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C. Burdette
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Cassandra Burdette Golf Mystery Series

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Five Cassie Burdette golf mysteries will be published by Berkley Prime Crime beginning June, 4, 2002.

Six Strokes Under - book cover

Six Strokes Under

A Buried Lie- book cover

A Buried Lie

Six Strokes Under - book cover

Putt to Death

Fairway to Heaven - Book Cover

Fairway to Heaven

Final Fore Book Cover

Final Fore


Final Fore

At the bucolic Mount Holyoke College campus, Cassie Burdette is steeling her nerves for the US Women's Open, the most prestigious golf event in the world. She's already rattled by the absence of Laura, her favorite caddie, and by a controversial invitation to a men's pro tournament. But then a rival dies, and Cassie learns that in high-stakes golf, competition can truly be murder.

Coming in March 2006 from Berkley Prime Crime...

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Final Fore Book Cover

Here's what they're saying about Final Fore:

From Armchiar interviews:

Final Fore is a fast-paced mystery that will keep you turning the pages. The characters are quirky, complex and oh, so interesting.
 

From Kim Malo at Myshelf.com:

 
Don't let the "Golf Lover's Mystery" label scare you off if you aren't a fan of the sport. I've been a fan of Cassie's since her debut and I'm of the Mark Twain "golf is a good walk spoiled" persuasion. She's often maddening, but also very real and someone about whom you care. The puzzles she solves strike a nice balance between being solvable (the author plays fair) but not too easy. And if you are interested in golf, you'll really enjoy the insider's view of what it's like to be part of the pro tour. Recommended.
 

From the Mystery Morgue:

 
Cassie prepares for the U.S. Women's Open.  Golfers, are you ready for this!  Even for us amateurs, we are with Cassie on and off the green.
 

From Chris Wallace on DorothyL.com
 
I love this series. The writing is charming and fresh, the plot fast paced and suspenseful and the characters and the action feel strikingly realistic and right. But it is Cassie Burdette that gets me into the story right away. She is so loveable and human and strives just so darn hard to improve her golf game and herself. A new reader will enjoy Final Fore but I find that seeing Cassie mature in each book in this series adds richer pleasure.
 

From Christy Tillery French at AuthorsDen.com:

 
Reading the Cassie Burdette series is simply a fun way to spend one's time. The pace flows nicely, the plot twists and turns with suspense, and Cassie's sense of humor and witty asides bring a lot of smiles. Charming, refreshing, and entertaining, this series leaves the reader anxious for the next.
 

From Fritz Schranck at HolebyHole.com:
 
As in the prior novels in the series, Isleib draws upon her experience as a clinical psychologist in coming up with an appropriate resolution, while also imparting her professional insight into the reasons behind the threats to Cassie and the others. The finale gives us hope for Cassie№s fictional future, both as a golfer and as an ever-maturing young woman.
 
Is it any wonder that these books are such fun to read?
 

From John Broussard of I Love a Mystery Newsletter:

 
Isleib has given us a nice plot, fascinating descriptions of life in the golfing fast lane, and a complex and intriguing protagonist who is convinced that she may be the next target.
 

From Ron Mon at Travelgolf.com:

 
Over the last few years, I've become a fan of a healthy little golf mystery series. Dr. Roberta Isleib invented a terrific character named Cassie Burdette, a struggling young golf professional with a penchant for involvement in murder-related mysteries. I don't wish to bore you with details nor give away plot structure, so I suggest you read the books yourself. Dr. Isleib, a clinical psychologist by trade, knows both the human mind and the golf game beyond well, and does the requisite research (to supplement her training) to flesh out the books.
 
The latest tome arrived yesterday. It's called Final Fore, and details young Cassie's trials and travails at the US Women's Open at The Orchards. The author weaves her character into the goings-on at real-world events, yet finds a way to make her the center of her own story, not THE story.
 
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Fairway to Heaven

Cassie's playing in the tri-tour team golf tournament at legendary Pinehurst, North Carolina. Her team--consisting of her father and her boyfriend--is driving her crazy. To add to her stress, she's agreed to serve as maid of honor in her friend's wedding. When the bride's father disappears, not even her suddenly stellar swing can lift Cassie's spirits. She starts poking around the fairways for answers, just hoping she won't be rubbed out too...

