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Strike three, you're dead
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Lenny Norbeck (Boy), Die-hard baseball lover;
Baseball players
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Berk (Guy Langman: Crime Scene Procrastinator) returns with an entertaining mystery that, while somewhat predictable, captures the spirit and enthusiasm of baseball fandom. Twelve-year-old Lenny, with the help of his buddies Mike and Other Mike, enters and wins a contest to guest-announce a Philadelphia Phillies game. When the hot rookie pitcher drops dead, the kids suspect that it's more than a previously undetected heart condition. They join another local sports fan and begin investigating the crime, helped by occasional assistance from Lenny's cardiologist parents, while meeting their hero, flashy catcher Ramon Famosa, and other players in the process. Baseball aficionados will appreciate all the trivia Berk works into the story, with references to famous players and Phillies history scattered throughout. The wisecracking interplay between the boys is a strong point, though the solution to the mystery is really never in doubt, and the silly deus ex machina elements during the climax do the story no favors. Still, readers should enjoy both the baseball storyline and goofy but realistic characters. Ages 8-12. Agent: Ted Malawer, Upstart Crow Literary. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An Edgar Award Finalist <br> <br> Lenny Norbeck is a die-hard baseball lover. Unfortunately, he's no player himself (according to him, he's "the worst there ever was.") But he'd make a heck of an announcer. He gets a lot of practice sitting with his best friends, Mike and Other Mike, watching Phillies games from their lawn couch--a sweet outdoor TV arrangement Mike's dad hooked them up with. Being a real announcer is his dream, and he gets his chance to prove himself when he enters an "Armchair Announcer" contest and wins. The prize: he gets to be the broadcaster, live, for one inning at a real Phillies game.<br> <br> The game goes very wrong, though. Before Lenny gets to do his inning, a young, promising pitcher fresh out of the minors literally drops dead on the mound. The official verdict is that he died of a heart attack, but Lenny has a hunch there's something more going on. So he and the Mikes set out to investigate. The suspects are many, and though the trio barks up the wrong tree a few times, they are always right on the heels of the real killer. . . .
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