I think you should read this one.

Kitten: Its a good book, especially if you like mysteries.

Blodeuedd: I think you should pick this one up.

Anna: Isn't that always the way. Hubby's still on chap. 1 and Anna E. hasn't even gotten the book yet.

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like the perfect book for my father in law!

Serena said...

Bermudaonion: I think he would love it if he loves the Red Sox

The Bumbles said...

Hmmm - I haven't heard of this one. I'm not sure if I'd like my real life favorites mixed in with a fictional mystery - but I like the subject they are trying to tackle with an immigration perspective.

Oh - and its Varitek, not Veritek ;0)

Serena said...

The Bumbles: I think you'd enjoy this book. I always spell Varitek's name wrong! UGH! Thanks for pointing it out...its fixed now.

Dar said...

Hmmmm, not sure I'd like this one. I'm not a fan of baseball and of course I live in Canada so we pretty much like the Blue Jays but still my pops may like this kind of a book if only I could get him reading more.