Mysteries, suspense novels, thrillers, and crime fiction that feature golfing, the game of golf, golfers, or golf courses.
Also of interest: The Golf Murders: A Reader's and Collector's Guide to Golf Mystery Fiction: An Annotated and Illustrated Bibliography, by Thomas F. Taylor (Golf Mystery Press, 1997) and a Yahoo! group called golfmystery, which was originated to identify and discuss titles published since 1996 as well as those that Taylor may have omitted from The Golf Murders.
Some might enjoy The Downhill Lie (2008), mystery writer Carl Hiaasen's 'hilarious account' of his struggles with golf.
HERBERT ADAMS (1874 - 1958)
- John Brand's Will (1933/1935): Published in U.S. as The Golf House Murder. A month after the black sheep relatives of a wealthy man move in with him, he has changed his will, leaving all to them and cutting out his beloved goddaughter. And then he dies. The family solicitor suspects skullduggery and sets out to solve the case. Nice picture of life among the country house set.
- The Body in the Bunker (1935)
- Death Off the Fairway (1936)
- Nineteenth Hole Mystery (1939)
- Death on the First Tee (1957)
CATHERINE AIRDaka Kim McIntosh (East Kent, U.K.; born Yorkshire; 1930 - )
- A Hole in One (2005): 20th title in the Det. Insp. Sloane series. When flirtatious golfing beginner Helen Sewell goes in search for her wayward golf ball in the dreaded 'Hells Bells' bunker, she is not prepared for the horrible surprise that lies buried under the soft sand. Detective Inspector Sloan and Detective Constable Crosby are called in to solve the murder mystery. A gentle and finely constructed murder mystery set on Berebury golf course in the fictional county of Calleshire.
RICHARD L. BALDWIN
- Administration Can Be Murder (2000): Reggie Macleod and seven of his golfing buddies are in Gaylord, Michigan, for an annual golfing outing. One course they are scheduled to play on, Marsh Ridge, is hosting a murder mystery weekend; the last things the friends expect is for one of them to fall dead on the 14th tee.
BRIAN NEVILLE BALLaka Brian Kinsey-Jones (U.K.; 19 June 1932 - )
- Death of a Low-Handicap Man (1974): Mystery concerning a murder that takes place at a Yorkshire golf club.
JAMES (JIM) Y. BARTLETT (American, lives in Rhode Island)
- Pete Hacker series: Hacker is a Florida sportswriter.
- Death is a Two-Stroke Penalty (1991/2005): At the urging of beautiful golf widow Becky Turnbull, journalist and ex-champion Peter Hacker investigates the murder of up-and-comer John Turnbull, whose body is found pinned beneath a golf cart.
- Death from the Ladies' Tee (1992/2005): Mystery set against the background of an LPGA event in Florida.
- Death at the Member-Guest (2004): The erstwhile Hacker finds himself at the tony Shuttlecock Club near Boston. When the club's eccentric and heavy-handed president is found murdered during the tournament, Hacker enlists his friend Jack Connelly to help solve the mystery. Some Mafia involvement.
EDMUND CLERIHEW BENTLEY (10 July 1875 - 30 March 1956) and H. WARNER ALLEN
- Trent's Own Case (1936): The golf is critical to the plot. Sequel to Trent's Last Case, also a golf mystery.
- 'The Sweet Shot' (1939): Death of a man playing a solitary round of golf; he's killed by means of a detonator in his golf club.
WILLIAM BERNHARDT (1960 -)
- Cruel Justice (1996): Tulsa, Oklahoma attorney Ben Kinkaid becomes involved in an old murder case: a woman was found impaled by a golf club in the country-club caddy shack. One of the caddies was incarcerated, but because of problems stemming from his limited mental faculties, he is being brought to trial 10 years after the murder occurred.
