The Babe Ruth Deception
A Fraser and Cook Mystery, #3
by David O. Stewart
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages
As the Roaring Twenties get under way, corruption seems everywhere–from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal. Swept up in the maelstrom are Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook…
Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning–baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth’s 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook–a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball–who’s familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.
Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.
As all this plays out, Cook’s son Joshua and Fraser’s daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal–even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game.
Once again masterfully blending fact and fiction, David O. Stewart delivers a nail-biting historical mystery that captures an era unlike any America has seen before or since in all its moral complexity and dizzying excitement.
Praise for The Babe Ruth Deception
"Having mastered the craft of writing novels that feature Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, David O. Stewart has now chosen someone who is perfect for the genre. Babe Ruth was as mythic as a person gets, and the author has surrounded The Babe with a Prohibition cast of bootleggers, gangsters and thugs, giving us a fine yarn that mixes and matches the grand glories of The National Pastime with the nefarious foibles of human nature." --Frank Deford, Sportswriter and Bestselling Novelist
“This is so much more than a baseball book. There’s a lot of the Babe, but it’s a history book, a mystery book, a complex book that beautifully details an era in America. I loved it!” --Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Baseball Contributor and Author
“[The Babe Ruth Deception] cleverly mixes real-life people and historical events. The problems of the unlikely sleuths will particularly appeal to baseball fans.” --Kirkus Reviews
“A rollicking real-life figure leads to a rollicking fictional romp. The allure of the Babe may bring you into this book; David O. Stewart’s lively tale will keep you there.” --Kostya Kennedy
“Well-written novels that blend fact and fiction always get my attention, and if it’s Babe Ruth and characters from his era, I’m in. David O. Stewart reminds us of why the ‘20s roared, and how much fun the Babe was. A delight!” --Marty Appel, author of Pinstripe Empire
“David O. Stewart, the master of fictional historic deceptions, has hit one out of the park with The Babe Ruth Deception. Not only is it most cleverly plotted but gives us a feel for the corrupt and colorful Era of Prohibition when Babe Ruth was at his most beloved despite – or because of – his off-the-field flaws and excesses.” --Paul Dickson author of Leo Durocher – Baseball’s Prodigal Son
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Babe Ruth Deception! To enter, please see the Gleam form The Babe Ruth Deception. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
David O. Stewart, formerly a lawyer, writes fiction and history. His first historical work told the story of the writing of the Constitution ("The Summer of 1787"). It was a Washington Post Bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. His second book ("Impeached"), grew from a judicial impeachment trial he defended before the United States Senate in 1989. "American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America" explored Burr's astounding Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall. "Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America" debuted in February 2015. He has received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati and the 2016 William Prescott Award for History Writing from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Stewart's fiction career began with the release of "The Lincoln Deception," an historical novel exploring the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy. "The Wilson Deception," the sequel, is set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. "The Babe Ruth Deception" occurs during the Babe's first two years with the Yankees while he remade baseball and America began the modern era with Prohibition, bootlegging, and terrrorism. Stewart lives with his wife in Maryland. Visit his website at www.davidostewart.com.
MY INTERVIEW WITH DAVID O. STEWART
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
The question I would rather answer is: “What would I like a new reader to think about my writing style?” Most of all, that it’s clear and compelling to read. Don’t come to my books for lazy, Henry-James-like sentences that slouch along in page-long paragraphs. I want to place you in the story and carry you along with me. I try to follow the late Elmore Leonard’s rule: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” I also hope a reader enjoys the humor I try to inject both in my novels and in the histories I write. Life can be funny, and we should enjoy it when we can. Finally, don’t expect easy answers. We’re not angels. History’s complicated, and so is each life. Bad stuff happens with the good.
Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
I’ve always written for my supper. I worked summers as a newspaper reporter and did it fulltime for two years after college. As a trial and appellate lawyer, I wrote all the time and loved that part of the work. Now, in My Life Version 3.0, I’ve got seven books in print. But there’s nothing “natural” about writing. You have to know what you want to say; I’ve always thought that whining about “writer’s block” was just a melodramatic way of admitting that you don’t know what to say. Once I know that, I can write my first draft, which I generally hate. So I revise it. And again. And again and again. Sometimes it turns out that I’ve been heading off in the wrong direction. Other times, that I’ve nearly buried parts of the story in words. Much of my revising involves cutting away stuff readers don’t need. With luck, they agree with my decisions.
Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
It’s not that the characters aren’t “ready,” but that I still learn about them as I write them. The continuing characters in my historical mystery series – The Lincoln Deception, The Wilson Deception, and now The Babe Ruth Deception – still react to situations in ways I don’t expect. The lead figures (Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook, an aging ex-ballplayer) may get angry in a situation when I thought they would be understanding, or loving when I thought they would be judgmental. Though I usually work from an outline of sorts, I go where the story leads me. Often, it’s the scenes that turned out in an unexpected way that I like the best.
If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be?
I’d like to get mildly pickled with George Smiley of John Le Carre’s spy novels (especially Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and talk into the night with him. I’d love to get Phillip Roth’s Swede Levov (American Pastoral) trying to figure out what this country’s really about. Then there’s the amazing quiet strength of Antonia from Willa Cather’s My Antonia. For lighter times, there would be Ignatius J. Reilly of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces (though we’ve GOT to find him a girlfriend), and The Dude from The Big Lebowski. (I know, I know: it’s not a book, but you asked about “fictional characters,” which includes movies!) I would expect Smiley to clean us all out during the poker games.
Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere? What would you do with this time?
Italy. Pretty much anywhere in Italy. I would write. I would have wine in the evenings with my wife. We would eat pasta with oil and cheese and tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. We would walk and cycle in the sunshine. On rainy days, we’d watch movies and read. I’m losing my train of thought. . . .
Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
I have drafts of two historical novels that are inspired by stories from my family. The first, set in the eighteenth century, explores the experience of coming to this violent, raw continent, hacking a home out of the wilderness, and careening into a revolution. The second picks up nearly a century later with the convulsion of the Civil War and the explosion of America’s westward expansion. I’m also partway into a book for Penguin that aims to break down the gigantic, nearly-fossilized figure of George Washington and make him a person – in his remarkable gifts, his weaknesses, and his exacting struggles. Busy times!
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, June 27 Kick Off at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, June 28 Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Thursday, June 29 Interview at I Heart Reading
Friday, June 30 Spotlight at A Holland Reads
Sunday, July 2 Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, July 3 Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, July 4 Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, July 6 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Friday, July 7 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Monday, July 10 Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, July 11 Review at Laura's Interests
Wednesday, July 12 Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Wednesday, July 19 Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Friday, July 21 Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
Wednesday, July 26 Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Thursday, July 27 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews