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Well researched historical mystery hits the ball out of the park

The Babe Ruth Deception

by David O. Stewart

Kensington Books

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 27 Sep 2016


It took me a while to get into The Babe Ruth Deception. The novel starts slowly, so at one point I put it down to read something else. I was glad, however, that I went back to Stewart's novel because once the action picked up it was riveting. Like Stewart's other novels, The Babe Ruth Deception is well researched and intricately plotted. The corruption of the time, as well as the era's fascination with Babe Ruth shines vividly through. Once again Dr Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook have to join forces. Speed Cook is employed by Babe Ruth to resolve a difficult situation. The Babe is in hock to some unsavory figures and the legitimacy of the Red Sox 1918 World Series win is in question. Meanwhile Speed's son Joshua has taken to the risky business of bootlegging and is seeing Dr Fraser's daughter.

In The Babe Ruth Deception, readers get a taste of life during prohibition, the gambling and corruption that flourished in post WWI America, and the challenges posed by race in all aspects of life. It is an important reminder that racial equality is only a recent development in the United States and that we must not regress in our efforts to eliminate prejudice.

If I was only considering the novel once the story begins to progress, I would give The Babe Ruth Deception a 5. But the slow start makes me think a 4 is more appropriate.


I received a copy of The Babe Ruth Deception from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



As the Roaring Twenties get under way, corruption seems everywhere--from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal. Swept up in the maelstrom are Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook...

Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning--baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth's 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook--a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball--who's familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.

Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.

As all this plays out, Cook's son Joshua and Fraser's daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal--even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game.

Once again masterfully blending fact and fiction, David O. Stewart delivers a nail-biting historical mystery that captures an era unlike any America has seen before or since in all its moral complexity and dizzying excitement.

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