- Final Round (2002): Connor Cross doesn't take much seriously, including his worsening golf game at the Master's Tournament, until his best friend John McCree is bashed to death with a nine iron and left in a sandy bunker on the 18th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club, with Cross as a prime murder suspect. First golfing mystery by this writer of legal thrillers.
- Murder in the Rough (2002): Sarah Deane investigates when an unplanned corpse turns up on a perfectly planned New England golf course.
DANIEL B. BRAWNER
- Employment Is Murder (2004): Offbeat mystery. New Age mythologist Simon gets a job as a sales trainee at Bulgarian-American owned Going Platinum, a golf club supplier. Simon's sales take off, because, unbeknownst to him, a smuggling ring is using him to move merchandise. When his co-worker Steve turns up dead with a putter rammed down his throat, Simon starts to suspect something's not quite right.
- Deadly Divots: A Golf Murder Mystery (2003): When a despised land developer is found floating face down in a water hazard on the golf course of an exclusive Long Island country club, local homicide detective Karl Kanopka is called in to investigate.
- Golf is Murder (2000): A story about golf -- the passion, heartache, bogeys and bodies, a beautiful woman, a rich caddie, a tormented rookie, and Las Vegas. Not a typical tour tournament.
- The Country Club (1969): Surmount Country Club maintains the best golf course in Fairfield county and one of the sexiest pros who resides above the women's locker room. The club is filled with politics, seduction and suspense when the treasurer is found dead in the swimming pool.
MILES BURTON aka John Rhode, Cecil John Charles Street
- Tragedy at the Thirteenth Hole (1933)
- The Pro-Am Murders (1978): Photo fiction, with black + white photographs throughout. Bounty hunter Dion Quince in a golf setting at Crosby Golf Tournament.
DICKSON CARTERaka John Dickson Carr (American; 1906 - 27 Feb 1977)
- My Late Wives (1946): Funny, terrifying, and with one of Carr?s typically ingenious solutions -- this time, the answer to the riddle of how the serial killer Roger Bewlay disposed of the bodies of his wives. Detective Sir Henry Merrivale plays golf under the tutelage of a stage Scotsman.
- Death Under Par (1997): A golfing mystery where Chief Inspector James Odhiambo investigates.
JAMES RAY CHAPMAN
- Nassau Circle Murder on the Country Club (1999): A murder mystery novel set in an upscale Carolina golf community.
JAMES HADLEY CHASE (British; pen name of Rene Brabazon Raymond)
- My Laugh Comes Last (1977): Farrell Brannigan, President of the National Californian Bank, is an extremely successful man. When he builds another bank in an up-and-coming town on the Pacific coast, he is given worldwide publicity, and this new bank is hailed as the safest in the world. But Brannigan has made many enemies on his way up the ladder and now it seems that one of them is set on revenge and destruction. [Not sure how golf figures into this book, but it's listed in the Yahoo! group golfmystery's bibliography database.]
AGATHA CHRISTIE (British, 15 Sep 1890 - 12 Jan 1976)
- Murder on the Links (1923): Monsieur Renauld dies on a golf course just days after sending a plea for help to detective Poirot. Since Renauld possessed a plundered fortune, a scorned wife, a mistress, and an estranged son, there is no lack of suspects. It's up to Poirot to put the police onto the culprit before more murders occur.
- Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (1934; also published as The Boomerang Clue): While playing an erratic round of golf, Bobby Jones slices his ball over the edge of a cliff. His ball is lost, but on the rocks below he finds the crumpled body of a dying man. With his final breath the man opens his eyes and says: 'Why didn't they ask Evans?' Haunted by these words, Bobby and his vivacious companion, Frankie, set out to solve a mystery that will bring them into mortal danger.
- 'The Mews' in Murder in the Mews: Four Poirot Stories (1937): Short story. Golf is central to solving the murder.
HARLAN COBEN (born New Jersey)
- Deal Breaker (1995): Not a golfing mystery but has a golfing scene in it that avid golfers will enjoy. In this one, the top client (a football quarterback) of sports agent Myron Bolitar is under suspicion for murder.
