I have a really exciting book to tell you about called Last of the Seals that was written by Greg Messel. I have to tell you I had this book all wrong. I don't know why but for some odd reason I thought it was gonna be about the SEALS, you know, the NAVY SEALS. Where I got that idea I don't know. I never even knew that there had been a baseball team called The Seals in California and that the San Francisco Seals eventually became the San Francisco Giants!
Now, how about that! I learned something new but I also dreaded reading the book because I do on occasion love to watch my beloved Atlanta Braves play but I could care less about all the technical stuff that the announcers talk about and that is what I thought this book was gonna be about when I realized the mistake I had made. Well, that is what you get for assuming! This book had a tad of baseball in it but it was really about the pitcher retiring and becoming a private investigator!! And let me tell you that he really got himself into some jammed up positions! What in the heck did a baseball player know about being a private investigator? Okay, here is an excerpt from the book then I will talk a little more:
Mystery, romance, and baseballin 1957 San Francisco. Sam Slater is a lifetime minor league baseball player for the San Francisco Seals. The Seals have just one more season left as San Francisco is about to become a major league city. Sam has come to the end of his baseball career and is going to join the private detective agency of his best friend. When Sam's partner inadvertently sees something he shouldn't have, he is brutally murdered. Sam must go it alone and to find out why. Along the way he is swept off of his feet by a beautiful, Elvis-obsessed, TWA stewardess named Amelia Ryan. Sam and Amelia try to unravel the mystery together. On dark and foggy San Francisco nights, trouble is lurking just around the corner.
Well, I can tell you that Sam has not led a great life and did not get all that he wanted out of life until the end of the book. Before he could realize his full potential as a baseball pitcher the war came knocking and then the the next thing he knew, he was landing on that beach on D-Day and from then on things were never quite the same. Yes, he had good days but he also would never make it out of the minor leagues. Too many things had gotten in the way, like the war. By the time he came back, there were younger and better players than him to contend with. But Sam ajusted and it wasn't a really bad life, just a so so good life until he met Amelia.
Of course, even that wasn't gonna help him much when his friend and business partner turned up dead. Jimmy really had no idea that he had innocently took a picture of something he did not even see really. He was following a suspected cheater and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and took a photo in the background of a meeting that no one wanted anyone to see. So, Jimmy was killed and Sam was left to figure it all out. Jimmy's wife had no idea why someone would have stabbed him to death. Between Sam and Amelia they were able to piece together the mystery that ultimately brought Jimmy's murderer to justice and in the course of this bond, they fell in love and Sam wanted to marry Amelia.
This really was an unexpected treasure to read. It looks like it might become a series of books because Greg Messel already had an excerpt for the new book and case that Sam would be taking on as this book ended. It was a heartwarming if not bittersweet book and knowing that Sam and Amelia will take this journey together made it all right for me. You will also be as surprised as I was about this book. It leads you to think it is about something else when in fact it is the center of finding Jimmy's killer that is the story with the little bit of history about the Seals as a bonus. That part of the story is true. There really was a team that ended in 1957 and then they became the Giants!
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.