Author: Paula Murphy
ISBN :978-1438-262970
Publisher: Zanybooks

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Imagine watching beach volleyball came and being a guest at the Women’s Beach Championship. Enjoying yourself and watching each of the players and assessing not only their skills at playing the game but the women’s physical attributes as well. Watching the players the two teams that were considered the best and a championship made up of four amazing player, you would never expect murder as the end result. This brings me to my review of Side Out for Murder by Paula Murphy.

The story begins with a beach volleyball championship that turns deadly. The major players in this final championship game were Erica Mueller and her partner Sara Newcombe was partner. On the opposite team was Barbara Dahl and Chara deCastro. But, as the game ended and thousands of people watched, Barbara Dahl took her last breath and doubled over and was dead. Someone had put poison in her water bottle. No one went over to see if they could help her or confirm that she was dead. No one rushed up to Barbara or seemed to care that she was dead except Private Investigator, Phyllis Ludwigson.

No one went over to cover the body and no one seemed concerned that one of the top volleyball players in the world and the winner of the championship was dead. But, Phyllis felt that the police should handle the murder investigation until Marvin, head of the World Volleyball Association and the Account Rep hired her to find out who killed Barbara and why.

Marvin created what he thought was a viable list of suspects for her to question and investigate. First were JoAnne Green, a media personality and former volleyball champion. Living in a huge house with what the author called “The Manson Family,’ Phyllis received anything but a warm greeting when she tried to speak with JoAnne and her clan.

Next, Erica Mueller, Barbara’s opponent in the final match. There was no love lost between them. Barbara was the queen of volleyball. She decided who played and who did not. Barbara was not well liked and most people felt that she was a mean and really awful person and no one seemed upset that she was gone.

In reality, Barbara was a great player and great to those who played with her on the court. Her coach, a member of her team and her fans loved her and she was good to them. However, off the court she was not quite the same. Barbara was one of those women that felt that physical appearances made the person. If your clothes, hair and makeup did not match up to her standards, then you did not play on her team. Barbara was considered the universal symbol of volleyball and Phyllis was going to find out who killed her and why.

Diane Purdy, the umpire Dee –Dee Williams, a world class athlete and one of the only black players on the pro beach volleyball circuit all had reasons to want her dead. However, as our private investigator begins to learn more about each of the suspects, she gets an education into what they are really like and more. At times her skills are challenged and her focus on her case distracted by the players involved in this case. Some of the situations she gets herself into are humorous and you have to really like Phyllis and how hard she is trying to solve this case and more.

Even with the attempts on her life and her visit to Barbara’s family, Phyllis does not give up. The author describes character in a distinct and individual way allowing the reader to make up his/her mind about any possible motive that character might have for killing Barbara including her fiancé Derek, who finds out that helping an investigator can turn deadly for you too.

Barbara Dahl was not all bad. She set up a halfway house for orphans called Barbara’s Kids. Phyllis with the help of her special friend Marlene, and many others finally figures out who killed Barbara and why. There have been many obstacles that people face when trying to get into professional sports. I am not going to tell you who killed her and why. But, this book does she us several great lessons that we all need to remember and learn in life. First, you do not judge a person just by their physical appearance. Second, you never judge someone by the color of his or her skin or his or her nationality. In my opinion this was a good book and I would definitely recommend it.

Click Here To Purchase Side Out For Murder