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Fairway to Heaven - Book Cover

Here's what they're saying about Fairway to Heaven:

From Angela McQuay of Mystery Morgue

Cassie Burdette is the perfect character for a mystery series. She's spunky, funny and easy to relate to. Both men and women readers will find it entertaining to follow her adventures in this latest novel. Those who enjoy golf will find another level of enjoyment to this book, but it's not a prerequisite. Even those not interested in the sport will find it makes a good backdrop for the mystery. With plenty of red herrings and plot twists, Fairway to Heaven is an interesting and entertaining book that adds to Ms. Isleib's reputation as a fine mystery novelist.

From John Retzer at Golfblogger

Like the other books in the series, Fairway to Heaven works on several levels. As a character study, it's pretty interesting. Cassie is complex and realistic: She's troubled without being disturbing; feminine without being "girly" (her reactions to the bizarre wedding plans are very funny). If it were simply a "chick novel ", it would still have an audience. ( not me, though )

Isleib's descriptions of the games of the idle rich make it work on another level. If you just extracted the wedding escapades, it would be a good comedy. But of course, it's a mystery. And at that, it's also very good. It's got an intriguing plot that would actually work even if there were no golf at all...

From Geoff Shackleford at the Golf Observer:

In her fourth and best yet, Cassie Burdette travels to Pinehurst where she's serving as the maid of honor at a hilariously tacky golf-themed wedding. Just when you think Isleib is about to turn this into chic-lit, her golf wit reminds that any golfer, mystery lover or fan of the game would enjoy these books.

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From Kim Malo at Myshelf.com

You don't have to be a golf fan to enjoy this series, despite the 'golf lover mystery' label. The author clearly knows her stuff, but the stories are as much about the people who inhabit Cassie's world as the game itself. The result is a fast-paced cozy read, with a flawed heroine you can't help caring about, even as you want to give her a good shake, set in an unusual but clearly depicted world that's only far enough from the every day to be interesting. One of my favorite entries in this series.

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From Cindy Chow of January Magazine

The writing here is above par, with wit and sarcasm  that makes even Cassie's neurosis more humorous than  annoying. Isleib, continuing a series that teed off with  Agatha and Anthony award nominations (for Six Strokes Under, 2002), showcases her skill with a putter as well  as a pen.

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From Jennifer Monahan Winberry at The Mystery Reader:

A satisfying mystery, an engaging heroine emerging from her cocoon and a delightfully indulgent private country club setting are all the elements necessary to make this read a hole in one.

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From Kathryn Lively (Single for Now Magazine):

Though lacking in the self-esteem department, Cassie is an endearing character, too weary with the world to make lemonade with the lemons handed her. Isleib's first-person narration in all her mysteries is crisp, and her knowledge of the game is evident in accurate descriptions of Cassie's various adventures. Isleib writes as well as Annika plays, so if you ever decide to forsake the fairway for the comforts of the clubhouse consider taking along these novels, none of which are under par (Or is that over par? I told you I'm lousy at the game.).

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From Fritz Schrank of Hole by Hole:

When Roberta Isleib decided to place the action in her newest Cassie Burdette mystery novel in and around the famous golfing destination of Pinehurst, I wondered how she would deal with the contrast between the normally bucolic surroundings and the tumultuous events that often swirl around the young LPGA heroine.

As one might expect, Isleib handled it very well.

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From Donna Andrews, 6-time LPGA Tour winner

"Isleib definitely shoots under par with this book.  I'm just glad life on the LPGA tour is about birdies and bogeys and doesn't include solving murders."

From Christy Tillery French at the Midwest Book Review:

Cassie is a delightful character, with a dry wit and fresh perspective. Her personal insights, as well as her sessions with her shrink, will amuse the reader throughout the book. Her amateur sleuthing may lead to dangerous territory, but Cassie proves a real penchant for solving complicated mysteries. Golf fan or not, this is one book all mystery lovers will enjoy reading, with plenty of twists and turns and suspicious characters. Highly recommended.

