17 October 2005

Dead Heat-- in bookstores now

and coming soon to a library near you!

Recently, Your Average Horseplayer mentioned a review by the Lowell Sun's Paul Daley of Dead Heat, the final book by William Murray.

With the publication of his last novel, it's a fitting time to remember William Murray. Author of The Right Horse, a guide to having fun at the track, The Wrong Horse, part autobiography and part racing journalism, and a number of racing mysteries featuring magician Shifty Lou Anderson, Murray lived a mere 2.3 miles from the Del Mar track. Not surprisingly, he immortalized the spot "where the turf meets the surf" in a short 1988 publication, Del Mar: Its Life and Good Times.

Earlier this year, Del Mar paid homage to Murray, spurring Daily Racing Form's Jay Hovdey to do the same in Still running past the finish line.

I've sampled some of Murray's Shifty Lou Anderson mysteries and found them enjoyable enough. But as Daley mentions in his review, Murray's nonfiction works were the ones that really captured readers, because they seemed to depict "us" -- the horseplayers -- so well. He seems genuinely fond of winners and losers alike and transmits his enthusiasm with charm and grace. And, as Turf Luck readers (all 3 of you!) may recall, one of my better plays owes its success to Mr. Murray and The Right Horse

I've yet to read Dead Heat,as my library's copies haven't been processed yet, but Daley says it may be Murray's best -- and that makes it well worth the wait.