Left Field by Elizabeth SimsLeft Field by Elizabeth Sims is the fifth book in the Lillian Byrd crime series.

Tamara: Mystery is one of my favourite genres so I was super excited when this book landed on my Kindle.

This was the first book that I’ve read in the series and it was easily readable as a stand-alone story. I really liked the main character and would love to start the series from the beginning.

This particular book is about Lillian Byrd trying to solve a murder. She is doing some soul searching after the terrible experience of killing someone in self-defense. Having a difficult time financially she takes a job solving a series of strange occurrences for a pair of wealthy, eccentric old women.

In the process of solving one of these strange cases she sees a dead woman lying in the yard next door and she begins investigating the murder. While investigating the murder she discovers that the woman played baseball for a team managed by her friend, Mercedes.

Mercedes convinces Lillian to take the dead woman’s spot on the team.

In an entertaining series of undercover roles Lillian takes us on the journey to uncovering the killer and solving a couple of other mysteries in the process.

A great cast of unforgettable characters, lovely moments and brilliant dialogue. Plus there is softball, which every self respecting lesbian loves.

The writing is well paced and clean following the typically format of a light who-dunnit. Despite this book being about a murder the story never gets too heavy, making it a perfect weekend or beach read.

Sheena: This is a brilliant addition to the series. It contains the beloved characters that we have seen before and even brings in some new ones. The mysteries in this one are plentiful and intriguing and Lillian is her witty, delightful self. Still falling for the wrong woman.

The Pros

Tamara: A great twist in the end that I did not see coming, and usually I can spot the murderer quite quickly.

Sheena: I loved it all. The narration is a great addition to the wonderful story and quirky characters.

The Cons

Tamara: I’ve never been to Detroit and after reading this book, I never want to visit. Elizabeth Sims does an excellent job of describing Detroit as a rundown, beaten up city. The descriptions of Detroit felt a little much, as a non American I could have been missing the context, though.

The cover and the title of the book is a little misleading for the story because softball wasn’t really the main thrust. However, the murderer did come “out of left field” and I wouldn’t have guessed who it was.

Sheena: I totally agree with the Detroit thing and Sims was really tough on the city throughout the series but that had a payoff right at the end of this audiobook that made my heart swell with delight.

The Conclusion

sheena's favouriteTamara: Left Field is an excellent read. This is a great book for lovers of murder mysteries or quick reads. The character was memorable and I really enjoyed her. The old ladies were brilliant. The writing was entertaining and this was an all round homerun.

Sheena: This was a perfect addition to a really great series. It’s well worth checking them all out. Nicely done, Sims.

Excerpt from Left Field by Elizabeth Sims

Ever since I’d killed a person in hot-blooded self-defense, my life had been kind of sketchy. During that messy time–two years ago, it was–I’d had to abandon my car, euthanize my best friend, and come to realize that my taste in women was really, really shitty.

Well, was that last thing entirely true? My luck in love was calamitous, but how could I know at the start that a woman was going to turn out bad? Love is like a reason in reverse: instead of starting with some little idea or premise and developing a logical body of thought from there, you start with this thunderbolt, this immense passionate storm of pelvis and heart; you jump into it, and one day you realize you’re in so deep you can’t even see the place you jumped from anymore. So the possibility of making a measured, considered descent is impossible. It’s past. You’re in.

I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to figure that out.

The best friend I referred to a minute ago was my beloved pet rabbit, Todd. I’d had to mourn him and my 1985 Chevrolet Caprice, and I’d had to come to grips with the new capacities I’d discovered in myself. (Fortunately, my best human friend, Truby, was alive and well in California.)

You’re probably wondering about the life I took in self-defense and how it happened. She was a lover who turned out to be a murderer, and she was in the act of trying to kill me, because I had uncovered the things she had done. So, yes, self-defense. Still, it’s a pretty heavy trip when you feel the heart that you were at one time ready to defend to the death quiver then stop beating, through the haft of your knife.

Had the capacity for killing always been inside me, the product of some unknowable synapse development, buried deep? Or had it developed on the instant of necessity and from now on was my quiet little companion, to be called up at will?

Will I go to heaven or hell?

Should these questions ever plague you, and you arrive at something solid, give me a call.

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The Lillian Byrd Series

Holy Hell

Damn Straight

Lucky Stiff

Easy Street

Left Field

Bits and Bobs


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