miami jones

Review of ‘Three Strikes’

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If you’re a fan of A.J. Stewart’s ‘Miami Jones’ mysteries, you need to read the prequel, Three Strikes as soon as it’s available for sale. I received a free review copy of this book, which gives the early history of baseball player turned PI, Miami Jones.

Miami, while a student at Miami University, and a member of its championship baseball team, is playing in the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. He meets the beautiful and enigmatic Kate Milne, daughter of a general who is commander of a sensitive Air Force base. Miami and Kate become involved, but he soon learns that she’s involved in some super-secret activity that could get Miami involved in treason.

Stewart, with his Elmore Leonard style of writing, takes us through Miami’s career from college to the Oakland A’s, all the while weaving Kate and her activities in and out of his life until a final confrontation in south Florida involving a scheming politician and the byzantine activities of manipulators inside the Washington Beltway during the second Gulf War.

An expert’s look inside baseball, and a sharp eye for the goings on of politicians and spies marks this introduction to the series. If you’ve read any of the others in the series, you’ll love this back story – and if this is your introduction to Miami Jones, you’ll be hooked for life. Great writing, fascinating characters, and a plot full of more twists than the roller coasters at Disney World. A five star romp by one of the best mystery writers around. This one definitely needs to be on the market!

Review of ‘High Lie’

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When PI Miami Jones’ friend Lucas fishes a kid out of the water after he’s been tossed there by two roughnecks from a local gambling establishment, things get nasty. Miami learns that the kid, Desi, a young Cuban, was trying to earn money to get his father from Cuba to Florida, but was cheated. He, Lucas, and his sometimes girlfriend, Danielle, who happens to be a deputy sheriff, are determined to make things right for Desi. In the process of doing so, Miami finds himself immersed in the world of gambling, as toughs from all over face off for a chunk of the gambling revenue in south Florida.

High Lie by A. J. Stewart is the third in the Miami Jones Florida series, featuring former baseball player turned private eye Miami Jones. I received a free copy of this book for review.

Stewart, who writes in a style reminiscent of Elmore Leonard, paints a vivid and accurate picture of the world of legal gambling, especially the pari-mutuel scene involving jai alai (pronounced ‘high-lie’), and what can happen when money and the greed for money trump public interest. A cast of believable characters inhabiting a world so realistic you can smell the sweat of the jai alai players and hear the raucous cry of the Everglades water fowl.

This is a great weekend read that shouldn’t be missed. Stewart gets better with each book. I give this one five stars.