Title: Murder at First Pitch (Ball Park Mysteries #1)
Author: Nicole Asselin
Published on: 4 September 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Murder at First Pitch is the first book in Nicole Asselin’s Ball Park Mysteries.
After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline Boucher realizes her best option is to join her family’s baseball business. As the new Social Media Director for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses a fight between her brother and a strange man.
A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party.
Madeline’s brother Ben becomes one of the suspects. Someone’s been spreading false news about her brother being a murderer and Madeline is concerned. She must interfere into the case, take matters in her hands, and solve the case before her brother is wrongly arrested. But it’s not as easy as it sounds… especially if the killer realizes that Madeline is out to get them.
I read the second book of this series first – Concession Stand Crimes. I really loved the story, characters and the writing and was eagerly looking forward to read the series debut. My god! What a fantastic series debut this is! This is the first sports-themed cozy mystery I have read. I admit I know nothing about baseball (or any other sports for that matter) but I am pretty sure if you are baseball lover, you will surely enjoy this series.
The series is set around Madeline’s family business – they own the Abington Armadillos Ballpark and the team. Things are super-busy, especially during game days and nights. The ballpark also hosts special events for the locals and players. At one such event (Madeline’s first business function), Madeline witnesses a fight between her older brother Ben and a strange man. When she questions her brother later, he says there’s nothing to worry about.
But a few days later, Madeline finds the strange man’s dead body in the ball park. Ben becomes the main suspect as many saw him (at the function) fighting with the victim. Rumors go around saying Ben is a murderer. This is bad publicity and Madeline does her best to stay away from reporters and rumors. But the ballpark is her family business and she cannot see it fail… not when neither she or her family members are involved in the murder.
As a first in the series, we have just the right amount of character introduction, series-scene setting, and a murder mystery. The mystery behind the murder keeps one guessing till the end, that’s for sure. As Madeline starts sleuthing around, she feels someone’s watching her… and it gets creepier and creepier when she starts to receive letters… looks like someone doesn’t want her to interfere.
Davis, the ballpark’s chief of security and Madeline’s school crush, warns her – tells her not to investigate as it can be dangerous. When has a curious, amateur-sleuth ever paid heed to warnings, eh?
The identity of the killer was unexpected and shocking. I never put them in the suspects list, forget pinning them as a murderer. The events that lead Madeline come face-to-face with the murderer was nothing short of an edge-of-the-seat moment. I really loved the ending.
Having read the second book already, I would say this to my readers: go on, chop chop. Read Murder at First Pitch and Concession Stand Crimes. I bet you will love them both!
I received an eBook of Murder at First Pitch from Nicole in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.