11/08 Blue Jays Library in a Box: Safe at Home

Saturday, November 29 2008 @ 09:25 PM EST

Contributed by: Matthew E

November's not over yet! Quite!

Title: Safe at Home

Published: McClelland & Stewart, 1990

# Pages: 239

Availability: Seems to be out of print, but used copies abound. Are there any books about the Jays that are in print?

Author: Alison Gordon

Who Is: Same person she was the last two times we had one of her books in this feature

What's It About: Sportswriter Kate Henry gets mixed up in the hunt for a serial murderer who's been killing Toronto high-schoolers.

How's the Writing? Gordon seems to be getting more comfortable with fiction as she goes along. This book isn't just a rerun of the first one; there's an attempt to try new things with the subject matter. She moves partially away from the baseball setting and weaves social issues into her plot. One big problem, though: the murderer is identified by exactly the same trick as she used in The Dead Pull Hitter. That's not cool.

Sabremetric Corner: N/A.

Anecdotes: Her first novel, The Dead Pull Hitter, was something of a roman a clef about the Blue Jays. Jesse Barfield's fictional counterpart in that book, Joe 'Preacher' Kelsey, is revealed to be gay in Safe at Home, and comes out of the closet publicly. I don't think Gordon was trying to imply that Barfield is gay in real life. (For one thing, it'd be an odd way of going about it if that's what she wanted to do; for another, it'd be an odd thing to want to do.)

But this book was written in 1990. Eighteen years later, no ballplayer of any significance has come out of the closet yet. Eventually it will happen. And when it does, I wonder if anybody will remember this book? Or The Dreyfus Affair, by Peter Lefcourt?