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Triple Play (A Jake Hines Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 248 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Gunn's first novel features Detective Jake Hines, a smart, likable, and intuitive individual of mixed-race who has become an indispensable part of the city police force in Rutherford, Minnesota. A particularly vicious and ritualistic serial murder case grabs the town's attention: the killer poses each victim in vintage baseball uniforms and equipment and removes some body part. While Jake tries to translate the killer's message, the town threatens to go ballistic. A refreshing protagonist, a novel setting, and the fascinating case add appeal to a solid police procedural.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Though it's a good two hours from Minneapolis, Rutherford, Minn., doesn't lack for baseball action. In the striking opening scene of this debut mystery, for instance, James Wahler is out at home. He's been strangled, gelded, dressed in a softball uniform and a pair of old-fashioned cleats, and transported to Pioneer Park, where he's been arranged astride home plate with a baseball bat substituting for his lost manhood and a Polaroid of the crime scene helpfully pinned to his uniform chest. Though Detective Jake Hines has no more idea what the tableau means than why Wahler spent several hours after death propped up on his feet, the scene has been so deliberately set that most readers will be a lot less surprised than he is when a second victim is called out at Willow Creek Park: Louis (Frenchy) LaPlante, who's splayed up against the backstop in a similar uniform, with a similarly convenient photograph, only the postmortem mutilations being different. While they're waiting for the inevitable third out, Jake and his hard-working colleagues interview the dead men's families, chase down dozens of dead-end leads, and watch in admiration (mingled, in Jake's case, with lust) over the solid, if unspectacular, crime-scene work of attractive photographer Trudy Hanson and her gung-ho crime lab colleague Jimmy Chang. An unusually assured kickoff to Gunn's new series of procedurals. And if the murder motive is a little hoary, Jake comes up with it before you have time to get bored with an unassuming cast who could easily turn into welcome regulars. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 601 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Desert Mist Press; 3rd edition (November 16, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 16, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

A one-time innkeeper with a taste for adventure, Elizabeth has been a private pilot, sky diver, SCUBA diver, and liveaboard sailor. Extensive travel in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe led to a second career as a free-lance travel writer, during which she began writing a series of police procedural mysteries set in southeast Minnesota, where she grew up. Her books contrast the sometimes gritty routine of police work with the idyllic rural scenes around a mid-size city in the upper midwest. Featured characters are a hard-working police detective named Jake Hines and his girlfriend, Trudy Hanson, a forensic scientist at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul.

