Thu 29 Sep 2011
RICHARD ROSEN –
● Fadeaway. Harper, hardcover, September 1986. Onyx, paperback, September 1987.
● Saturday Night Dead. Viking, hardcover, June 1988. Onyx, paperback, June 1989.
Though I don’t really understand why Harvey Blissberg abandoned baseball at age thirty to become a private eye, and Richard Rosen doesn’t satisfactorily explain it, I am nonetheless glad to welcome him to the shamus corps.
Rosen’s second book, Fadeaway, does for basketball what his first, Strike Three, You’re Dead, did for baseball. Rosen writes better sports mysteries than anyone I know, except, of course, Dick Francis. I also like the way Rosen uses Providence, R.I., not your everyday mystery locale. Sure his solution is telegraphed, but Western Union has to live also.
In Saturday Night Dead, Rosen and Blissberg almost desert sports, though Harvey gets his case through an old baseball buddy. His work is more as a bodyguard than a detective, but what would one expect of a detective from the same town as Spenser.
Rosen worked for many years in television, and he does a great job with a comedy show that, as the title indicates, is remarkably like Saturday Night Live. He even includes some brand-new sketches, including one, “Death of a Mailman,” which is a hilarious send-up of Arthur Miller.
Despite an overly melodramatic ending, this book does nothing to detract from Rosen’s status as one of the best new writers of the 1980s.
Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall 1990.
The Harvey Blissberg series –
1. Strike Three You’re Dead (1984) [Edgar Award winner for Best First Novel.]
2. Fadeaway (1986)
3. Saturday Night Dead (1988)
4. World Of Hurt (1994)
5. Dead Ball (2001)