- Backspin (A Myron Bolitar Mystery) (1997): Kidnappers have snatched the teenage son of super-star golfer Linda Coldren and her husband, Jack, an aging pro, at the height of the U.S. Open. To help get the boy back, NYC sports agent Myron Bolitar goes charging after clues and suspects that lead him to a U.S. Open twenty-three years ago, when Jack Coldren should have won, but didn't. Suddenly Myron finds himself surrounded by blue bloods, criminals, and liars. And as one family's darkest secrets explode into murder, Myron finds out just how rough this game can get.
R.C. COILE JR
- Murder at Pebble Beach: Murder on the Fairways Series (2004): Shane O'Neill left the Los Angeles Police Department five years ago to pursue his dream of a career on the PGA Tour. When a murder happens at the start of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am Tournament, the local police draft Shane to help secretly bodyguard the Number One Japanese golfer as they play together in the tournament. Paired in the golf tournament with Julie McCoy, the tall leggy brunette heiress to the McCoy Golf fortune, Shane and Julie, with his caddie, Topflight, play their way around the three courses of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, protecting Tommy Toshiro while trying to solve the murder mystery. Yakusa Japanese gangsters, industrial espionage between golf equipment manufacturers; the tension of playing in a PGA Tournament, and the business aspects of golf tournaments and their sponsors add dramatic levels of intrigue to the story.
BARBARA COMFORT (New York City)
- The Cashmere Kid (1993): Features Tish McWhinny, 75-year-old widow, artist, amateur detective, lives in Lofton, Vermont. Mystery involves the disappearance of a valuable cashmere goat (William the Conqueror) and a murder by golf club in broad daylight.
- Inspector Angus Straun: Police procedurals set in the UK. Straun investigates murders on the golf course.
- Dead Ball: A Mystery Introducing Angus Straun (1988): First novel by this author. Inspector Angus Straun is called in when West Wessex Golf Club is vandalized right before the first major tournament (the Tamworth Classic) is to take place. When the vandalism doesn't stop the game, someone resorts to murder.
- Unnatural Hazard (1989): Set on the beautiful Scottish island of Sarne.
- Laid Dead: An Inspector Angus Straun Mystery (1990): The third Inspector Angus Straun mystery with, as usual, golf as the background; in this one, Straun's ex-wife wants him to save her rich new boyfriend from indiscretion when that worthy meets a new golfing partner who also happens to be a confidence man. Includes a death on the 10th tee.
- Winter Rules (1993): 4th Inspector Straun mystery. Inspector Straun's beloved Maserati has been stolen and he has to bodyguard a Third World head of state. The good inspector returns to the head of state's home in Africa where the country's first golf course is under construction.
JOHN R. CORRIGAN
- Jack Austin series: Austin is a PGA pro and amateur sleuth.
- Cut Shot (2001): Jack Austin has not won a single tournament during his ten years on the PGA Tour, but life is great. However a fellow golfer is accused of murder and Jack must go undercover to solve the crime. A 1940s thriller set in the present day. Gangsters and gambling.
- Snap Hook: A Jack Austin Mystery (2004). Second in series. Austin investigates a kidnapping involving the Russian Mafia.
- Center Cut: A Jack Austin Mystery (2004): 3rd in series. Professional golfer Jack Austin looks into the disappearance of his friend Grant Ashley's new wife.
- Bad Lie (2005): 4th in series. When the estranged father of a young college student Austin has taken under his wing is found brutally murdered, Austin jeopardizes his professional standing as well as his family's well-being by investigating. The deeper Austin probes, the more questions arise about the victim's background, and his inquiries soon run afoul of a vicious drug dealer.
- Out of Bounds (2006)
GEORGE HARMON COXE
- The Big Gamble (1958): A Kent Murdock mystery. Boston PI Jack Fenner also appears in this book. Murder mystery with a nice golf match and other golf references.
