It's 1946, and Joe, a recently returned Marine still reeling from his combat experiences in the Pacific Theater, has about had it with sports. So when he's assigned to write a background puff piece about a murdered hero cop's high school glory days as a high school superstar, he drags his feet.
Until, that is, he uncovers a convoluted conspiracy driven by a viscious racist out to assassinate the Brooklyn Dodger's Jackie Robinson, who is just about to break baseball's color barrier.
That's the plot of the first Tinker book, The Plot to Kill Jackie Robinson (1992), which drew plenty of praise for nailing the mood and tone of the time, from the ink-stained wretches in the newsroom to the nonchalant bigotry of the era. And of course its rich ytove of baseball lore.
Joe returned with Last Man Out (1993), a prequel that finds Joe just months back from the war, already caught between the crime and the sports pages when a wealthy socialite and her Spanish maid are murdered and the prime suspect is an up-and-coming rookie for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But the baseball connection in this one is strained -- only the suspect's occupation ties it in with baseball at all, although it gives Honig a nice reason to have Joe tag along to the Dodger's training camp.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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