In her new southwest series, Elizabeth follows Sarah Burke, a homicide detective dealing with cutting-edge problems in an ancient setting. The valley that holds Tucson , Arizona , was occupied by native Americans for thousands of years before the Spanish came questing for gold and glory. Folded into the U.S. by the Gadsden Purchase in 1852, this desert city reflects its border heritage, with a polyglot population constantly growing more diverse. Sarah must deal with a colorful mix of twenty-first century adventurers: big-time builders and small-time gamblers, cotton growers and cattle herders, drug-runners and people smugglers, copper miners digging for old-style wealth and bioscientists in search of some new bonanza. Undocumented immigrants scramble up from the south as retiring boomers bring their wealth and optimism down from the north. Naturally, these people don't all mingle peacefully. Wherever their interests collide, that's an ideal spot for a crime novelist.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Triple Play" is the first Jake Hines mystery by Elizabeth Gunn. The series is set in Rutherford, MN. James Wahler is found on a softball field brutally murdered, dressed in an old softball uniform, and has metal cleats on his shoes. Later, Frenchy LaPlante is found brutally murdered wearing the same type of uniform that Wahler was found wearing. Jake Hines and the Rutherford police department, along with the state BCA, investigate. They know that there will be a third victim if they don't solve the case soon. I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth Gunn has written a very good debut novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Triple Play is an easy read. The story starts out strong with an interesting murder mystery, an unidentified and mutilated corpse is discovered in a staged crime scene at the ball park in a small southern Minnesota town. Jake Hines, local police detective, is on the case. Before he gets very far, another body turns up. And then another.
Elizabeth Gunn has a strong and unique voice. Smatterings of humor, small town wisdom, and the-paths-we-choose-in-life irony spice the text up nicely. The police procedures come off as realistic, not overcooked or overstated. Jake Hines fits his setting. This is not Dirty Harry. Her choice to accept the challenge of female writer with male protagonist is interesting. She pulls this off very well. I thought her description of Jake Hines' role in his own failed marriage was quite insightful.
The book is relatively short, and I have to admit, I was getting a bit worried near the end that Gunn was going to leave the tale one twist short. It was beginning to look too obvious. But then she delivers. The mystery is not what appears obvious, and Jake Hines actually uses his brain (not his gun) to solve it. She then ties all the loose ends neatly. Triple Play finishes very strong, and leaves plenty of room for further development of the protagonist in the series ahead. Mystery fans will be satisfied. -Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
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By A Customer on August 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Triple Play, Elizabeth Gunn writes, "Sometimes on late-May mornings in Rutherford, you can hear the grass grow." These words, from the mouth of the first person point of view main character, belie the true nature of conditions in the small Minnesota town where mutilated bodies show up in normally tranquil settings.
Triple Play, first of a series that is bound to be around for a long time, introduces Jake Hines. Jake, the detective who systematically solves Ms. Gunn's cleverly devised, and often heinous homicides is one of those low key characters you grow to love, and will pine for until the next novel is published. As engaging as Jake is, however, there is one character that I can't seem to get enough of. His full name is Adrian Pokornoskovic, nickname (thankfully) Pokey. The Ukrainian immigrant is "peaceful" Rutherford's part time coroner, most famous, however, for the way he dismembers the English language. As in, "Well, cripes, ain't that way cool?" or how about, "Hey, Jake, what's shakin', baby?"
A really funny guy, lovable cop, incontrovertible forensics, and neat twists add up to one fine read and a guaranteed good time for all mystery fans.
E. J. McGill, Author of Immaculate in Black
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By A Customer on September 8, 1997
Format: Hardcover
As soon as he saw the mutilated corpse dressed in a playing uniform with a photo of the crime scene on the body (which is lying on a softball field's home plate) police detective Jake Hines of Rutherford, Minnesota knew he was out of his league. The small town police officer just does not have the experience necessary to investigate such a brutal killing. Jake immediately asks for help
from St. Paul. Soon, a second corpse in similar condition to the first is soon found, making Jake wonder if he has to contend with a brutal serial killer.

The St. Paul Bureau of Criminal Apprehension sends Trudy Hanson to assist Jake on the case. The pair is immediately attracted to each other, but they both know that they must concentrate their efforts to stop a maniac from completing a TRIPLE PLAY.

The debut police procedural of Jake Hines is an interesting tale due to the melding of small town and big city sleuthing techniques into a fast paced serial killer tale. Jake is a great male character, who, understanding his lack of experience on certain types of crime, is not threatened by his more experienced female partner. Serial killer and police procedural fans will want to read the first of what is hopefully a long and successful series for Elizabeth Gunn.

Harriet Klausner

Painted Rock
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Gunn's Triple Play is the first of the Jake Hines mysteries, a series that I am looking forward to reading. In it, police work is definitely a team acitivity. Lead detective of the Rutherford, MN, police department, Jake Hines is presented as hard-working and self-aware, able to use both his intelligence and forensics to solve murders. The novel features many attractive characters including his boss, chief of police Frank McCafferty; county coroner Adrian Pokornoskovic ("Pokey"); and crime techs Trudy Hanson and Jimmy Chang. Ms. Gunn has a positive gift for creating believable characters in just a few sentences of indirect characterization. She handles the first person male narrator adeptly. Her sense of place is above average. The plot involves gruesome murders, apparently the work of a serial killer. The violence is not graphic. There is a neat surprise ending, but it had been adequately set up with appropriate clues. All in all, a most satisfying read.
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