PHILIP R. CRAIG (1933-2007)
- Dead in Vineyard Sand: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery (2006): Ex-Boston cop J.W. Jackson tries to find a couple of peaceful days on the golf course. What he unearths is a human hand in the sand trap. 17th in the series.
- A Mulligan for Bobby Jobe (2001): A golfer goes blind and wants to be able to continue to play. Leading a major tournament in the final round, Bobby Jobe gets distracted, blows his lead, and blames his caddy, Greyhound Mote. Practicing his shot after the tournament, a storm rolls in, lighting strikes and his life is changed forever. Has mystery elements.
- A Tight Lie (2009): Huck Doyle, a middling professional golfer, is also a PI and a law school graduate without a license to practice. When Joniel Baker, a high profile baseball player, claims that he’s been wrongly accused of murder, he asks his friend Doyle to get involved.
- Water Hazzard (2010): Huck Doyle's career as a Tour pro is on life support, but with a friend's father's help, he gets a rare sponsor’s exemption to play in the Sony Open in Hawaii. Then his benefactor keels over from a gunshot during a practice round.
CONOR DALY aka Kevin Egan (1952 - )
- Kieran Lenahan series
- Local Knowledge (1995): Kieran Lenahan, the golf pro at Milton Country Club in Westchester County, N.Y., has just earned a berth in a local PGA tournament when the police inform him that Sylvester Miles, one of MCC's co-owners, has been fished out of a water hazard. Lenahan, a former lawyer, is stunned to learn he has been named in the dead man's will and designated to evaluate a set of rare Blitzklubs, legendary clubs made for the Nazis, for the estate. Then the Blitzklubs are stolen, and Lenahan's young shop assistant, a reforming juvenile delinquent, is arrested for murder. As Lenahan searches for the clubs, tries to free his assistant, and prepares to play in his opening PGA round, he stumbles across many people with motives to kill Miles.
- Buried Lies (1996): Kieran qualifies for the PGA Championship at Winged Foot but murder and mayhem intervenes. His pro shop is torched and the cops think he did it; his caddie dies a suspicious death under the wheels of an Amtrak train and is refused a Catholic burial by the monseigneur, and Kieran must reluctantly turn sleuth to clear everything up.
- Outside Agency (1997): Kieran Lenahan has finally made the PGA tour and is playing in his first tournament in Orlando. Unfortunately, he he is knocked out on the back nine on his first day. When he awakens two weeks later, he is in Gainesville, Florida suffering from amnesia. Kieran is questioned by Detective McGriff of the local police force because he was been found in the apartment of Cindy Moran along with the tenant's corpse.
ELIZABETH DALY (American, 15 Oct 1878 - 2 Sep 1967)
- Unexpected Night: A Henry Gamadge Mystery (1986): It was to have been just a quiet few days of golf and rest for Gamadge, but the script suddenly changed when young Amberly Cowden's body was found at the base of a cliff. [Daly was Agatha Christie's favourite American writer.]
PETE DEXTER (1943 - )
- Train: A Novel (2003): Navigating his way between hostile patrons and brutal fellow workers, African-American golf caddy Train finds an ally in a police detective who encourages Train's ambitions and oversees a case involving a boat hijacking and a beautiful widow.
- The Bunker at the 5th (1925/2000): One of the scarcest golf mysteries ever written (1925 and 1927 editions).
WILL DUKE aka Roney Scott, William Campbell Gault (born Milwaukee, Wisc.; 9 March 1910 - 1995)
- Fair Prey (1956): 'Suspense and Murder in California.' Golf mystery.
DOROTHY DUNNETT nee Dorothy Halliday (born Fife, Scotland; 25 Aug 1923 - 9 Nov. 2001)
- Dolly and the Doctor Bird (1971): 'Comedy-thriller.' Published in the U.S. as Match for a Murderer. Also published as Operation Nassau. Part of the Johnson Johnson series (he owns the yacht Dolly. Set in the Bahamas. Golf?
