“Amen Corner” synopsis:
The body of the Masters rules committee chairman is found floating in the pond in front of the 12th green on the morning that Sam Skarda arrives at Augusta National Golf Club to play in his first Masters. Skarda, a 37-year-old police detective on medical leave from the Minneapolis P.D., is a former college golfer who won the U.S. Publinx and an invitation to play in the Masters while rehabbing a shooting injury suffered on the job.
Evidence left at the crime scene suggests the murder might have been tied to the ongoing protest by a women's group that has been demanding that the club admit women members. Then a crusading New York Times columnist is murdered on the grounds of the club two days later. Local police suspect the murders might have been committed by a member and begin pressuring David Porter, the new Augusta National chairman, for access to the club's membership information.
Porter asks Skarda for help finding the killer before the police thoroughly invade Augusta National's legendary privacy. Skarda looks for answers from members, veteran journalists, longtime caddies and ex-employees who may know why someone is determined to bring this year's Masters to a halt.
He also falls for Caroline Rockingham, the soon-to-be ex-wife of one of the pre-tournament favorites, a former college golf teammate of Skarda's. Sam and Caroline themselves become targets as the murders continue and pressure to cancel the tournament builds. Meanwhile, the killer methodically prepares for a spectacular and deadly Sunday climax.
Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95.
Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95.
North Star Press, $14.95.
"Frozen Tundra" synopsis:
In the third Sam Skarda thriller, the ex-Minneapolis police detective is hired by the Green Bay Packers to help thwart an insider attempt to sell the publicly-owned team to a private owner. The Packers are being sabotaged from the inside in an attempt to loosen the community's grip on its team, while the executive board is being tempted by the prospect of a Super Bowl to be held at storied Lambeau Field.
Sniper fire, kidnapping, a snowmobile chase, a jealous ex-husband, and drowning in a frigid Wisconsin lake are some of the hazards Sam faces as he fights to preserve a fabled Wisconsin city's tradition, and keep himself and his former girlfriend alive.
“If you are a football fan, regardless of whether or not you root for the Vikings or the Packers, you are really going to enjoy ‘Frozen Tundra.’ Shefchik’s passion and knowledge of the game is beautifully woven throughout the pages, making it a must-read for anybody who cares about the NFL’s greatest rivalry. A fantastic, intelligent and suspenseful read – I highly recommend it.” — Ross Bernstein, author of “I Love Brett Favre/I Hate Brett Favre.”
" ‘Frozen Tundra’ is a wintery blast...but forget the frigid weather. Minneapolis P.I. Sam Skarda's mission to save the Green Bay Packers, not to mention his own hide, is another of Rick Shefchik's wild, white-hot rides into the creepy underbelly of professional sports. Fasten your seatbelts, Skarda fans. This one has more high-speed twists and turns than a turf-churning run to daylight." --William Souder, author of "Under a Wild Sky," Pulitzer prize finalist.
Jessie Bridges, a beautiful, smoky-voiced singer with a troubled past, is preparing to compete on a network TV talent show when someone begins mailing her a series of cryptic mash-ups of song lyrics by Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Former newspaper reporter Phil Cropper is hired by the show's producer to investigate Jessie's past, but the only people who can help him learn the truth begin dying suspiciously. Cropper risks his own life to dig into the dark corners of the entertainment industry and discovers a secret so explosive that it could alter rock 'n' roll history forever.
"I have been an avid fan of Shefchik's Sam Skarda series and was very curious to see how his first work outside that series would turn out. Well I was not disappointed! This story like all of the others was a page turner and something I could not put down. There are many intricate weaves of the characters throughout this story and it all ties together at the end. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a fast-paced novel with suspense, intrigue, and a taste of rock music history." - Jeffrey S. Jacob
"Rather See You Dead"
$2.99 for Kindle, Nook and iPad.
After a second World Championship in four years, the Boston Red Sox have finally buried the Curse of the Bambino -- or have they? Sox owner Louis Kenwood recives an extortion note -- signed by "Babe Ruth" -- claiming that the 2004 World Series was fixed, and demanding $50 million to keep the information from reaching the press and the Commissioner's office. The Red Sox turn to private detective Sam Skarda to find out whether the allegation is true, and who's behind the extortion plot. If the allegation of a fix becomes public, Kenwood fears irreperable damage to the value of his franchise.
Kenwood insists that Sam be accompanied every step of the way by his executive assistant Heather Canby, a beautiful young business school grad. Soon after taking the job, Sam is the target of an attempted hit, and begins to doubt that he can trust anyone involved in the case. The trail takes Sam to the mob hangouts of Los Angeles and the hideous slums of Caracas before leading back to Fenway Park, where scandal threatens to destroy the faith of Red Sox Nation.
"From Fields to Fairways"
University of Minnesota Press, $39.95.
The definitive history of Minnesota's classic golf courses, from The Town & Country Club in 1893 to Hazeltine in 1962.
"A great addition to the written history of golf in Minnesota and one that every true golfer will want in the library." —Reed K. Mackenzie, former president of the United States Golf Association
"Rick Shefchik brings to life the visionaries, architects, and personalities that built our classic courses and forever shaped the game we love. Minnesota is known nationally for the quality of our golf courses and this is a must for anyone who loves the history and traditions of Minnesota golf." —Tom Ryan, Executive Director & COO, Minnesota Golf Association
Now in stores!:
"Everybody's Heard About the Bird"
The True Story of 1960s Rock 'n' Roll
University of Minnesota Press, $29.95
"Rick Shefchik offers a brisk, light, and lively overview of the arrival of rock in the Upper Midwest and the local bands that brought it to life. Incredibly researched. Totally cool! Awesome!" - Bill Diehl, Rajah of the Records, WDGY
"Engrossing and exhaustive, Everybody's Heard About the Bird is an invaluable pop history that chronicles the nascent Minneapolis recording and music industry and early rock-and-roll stew. All in all, a labor of love that feels both fresh and long overdue." - Jim Walsh, journalist, songwriter and author of The Replacements: All over But the Shouting: An Oral History