Hike Books Forward – August 31

Two audiobooks are highlighted this week. They don’t have a lot in common, but I enjoyed reading (listening) to both of them. The first is a middle-grade novel and the second is a short murder mystery. The mystery was written in 1925 and the middle-grade offering was just published in 2020.

One Last Shot – John David Anderson – 2020

In my reading of One Last Shot there were a few times when my eyebrows went up with some adult-type humor, but the story was so well told that it made my cut list for this week. I also had to warm up to protagonist, Malcolm. He is an introvert (easy to identify with); he never felt like he was good enough, especially for his dad and especially in athletics; he seemed emotionally down for most of the first few chapters. I found I was growing tired of his self-deprecation. But then the back story began to come into focus and the pieces of the puzzle began to illuminate Malcom’s character and family situation.

The story-telling of this middle grade novel centers around miniature golf. Malcom discovers putt-putt and finds that he likes it and that he is quite good at it. Mom is supportive and dad goes over-the-top with excitement. Tournaments, coaches, practices, and competition combine for enthusiasm and excitement and relational train wrecks. I appreciated the author’s technique of walking through a tournament of miniature golf and each hole relating a flashback of significance and insight.  

The Witness for the ProsecutionAgatha Christie 1925

This short-story is a quick read (or a quick listen) but it is such a interesting plot. Emily French, a wealthy spinster, is murdered. Suspicion is cast upon Leonard Vole. Leonard has an alibi – his wife Romaine. His wife has an incredible response to the situation. The case goes to court and the evidence and testimony is rather amazing. No more can be said without providing a spoiler – it is a great little read, a nice little treat for mystery fans.

I found it amazing how many theories went through my head in such a short amount of time. It is easy to see why Agatha Christie is held in such high esteem. According to Goodreads.com,. she is the best-selling author of all time with 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and then another a billion books in translation, having been translated into at least 103 languages.

Cover photos from Goodreads.com

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