Read the whole review


From Mary Devine at Reviewing the Evidence:

Isleib excels at character creation. Cassie is a truly three-dimensional character, dealing with one crisis after another -- should she back off asking questions about Dan Peters' disappearance (Jeanine initially asked Cassie to investigate, but after ransom demands are made warns her to back off); should she resume/continue her often destructive relationship with Michael? How should she deal with Marian, the stepmother from hell, who is trying to prevent Cassie from having a relationship with her half-brothers?

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From Patricia D'Ascoli of the New Milford Spectrum:

...a mixture of murder, kidnapping, dark family secrets and a good game of golf for added interest, this novel makes an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Read the whole review

Putt to Death

In the third mystery of the series, Putt to Death, due out in April 2004, Cassie takes a temporary job as a touring pro at an exclusive New England country club. Asked to fill in at the board of directors meeting on her first night, Cassie soon learns that environmentalists are considered fanatics and that women are struggling with the old boys network for parity on the golf course. When oneof the club members is found murdered, Cassie realizes that more than golf privileges and bird houses must be at stake.

ORDER THE BOOK NOW:

From my favorite hometown independent bookseller RJ Julia

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Read the first chapter

Putt to Death - book cover

Here's what they're saying about Putt to Death:

From John Retzer of Golfblogger.com:

I'll get right to the point: I thought this book was a great read. Even better: my non-golfing wife couldn't put it down.

Read the whole review (click on "books" and see review for September 27)

From Roberta Austin at Murder and Mayhem Book Club:

This is the third in the series of "Golf Lover's Mysteries", but you don't have to be a golf fanatic to love this or the previous two books. Cassie is a captivating character, who the author allows us to see "warts and all". She has her own set of issues, which are all too common for many of us. The reader can learn quite a bit about golfing through this book in an entertaining way. The plot has the perfect mix of suspense, humor and poignancy...I am looking forward to another round with Cassie and any other books by Ms. Isleib. She is a fabulous storyteller with her own unique voice and deserves much success.

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From Christy Tillery French for Midwest Book Review:

Roberta Isleib delivers a nicely packaged mystery, with plenty of characters thrown into the mix to leave the reader guessing throughout as to the actual murderer. Cassie is an appealing character, a woman with her own share of baggage savvy enough to see a therapist while trying to understand what is behind her propensity to self-sabotage golfing skills. Her witty remarks and innermost thoughts render her even more delightful, and her ongoing relationships with family and friends leave the reader eagerly anticipating the next in the series, simply to see where Cassie will take them.

From Brenda Weeaks of Mystery News

I fall asleep in front of the TV when the Masters play through. Golf is beyond me. And maybe this is why the backdrop and characters fascinate me--that and Isleib's fun sense of humor. There is no place she won't go. I don't think I can praise this series enough. Trust me, despite the dead bodies, Cassie will have you grinning from cover to cover.

From Kathryn Lively of Blether.com

If only Cassie Burdette played golf as well as her creator, Roberta Isleib, designs her adventures; she would be ranked number one in the world. In PUTT TO DEATH, the third Cassie Burdette mystery, we find that life on the tour is not what it's cracked up to be. Actually, for Cassie there is no life on the tour, for too many poor showings have led to a brief suspension from the LPGA, leaving Cassie to take on temp work as a golf pro in a snooty northern country club.

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From Debbie Lee Wesselman, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer

Easy to read and equally full of tense moments, this mystery makes great vacation or weekend reading. You don't need to read Isleib's previous efforts to enjoy this one, although it can't hurt.

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From Cindy Chow at January Magazine:

One author who's succeeded in demonstrating her knowledge of golf, while still attracting readers who have never done more than putt balls over a moat and through a spinning windmill, is Roberta Isleib... Putt to Death's mystery thread unravels at a healthy clip. The book is a fun read, one that's several strokes ahead of the competition.

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From Fritz Schrank's Hole by Hole:

Seeking a safe refuge to salvage her faltering game, Burdette takes a job as the official "touring pro" for a decidedly upscale Connecticut Country Club

Stony Creek CC is the kind of place one can sometimes see while driving along the coastline highways of the Nutmeg State—beautiful golf landscapes, with gorgeous views of Long Island Sound, a multi-year waiting list for new members, and unmistakable signs of old money on graceful display.

