I can't recall from memory all of an author's works, but I do know that I had never heard of Wild Pitch by Mr, Guthrie. I ran across it at an estate sale and violated my order about buying more books. It is a hard-backed pocket book published by Popular Library Editions in 1973 and is a murder mystery that takes place in a small town in Montana. We see the tale through the eyes of a 17-year-old boy who carries a baseball with him most of the time and is the pitcher for the town's baseball team.
There are two murders to be solved, the first one takes place at night at the annual town picnic where a prominent resident is shot by a rifle. The second one comes later on where another resident is shot by his mailbox on a road out of town and over a hill from the house where he lived. The teenager gets involved because he is always hanging out at the Sheriff's Office and runs errands for the sheriff. He has a fingerprint kit that he practices with at home and at the office. He is always squeezing the baseball to build up the muscles in his pitching arm and he is a fine pitcher. He goes along with the sheriff as they interview about everyone that has associated with the murder victims to get a clue who killed them.There are the usual town characters, including the half-wit and an old spinster with dementia and two residents who are medical professionals, plus the local doctor. Also, there is a big- city detective assigned to assist the sheriff who knows it all, but is out-witted by the easy-going sheriff.
All-in-all, I give the book four stars. It is not in the class of The Big Sky or The Way West in my estimation, but it is an entertaining read of 224 pages.
(NOTE: The photo in the header is part of a series of the Sonoran Desert a couple of miles north of Wickenburg, AZ, in the springtime taken by my nephew, Russ Case. I will be showing more in the header as we go along.)