Ed, Not Eddie, by Max Everhart: A Promising Female Pitcher is Marked for Murder

Ed_not_eddieEd, Not Eddie ($14.95, 252 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-943-5) is the third book in Max Everhart’s mystery/suspense series featuring Eli Sharpe, a former baseball player turned detective. When a young pitcher receives an anonymous death threat, Eli is hired by her father to investigate and receives unexpected help from a long-lost love.

** Click the Cover Image to Order Online **

** Read it on your Kindle or Nook, or Buy it from Kobo or iBooks **

“With well-developed characters that are colorful and unique, this enjoyable story has a solid plot that flows smoothly and seamlessly from scene to scene, pulling one in as it entertains…. Rich with a well-written story line, vivid descriptions, wit, and smart, snappy dialogue, this intriguing mystery will appeal to readers of many genres and is a welcome addition to any collection.”  Read more….

—Janna Shay for InD’Tale Magazine

Ed, Not Eddie is the best written of the Eli Sharpe mysteries. There are strong characters with an intriguing plot. Best of all the narrative flows smoothly. Pages glide by. It has the potential to be a break through book for Everhart…. Eli has become of my favourite 21st century sleuths. Everhart’s series is the best mystery baseball series I have read since the Kate Henry mysteries of the late Alison Gordon.”  Read more….

—Bill Selnes for Mysteries and More

“This is an excellent read and the author’s characters are very real; in particular, Eli Sharpe and his friend Ernest Carpenter. Readers will enjoy the plot, and root for Eli to discover the criminal before a more serious crime occurs.”

—Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion for Suspense Magazine

5 Stars: “Fast-paced, exciting and filled with twists and turns…. Everhart’s characters are complex and authentic, especially Sharpe and his mentor and friend, Ernest Carpenter, but the author makes each and every character seen in this compelling and gritty story stand out in full relief. The plot is first-rate, and I particularly enjoyed the ongoing references to the fictional private eye Jim Rockford and the classic noir mystery writers. Then there’s Ed, the main star of the entire tale, whose story reads like a psychological thriller; one that I’ll be puzzling over for some time. I had a marvelous time reading this book and intend to catch up with the previous books in the series. Ed, Not Eddie is most highly recommended.”  Read more….

—Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Max Everhart writes a great story with the twists and turns required for a solid mystery, but the home run in Ed, Not Eddie is his ability to craft dynamite characters. From the wisecracking protagonist Eli Sharpe to the walk-on characters with only a single line, Everhart invents a unique voice for everyone. The small town of Cook, South Carolina, and its division III College, are abuzz with the potentially history-making Ed Leviner. But becoming the first woman to pitch for the majors isn’t the only obstacle dogging Ed (never call her Eddie!). First, she has to live through the big game at the school. Hired to find out if the death threats to Ed are real, Eli soon finds himself embroiled in all the complications of a small town. Sex, drugs, corruption, and baseball make their way into a plot that keeps you guessing. If this is your first foray into the Eli Sharpe mystery series, Ed, Not Eddie will have you scrambling to catch up with books one and two.”

—Elena Hartwell, author of the Eddie Shoes Mystery series

“Former shortstop Eli Sharpe may have struck out in his brief stint as a major leaguer with the Devil Rays, but reinvented as private investigator Eli Sharpe, he touches all the bases in this thriller which will have you sitting on the edge of the bleachers. Sharpe goes extra innings to stop an assassin from permanently retiring a top female prospect before she ever has a chance to take the mound. Another winner from author Max Everhart. Highly recommended!”

—E. Michael Helms, author of the Mac McClellan Mystery series

Ed Leviner is a hot prospect for the Major Leagues, a young pitcher who’s broken every record. She’s also a tough young woman who hates to be called Eddie. And someone in the idyllic Southern town of Cook, South Carolina, has threatened to kill her if she pitches in Wednesday’s game.

It’s Sunday morning, which doesn’t give private eye and ex-ballplayer Eli Sharpe much time to identify the source of these threats. Ed has lots of admirers but few friends and several enemies and detractors in this conservative community. Then there’s her feuding divorced parents, her spurned tutor, a disgraced coach turned evangelical minister, and the local sheriff, a bully whose son is one of Ed’s discarded boyfriends.

Though local law enforcement is oddly unhelpful, Eli is not alone in his search for answers. The TV news team covering the protests is headed up a beautiful anchorwoman from Eli’s past. Is she on his side or not? As usual, Eli is busy raising hackles in a town where there’s more than one mad dog in disguise.

Says Everhart, “A couple of years ago I read an article about Chelsea Baker, a female knuckleball pitcher from Florida who was pitching no-hitter after no-hitter against the boys in her little league. Turned out, she was taught how to throw the pitch by Joe Niekro, a former MLB great. I thought that was kind of cool, so I decided to write a story about a woman knuckleball pitcher who was poised to be drafted into the big leagues.”

Max Everhart has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His short stories have been published in CutBank, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Slow Trains Journal, and juked. His short story, “The Man Who Wore No Pants,” was selected by Michael Knight for Best of the Net 2010 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web Anthology. For more information, click here.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Eli checked his Seiko. Twelve thirty-three. Practice had been over for half an hour, and the field was empty. The coaches and MLB scouts and media were nowhere to be seen, and her teammates, Eli was sure, were back at the dorms already, playing videogames, or cramming for a chemistry exam, or sneaking in a post-practice beer.

But not Ed Leviner.

Here she was doing bleacher stairs with no shoes on. In full sweats. In eighty-five degree heat. While some nut case was out there threatening to kill her. Eli knew from being around great baseball players for years that it wasn’t money or fame that motivated them. At least those weren’t the primary factors. In fact, motivation, as best Eli could tell, didn’t really factor into the equation. No, it was about biology. There was something inside the great players Eli had met, something at a cellular level, a mutation in their DNA, a genetic quirk that caused them to train endlessly. It was instinct, pure and profound and intangible, and like all true sports fans, Eli recognized that instinct in Ed, that capacity for greatness, and he envied her for it. He’d had the talent at one time, no doubt, but it never occurred to him to train on his days off. And he sure as hell wouldn’t have sprinted up and down, up and down bleachers unless contractually obligated to do so.

Eli glanced around again. No sign of the deputy Sheriff Hege had assigned to watch out for Ed. Curious.

“Seven!” She punched the sign harder this time.

Eli walked through the first base side dugout, crunching sunflower seed shells under foot. He walked onto the field, hoping she’d see him and stop running.

But she didn’t stop.

“Winners never do,” Eli said to himself, his envy morphing slowly into admiration. He waited another ten minutes during which time she didn’t look up once. She just kept pumping her legs up and down, kept punching the advertisement at the top of the stairs and calling out numbers. Eight … ten … twelve ….

Finally she yelled “Twenty!” She punched the advertisement a final time and interlaced her hands behind her head, sucking in large quantities of oxygen.

Eli was waiting for her when she got to the bottom of the bleachers. He straightened the lapels of his jacket and greeted her.

“I’ve read about you,” she said, still catching her breath. “You’re Eli Sharpe, the ballplayer.”

“Ex-ballplayer, actually. I’m a private detective now. Your detective, in fact.”

“I don’t need one.”

“Your father disagrees.”

“Leland is an idiot.” No anger. Just a statement. Eli filed that away as she tossed the sweaty cap onto the bottom bleacher, bent at the waist, and touched her bare toes. An impressive feat, especially for a six-foot-tall woman in sweats.

Comments are closed.