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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

J.B. Manheim Goes 5 for 5!

by Paul Semendinger

May 17, 2024


J. B. Manheim's latest baseball-themed novel, The Keystone Corner, is a winner. I'm not surprised. His other four baseball-themed novels were also great.

I first learned about J.B. Manheim when I was provided a copy of his first novel, This Never Happened, from his original publisher Summer Game Books. (Manheim is now published through Sunbury Press.) I interviewed the author for our SSTN Interview Series and we became friendly through e-mails. Since I enjoyed that book so much, I received copies of each of his successive novels. Each are tremendous in their own right.

Manheim is a master storyteller. He doesn't just take the reader from Point A to Point B, he takes the reader on an adventure. Each book is told from various perspectives. Each also has a series of underlying themes. Baseball plays a big role in his books, sometimes more so than others, but he also tells stories about history and about so much more. There are twists and turns in each book. The characters are well-developed and very real to life - as are the conversations and the stories themselves. Each novel presents a detective-type story, each in their own way. The endings are always a surprise. There is an O. Henry quality to each story with the way each surprises the reader in a different and original way.

The Keystone Corner revolves around Thomas Edison and his love of baseball. It's a story loosely based on baseball, but it isn't a baseball story. The novel is completely fictious, but because of Manheim's story-telling abilities, it reads as if it is history. As with all his books, the reader gets caught up in the characters, in the bigger story. In this novel Thomas Edison, and his property, play huge roles. The adventure to solve a huge question that is presented early on in the novel engrosses the reader throughout.

Many of the characters who appear in these novels have been in previous books, so when they appear, they are, in a sense, like old friends. These are good people. They are easy to root for.

J.B. Manheim's writing style is direct, concise, and enjoyable. This latest book is about 200 pages. It's a quick read - primarily because, like his other books, it is a real page turner.

I have now read all five of J.B. Manheim's novels. Each of the previous four novels are pictured below. I have greatly enjoyed each. These are excellent books from an excellent writer who I highly recommend to all.


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