In addition, the place fairly seethes with old rivalries from real and imagined slights. Keenly felt emotions are not always kept in control, and obviously at least one person is fully capable of committing murder.

I have the distinct impression that some of Isleib's Connecticut-based readership will recognize a few of the personalities she deftly outlines in the story. From my own past experience as a club president, however, I can assure them that the types themselves are actually universal. Isleib recognizes the social comedy potential in this material, and does a nice job in exploiting it. These parts of the book made me wish I could stand next to her at a large party, just to listen.

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From Jeff Cohen of Mystery Morgue

This is a very entertaining mystery, told in a voice that exhibits humor along with world-weariness and keeps it from becoming too downbeat. Cassie's position as a golf pro would seem a handicap (you should pardon the expression) when investigating mysteries, but this does not take on a Murder, She Wrote "what-a-coincidence" quality‹it's all believable. It also
provides a very informative look at the inner workings of a country club.

Even for those who do not play golf, this is an exciting, enjoyable ride. Don't let the setting put you off. If you do play golf, you'll love this series all the more.

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From Larry Gandle of Deadly Pleasures

...A very entertaining and clever mystery... Suspects come and go and when the true killer is revealed, the solution is both clever and unexpected. The bottom line- a very good job by Roberta Isleib and a strong contender for best PBO at the Agathas next year.

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From Anne Barringer of the Old Book Barn Gazette:

In PUTT TO DEATH, Isleib manages to get the reader right into the swing of her deadly game. There's never a dull moment, even for those who don't play golf. Her colorful words and insight successfully hook even the most rank amateur. Even if you're not a fan of the game, this book is a fun-filled, enlightening read and highly recommended. Play on!

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From Kelly Ross of the Romance Readers Connection:

PUTT TO DEATH is the third in the series but stands alone easily as well. Ms. Isleib has nicely put a glossary of terms in the beginning of the book for those readers who are not familiar with the sport. There are many suspects and when the killer is revealed it is unexpected. The mystery is cleverly written and readers will not be disappointed.

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From New Mystery Reader:

Not a big fan of golf, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.  Even though there is definitely a plethora of golf related terms and events, and the mystery itself revolves around the sport of golf (and country clubs), somehow it all seemed somewhat incidental to the gist of the story, as well as the characters.  Isleib has created an endearing, and surprisingly somewhat complicated, character in Cassie.  Her issues with her love life, her father, and her career are not so different than what many women her age might face, providing the reader with a realistically and empathetically portrayed character that is easy to relate to. 

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A Buried Lie

The second Cassie Burdette mystery, A Buried Lie, takes place at the LPGA Shoprite Classic golf tournament in Atlantic City. When one of Cassie's amateur partners disappears, she wades into a swamp of prostitution, gambling, and drug company motives to solve the mystery.

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From my favorite hometown independent bookseller RJ Julia

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A Buired Lie- book cover

Here's what they're saying about A Buried Lie:

From Christy Tillery French (Midwest Book Review)

Cassie is a fresh face in the mystery world: an athlete with a self-deprecating sense of humor who is slightly reckless and impulsive. The subtle chemistry between Cassie and her friend and psychological consultant Joe Lancaster is teasing and fun. Cassie's relationship with her mother, whom she calls "the human weed-whacker", although convoluted and filled with resentment on Cassie's part, is one that reads humorously real.

Isleib throws red herrings throughout the book as she leads the reader through Cassie's somewhat bungling amateur sleuthing to a climatic ending, ingeniously weaving the game of golf into the storyline. A fast-paced book that mystery, as well as golf, lovers will enjoy.

Read entire review

From Harriet Klausner

Golf enthusiasts and fans of amateur sleuth novels will definitely enjoy A BURIED LIE, a tale that gives the reader insight into the competitive world of professional golf. The audience will like Cassie because she is willing to act on her hunches when even the police think no crime has been committed. Roberta Isleib knows how to write an interesting who-done-it that is a hole in one for the audience.