FRANCIS HENRY DURBRIDGE (Yorkshire, England; 25 Nov 1912 - 1998)
- A Game of Murder (1975): Also published under same name, 1966, as a television play. Golf?
CHARLOTTE ELKINS nee Charlotte Trangmar (lives Rhode Island) and AARON ELKINS (born Brooklyn; lives Rhode Island; 1935 - )
- Lee Ofsted series: Fictional LPGA pro Lee Ofsted serves as the detective in
these golf mysteries. Also homicide detective Graham Sheldon.
- A Wicked Slice (1989): Lee Ofsted just makes the cut for the Pacific Western Woman's Pro-Am golf tournament. Soon Lee discovers the body of the tour's star at the bottom of the course lake. Enter Lieutenant Graham Sheldon. He's charming, handsome, and determined to capture the killer -- as well as Lee's heart. But the murder has triggered buried anger and jealousy among the players, and with a diabolical killer on the loose, Lee finds that making par is the least of her problems.
- Rotten Lies (1995): Despite precautions, the members of the Cottonwood Creek Country Club in New Mexico, can't prevent a renegade lightning bolt from claiming one more victim during an important golf tournament. Surely this tragic accident was an act of God, or so sidelined golfer Lee Ofsted thinks, until she discovers how many mortals wished the stricken man dead. Then a friend on the television crew is slain, and Lee knows she must uncover a killer on the links.
- Nasty Breaks (1997): Lee Ofsted is on bucolic Block Island, RI, to teach golf to the executives of a local salvage company. After a bizarre, botched kidnapping of his sexy wife, the owner of the salvage company turns up dead on the beach. Lee can't resist doing a little nosing around, and soon discovers that nearly every manager at the company has a motive for murder. Plunging into the case, she asks her boyfriend, Graham Sheldon, a former California cop, for his expert help.
- Where Have All the Birdies Gone? (2004): LPGA pro Lee Ofsted's experience at the fictional Stewart Cup, a Ryder Cup-like event in which women and men from the U.S and Europe compete against one another. The mystery involves the murder of the U.S. captain's caddy.
- On the Fringe (2005): Lee Ofsted and Graham Sheldon, her ex-cop finacee, have decided to take advantage of the glorious setting of the historic Royal Mauna Kea Golf and Country Club to have a quiet wedding ceremony. There they run into sinister doings involving murder, art theft, and a spooky volcano-cult.
JAMES ELLROY (1948 - )
- Brown's Requiem (1981): Author's first book. The story of Fritz Brown's nightmare, played out in the underworld of golf caddies, arson and incest, against a backdrop of Los Angeles -- surreal by night and bad by day.
GERARD FAIRLIE (British; 1 Nov 1899 - Apr 1983)
- Mr. Malcolm Presents (1932): Story takes place in St. Andrews, Scotland at the British Amateur Golf Tournament, being played on the 'Old Course.' Bobby Jones is challenging the then-current champion, Cyril Tolley, for the title. During the match a murder is committed and the murderer is counting on everyone's attention being on the match to allow him to escape undetected. Mr. Malcolm confronts the killer and is forced to play an unusual game of golf with him. The stakes in this match are either the life or death for the killer, a hostage, or Mr. Malcolm.
IAN FLEMING (British)
- Goldfinger (1959): Regarded as the novel with the most memorable golf scene of all time. The suave and self-assured agent 007 James Bond encounters Aurie Goldfinger in a golf match and manages to confound the cheating archvillain by switching balls before the end of the game.
- Wake the Sleeping Wolf (1952): A Red Badge Mystery. Novelist is twice almost murdered with a golf ball struck by his wife.
