|About the Book|
Here is a sports-mystery novel about the Negro League, taking place in 1946 and narrated by the main character, Carl âMoonbeamâ Slyder, second baseman for the fictional Jersey City Bluebirds. Modeled on Buck OâNeil, the philosophical âstarâ of KenMoreHere is a sports-mystery novel about the Negro League, taking place in 1946 and narrated by the main character, Carl â��Moonbeamâ�� Slyder, second baseman for the fictional Jersey City Bluebirds. Modeled on Buck Oâ��Neil, the philosophical â��starâ�� of Ken Burnsâ�� documentary on American baseball, the good-natured, thoughtful Moonbeam gets involved in solving the murder of another, younger player, handsome, mysterious Buster Fenton, an ambitious home run hitter with a future in the Major Leagues. Buster, however, has gotten involved with a white woman, whose husband, as it turns out, has him killed--by strangulation--near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Moonbeam links up with Busterâ��s African-American fiancÃ©e, Jamesetta Kelly, who helps him solve the crime. They eventually find each other romantically. The novel reviews racial attitudes of the 1940s as the Major Leagues are about to be integrated. It introduces real characters, such as Satchel Paige, Adam Clayton Powell, Bumpy Johnson, Hank Thompson, and others. Comedy and baseball action mix with the serious theme of lost talent in a world that failed to appreciate the black ball player--symbolic of the racial situation in general.