From Jodie L. Ball, Mysterical_E

A BURIED LIE is labeled "A Golf Lover's Mystery," but if you aren't a golfer, don't let that stop you from reading this book. For those of us who don't know the terminology, Isleib has provided a glossary of terms. With its memorable characters and intriguing plot, A BURIED LIE is sure to please any mystery reader.

From Stephanie Shea, Online Interviewer

A BURIED LIE is a great mix of golf lore and mystery. In Cassie Burdette, Roberta has created a likable, spunky new sleuth with a bit of baggage and a nose for trouble. Non-golfers should not be turned off by the fact that the setting is a golf tournament. Roberta manages to give the reader a feel for the game but she is able to do this in a way that doesn't get in the way of the plot. I first "met" Cassie in SIX STROKES UNDER and enjoyed getting to know her better in A BURIED LIE and looking forward to the next. This is a series that will appeal to golf fans and mystery fans alike and, if you are both, you have hit the jackpot.

From John Broussard

A BURIED LIE is aptly subtitled "A Golf Loveršs Mystery," and the glossary at the beginning is an essential addition for those of us who canšt tell a five iron from a hockey stick. For the golf enthusiast who is also a mystery buff, this is near-perfect reading. Isleib demonstrates the uncanny ability of detailing the life of the professional golfer on tour without boring a non-golfing audience, at the same time weaving in a first-rate mystery.

From Janet Overmyer

This story moves clearly and with interest, both for golfers and non-golfers. (Many thanks for the extensive Glossary of golf terms.) A good, enjoyable read.

From Fritz Schranck of Hole by Hole

Roberta Isleib is a smart woman, and I can prove it.

First, she's a clinical psychologist. There's one of them in my family, and if she's anything like him, then it's obvious she's no fool.

Second, she's an avid golfer, which shows her brilliance at selecting a lifetime sport to love.

Third, she likes to write mystery novels and she's good at it. Writing genre fiction is neither a sideline avocation nor a hobby for the weak of mind.

And fourth, she figured out how to combine all these talents and earn herself a nice little tax deduction for research expenses at the same time.

As for that last bit of proof, one can only make a respectful bow.

Isleib's newest Cassie Burdette novel is the second in this fine series. In the origin story, Six Strokes Under, Burdette becomes involved with a murder just as she's trying to qualify for the LPGA.

Read more...

From Kathryn Lively

Last seen in SIX STROKES UNDER, stepping over dead bodies sprawled on the lush greens of an Orlando golf course, Cassie Burdette is slowly inching her way into the upper echelon of ladies' golf - one stroke at a time. A narrow passing at Q-school has landed her on the LPGA Tour, and though she has yet to make the cut she hopes for a change at the ShopRite Classic, a pro-am tournament in Atlantic City.

Golf may be a good walk spoiled, and it's much worse when the sponsor's logo stitched on the heart of your golf shirt has been replaced with a bullseye.

No need to question whether or not author Isleib has made the cut with her sophomore effort, A BURIED LIE reads as well as Annika Sorenstam plays. Cassie's dry wit, matched with the intriguing premise of medical shenanigans against this green backdrop, make for a read golf nuts and mystery readers will enjoy.

From BOOK NOTES by Joan Ruddiman (Princeton Packet online, July 2003)

 'A Buried Lie' swings true    

Kathy is a great pal and a good golf buddy. She came through on both counts with an autographed copy of Roberta Isleib's "A Buried Lie" she picked up at the Shop Rite Classic LPGA tour at the Seaview Marriott last month.    

"A Buried Lie" is the second in Ms. Isleib's "A Golf Lover's Mystery" series. Aspiring pro Cassandra Burdette survived LPGA Q (for "qualifying") school as she solved a murder in "Six Strokes Under." Now Cassie is in the heat of things as she tees off in her first pro outing on the LPGA tour on the famous Bay course in view of the Atlantic City skyline.    

Entire Review

 


Six Strokes Under

In Six Strokes Under (ISBN# 0-425-18522-2), Cassie battles her way through the sectional Qualifying School in pursuit of her life's dream--a position on the Ladies' Professional Golf Association Tour. Along the way, she stumbles across illegal equipment and repressed memories, and begins to understand that competition can be murder.

