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Par for the Corpse

Terry Sheils

Coming January 1st in ebook, January 15th in print from Amber Quill Press

Oona Blackwell (née Wdnyzkoscdckyzny) had her mind set on winning the local ladies' golf tournament and going on to the District Finals. Indeed, it seems, even death cannot stop her, for when her body is discovered, murdered, on the fourteenth tee, she has apparently scored a par - after her death on the thirteenth hole.
Hunter Knox is a faceless amateur sleuth whom no one can remember unless they think he's someone else or they have made love to him. Thus when Melonie Price, Games Captain at the Carleigh Falls G.&C.C., calls on him to solve Oona's murder, one immediately know into which category she falls. In the course of his investigation, Hunter adopts many roles - including that of an expert on the Rules of the Royal and Ancient Game and Country Singer Horne Payne. And his investigations are assisted - or obstructed? - by such characters as Oona's two sisters and a brother (Duella, Tracy, and Forsythe Wdnyzkoscdckyzny) and the local semi-retired policeman, Elmer Fitkin (or, possibly Firkin).
Another improbable, hilarious Hunter Knox romp of a mystery. 

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"For fans who have come to enjoy the unorthodox, uniquely "unmemorable" Hunter Knox, this novel picks up after his stint as an actor in POE--THE MUSICAL. For readers unfamiliar with him, Hunter has a face that can't be remembered. When people stare at him, and then close their eyes, no one can recall what he looks like -- making it very convenient for him to find the answers to murder.

Brought in as scorekeeper for a golf tournament, Hunter lends his invisible self to find the murder. With this year's tournament being held on her home course of Carleigh Falls, Oona Blackwell has her best chance yet to unseat the current champion as well as make a young upstart wait another year. As she wades into Hooker's Creek to retrieve her ball from a disastrous tee shot, Oona gleefully daydreams about how many people she can make unhappy with a win in the golf tournament. But as she bends over to pick up the lost ball, black gloved hands encircle Oona's ankles, pulling her under the water's surface.

Shortly thereafter, her playing partners find her, score card in hand, sitting drowned on a bench. Everyone seems to have a motive for wanting Oona dead. Her three playing partners, whom she left behind when she went to retrieve her ball, certainly have motive. Indeed, Oona was a cheater and manipulator of other people's lives, whether it be dropping golf balls to conveniently win a round of golf, stealing another woman's husband, or taking away their store. And when Duella, Oona's identical twin sister, puts in an appearance, the complexity of plot and cast of memorable characters continues to grow.

With the classically irreverent, slightly bumbling style that characterizes his Hunter Knox character, Terry Sheils once again creates an entertaining, if somewhat unorthodox first class murder mystery. Fans of Sheils will certainly enjoy PAR FOR THE CORPSE, and if you haven't read any Hunter Knox mysteries, then this is an excellent introduction to this unorthodox body of work."

Reviewed by Cindy Penn for Word Weaving


"Guaranteed to make you laugh, Par for the Corpse is a delightful mystery of high jinx on the fairway. A collection of strange characters assemble on and near the grounds of the Carleigh Falls Golf Club in time for the Regional Tournament, but the lead contender is murdered. Alias Hunter Knox, with his collection of aliases tries to score both on the greens and in the bed of his friend Melonie. Up until now, every time he investigates a murder, his lover turns out to be the culprit. Is Melonie different? Can he make it beyond the ninth hole without being accosted, interrupted or found discovering yet one more body? Relatives of the victim appear, but are they really relatives? Doctors arrive, but are they really doctors?

Winding his way through the maze of false identities and hidden secrets, Hunter Knox succeeds in finding more than the murderer he bargained for. If I could add a half star (or more) for the witty repartee between Hunter and Melonie, I would. Even if you know nothing about golf, this book will leave you laughing."

Reviewed by Ann M. Beardsley for Scribes World Reviews