by Doward Wilson
In honor of the beginning of baseball season we are reviewing A-List by D.P. Lyle, which features an ex-professional baseball pitcher. We also have a fun Behind the Book interview with D.P. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A-List. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
A-List: A Jake Longly Thriller by D.P. Lyle
Review by Doward Wilson
Jake Longly is an ex-professional baseball pitcher. Now he owns a bar and restaurant on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and is a Private Investigator. His PI father Ray and his girlfriend Nicole Jamison have accepted a case from her uncle, movie producer Charles Balfour. His megastar, Kirk Ford, has woken up in his hotel suite in New Orleans only to find his date murdered in their bed! Kirk’s movie shoot is in danger of being shut down if the investigation takes too long or Kirk is found guilty. Charles needs answers, now!
Kirk is in New Orleans to film his latest Space Quest movie in the swamps. Jake, Nicole, Ray, and Kirk’s costars “The Twins” Tara and Tegan James go to work to prove Kirk is innocent. Kirk’s date was Kristi Guidry, the niece of a New Orleans Mafioso who is looking for revenge! He has Kirk in his sights and the DA and Judge in his back pocket. Can Jake and Nicole find out the truth among the lies and cover ups to save Kirk, or will they be too late? The action takes you from the French Quarter to the swamps with lots of misdirects, partial truths, outright lies, and corruption!
This was a fast moving read that pulled you immediately into the action. The writing is smooth and flows quickly. I found the characters to be very realistic and engaging. New Orleans was the perfect setting for this mystery, with its long history of partying and corruption. The scenes were well described and brought the city to life. I highly recommend this mystery thriller to anyone who enjoys an investigation into the seamy side of life in the Big Easy and movie making world.
Behind the Book Interview with DP Lyle:
KRL: How long have you been writing mysteries?
DP: I first began writing about 20 years ago. When I decided that I wanted to write fiction, I took several classes at the University of California, Irvine and then joined a couple of writing groups and began writing. It took a while to get my first book out there, but since then I have had 17 books and two short stories published, and have another book and another short story coming out this year.
KRL: Why did you decide to have your main character be a former baseball player?
DP: When I created Jake, I wanted him to be a retired professional athlete, and felt that baseball would have been a good career for him. I played a lot of baseball growing up and know the game very well. So, I made Jake a former pitcher for the Texas Rangers. After he suffered a rotator cuff injury, which ended his career, he bought a bar/restaurant on the sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama where he grew up. Since then he has simply been a bar owner and a chaser of bikinis. Jake is not the most motivated character in the world but he is likable and does have his moments.
KRL: Does baseball come into play very much in this series?
DP: Yes, Jake’s baseball skills have entered every story so far. In the first book in the series, Deep Six, his ability to throw saves the day, while in the new one, A-List, his ability to swing the bat plays an important role. In the next one, which I just finished and sent off to my publisher, his baseball skills also are part of the story.
KRL: I’m guessing you are a baseball fan. Do you have a favorite team?
DP: I grew up a New York Yankees fan. I can still tell you the starting lineup for those teams of the late 50s and early 60s. But lately, baseball teams have become a carousel in that players move around so much that they can’t really be identified with a single team anymore. Or at least rarely so. I no longer follow baseball and find it quite boring.
KRL: How did you come up with the idea for this series and why did you choose this particular setting?
DP: My other thriller series have been more procedural, forensic science oriented, and darker tales. I put a little humor in each one but for the most part they were fairly straightforward thrillers. I always wanted to write humor. I read those that write humorous mysteries like Carl Hiaasen, Tim Maleeny, and Paul Levine and I really like their work. So I decided to take a shot at writing more humorous mysteries. The result was Deep Six. I found that I really enjoyed this type of writing. I chose the Gulf Coast for the setting of this series because I wanted it to be in the South and there’s something about the coastal area that is special. So Deep Six occurs mostly around the Gulf Shores area while A-List is set in New Orleans. The next one will take place along the coast of Florida.
KRL: What kind of research do you do for your mysteries?
DP: Actually not much. I of course research the geography of the area and look at some of the businesses and buildings and houses and things like that in the area, but for the most part I know the places where these books are set. Of course, the exception is the next Jake book, which is set in a completely fabricated town. And even though I know New Orleans very well, I did make a trip down there to look at some things that I planned to use in A-List. I mean, it’s New Orleans. Why not go?
KRL: How many books are in this series so far?
DPL: This is the second book in the series and, as I said before, the third one is completed and in the hands of my publisher right now. Who knows how many more there will be down the road?
KRL: For those who may not be familiar with you, please share a little about your background in forensics and the nonfiction books you have written?
DP: I write both fiction and nonfiction. My nonfiction books do revolve around forensic science, and the first one was Forensics For Dummies. Then I wrote one for Writers Digest in their Howdunnit series. I also wrote three books that are question-and-answer books. I’ve worked with many screenwriters and novel writers over the years and answered questions for them about medical and forensic science in their stories. They would basically give me a scenario and ask some questions about it. I would explain the science to them and then tell them how to use it in their stories. I would often make suggestions for other things to consider. I took the best questions that I had received over the past 20 or so years and published them in my three Q&A books: Murder and Mayhem, Forensics and Fiction, and More Forensics and Fiction. I must also point out that I do not work in the forensic science world and never have. I’m a cardiologist, but the language and the science of medicine and forensic science are exactly the same. So, I basically translate the science for authors so they can more effectively and accurately use it in their stories.
KRL: What’s coming up next for you writing wise?
DP: As I said, I have the next Jake book completed and it is being looked at by my publisher right now. I have also started two other books that feature an entirely different character and will be less comedic and darker in the thriller fashion. I also have a short story coming out in October in a Sherlock Holmes anthology.
KRL: Where can people find you online?
To enter to win a copy of A-List, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “baseball,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 14, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
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