ORDER THE BOOK NOW:

From my favorite hometown independent bookseller RJ Julia

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Read the first chapter

Six Strokes Under - book cover

Here's what they're saying about Six Strokes Under:

"Roberta Isleib hits the sweet spot with this impressive debut."-Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of NORTH OF NOWHERE

"A mystery so intelligent and engaging, even readers who don't know a driver from a nine-iron will love it."-Abigail Padgett, author of THE LAST BLUE PLATE SPECIAL

"Golf was already a mystery worthy of Poirot. Now Roberta Isleib has written a mystery worthy of the game."-David Owen, author of MY USUAL GAME

"Six Strokes Under reads like a Sunday afternoon watching Tiger Woods play--it's tough to take your eyes off it. Isleib expertly captures the myriad personalities of professioanl golf and the unique world of the country club and spins it like a Hollywood thriller."-Matt Pepin, NEW HAVEN REGISTER

From Fritz Schrank of Hole by Hole:

I like well-written mystery novel origin stories.
An origin story, as I use the term, means the first book in an intended series covering the adventures of the protagonist. Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribe police novels are a good example. His first Joe Leaphorn book, The Blessing Way, set a tone leading to a string of critical and commercial successes. Ian Rankin's Knots and Crosses, which featured both Detective John Rebus and the dark side of Edinburgh, Scotland is another version of the same genre, with at least 12 sequels to tempt his followers.
Unlike novels limited to telling a single complete story, successful origin stories for an planned series must whet the reader's appetite to learn more about the heroine and follow her continuing character development in the next novel.

Roberta Isleib succeeded in this difficult task with her new golf mystery novel about Cassandra Burdette, a great new character with a lot of gumption and a penchant for trouble. Isleib wrote a fine origin story. It creates a fun new character, with a nice supporting cast, and an effective hook to bring the readers back for more stories. I look forward to following Burdette's dual career as an LPGA player and amateur sleuth with an attitude.
Review Date: May 31, 2002

From the "Old Book Barn Gazette", June 2002

A common misconception about golf is that it's unexciting, even boring. This book proves that not only is golf not boring, it can be pulse-pounding, particularly if there are murderers lurking at every hole.Six Strokes Under is an enjoyable book with interesting plotlines and side stories. Non-golfers should not be dissuaded from reading it, nor should serious golfers feel that the book will be too simplistic. Isleib strikes a happy medium: she gives a great feel for the game that's not too technical or off-putting (pun intended) for the non-golfer. Her engaging and amusing style sinks a hole in one. (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) Vicky Gilpin

From the "Murder on Miami Beach Newsletter":

John's recommendation of the month!

This new golf lover's mystery, first in a series, is a nice introduction to the golf world...the author has created a tightly-woven mystery with believable, enjoyable characters. Even if you are not a golf enthusiast, this is a must-read for those rainy summer days. Sit back and take a ride in a golf cart. You will really enjoy the read or ride. July, 2002.

From The Mystery Reader:

Six Strokes Under is a fascinating look inside the world of pro golf. Adding to the authenticity of the book, golf lingo is interspersed, but manageable - either through context or with the help of a short glossary in the front of the book. Cassie is a refreshing heroine who is very real and genuine. Even though she aspires to be a professional athlete, she is not above a cheeseburger and a beer, though she readily admits to any ill effects the morning after. She is easily distracted from her game sometimes, but once she is focused, she digs in with a strong single-mindedness. She has some family demons in her past that are alluded to, but never completely revealed.

There are two possible theories to both crimes and though a second possible scenario is offered, it is pretty clear which way the story is headed. The culprit may stand out very early on, though no motive is offered for this suspect, leaving room for doubt and other suspects to emerge. Six Strokes Under is a strong debut that will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike.
Jennifer Monahan Winberry

From the I Love a Mystery Newsletter:

Isleib mixes pro golf and the controversial subject of suppressed memories in SIX STROKES UNDER, but don't be fooled into thinking it might be dull. It moves at a fast clip with multiple plot lines, bested only by her strong characters. Isleib is one new writer we'll be hearing from again.

- Cathy Stevens

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