- A Storm at Pebble Beach (2000): Quasi-mystery. The National Pro-Am is about to begin and Pebble Beach head pro Kevin Courtney has just learned that the wealthy owner of the links has secret plans to sell the course to developers as soon as the week is over. Angered by the thought that the magnificent facility on the Monterey Peninsula might soon be destroyed, Kevin makes a desperate bet: if he can beat the #1 player in the world at the tournament, the sale of Pebble Beach is off. When the wager is accepted, the match is on. Villans, greed, conspiracy -- all the good stuff!
DAVID FROME aka Zenith Jones Brown, Leslie Ford, Brenda Conrad (1898 - 1983)
- The Strange Death of Martin Green (1931): Published in UK as The Murder on the Sixth Hole.
- Reunion With Murder (1941): Third in the Jupiter Jones series. Golf?
NICOLA FURLONG (born Alberta; lives Vancouver Island, British Columbia)
- Teed Off! (1996): Former pro golfer, now golf pro and coroner, Riley Quinn works to unravel the mysterious death of her boss/brother-in-law on Vancouver Island.
- Sudden Death (1983): A story of crime at many levels as one hundred golfers, all scratch players and desparate men, play a mined golf course for a tycoon's fortune estimated at $250,000.00. Set in Borneo.
- Sand Trap: A Myrtle Beach Thriller (2002): Second novel, a fast-paced thriller, set in the lush country club surroundings of Myrtle Beach and in resorts of Central and South America, and featuring laid-back private eye, Jake Brown, investigating a womanizing husband. Plot also involves a drug-smuggling scheme and the big city Mafia.
- The Wrong Doyle (2004): Booklist says: 'We may still be searching for a really good golf mystery but we've found a jewel of a miniature-golf mystery. Girardi's boisterous comedy is about much more than miniature golf, of course, but at the center of the story is Doyle's Pirate Island Goofy Golf, a putt-putt layout on a remote Virginia border island belonging to the Doyle family.'
MALCOLM GRAY (pen name of Ian Stuart)
- An Unwelcome Presence (1989): An Alan Craig mystery. [Golf?]
J. M. GREGSON
- Murder at the Nineteenth (1989): When there is a violent murder at a historic home counties golf club, Superintendent John Lambert himself discovers the crime.
- Dead on Course (1991): The body is a man who was golfing at a luxurious country club. The police establish how he was killed, but finding the killer proves a more difficult challenge.
- Missing, Presumed Dead (1997): A Detective Inspector Percy Peach mystery. The murder investigation facing Percy is centred on the North Lancashire Golf Club and involves a corpse discovered after draining a lake on the course. The corpse, which has been in the lake for two years, is that of a local girl who was 'a bit free with her affections' around town.
- Sherlock Holmes and the Frightened Golfer (1999): February 1896, Alfred Bullimore calls upon Holmes to help him stay alive as he makes his attempt to win the Open championship at Muirfield.
- Death on the Eleventh Hole (2002): Golfing mystery.
- Just Desserts (2004): Camellia Park Golf Club had completed its first ten years and its owner, Patrick Nayland, felt it was time to splash out. Determined to give his employees a good time, he booked the entirety of Soutters' Restaurant. A riotous evening was had by all. In fact they were making so much noise, the screams from the lavatory could easily have gone unnoticed.
- Silver King Mystery (King's Club Murder) (1930): In Inspector Swinton Murder Omnibus (1934), along with Tragedy Chinese Mine and Murder at Lintercombe. Golf?
- Spikes (2001): Humourous novel about a washed-up golf pro. Has mystery elements.
- Water Hazard: The Killer on the 13th Hole (1995): First in the Henry Lawson series. Set in Sydney and on the Australian coast.
- The Rub of the Green (1988): Author's first novel. Set against the dual backdrops of America's great golf courses and a small southern prison, this is a tale of duffers, hotshots, and low-rent criminals. The son of a devoutly golf-hating dad, Ted Kendall comes to embrace the sport as a way to sooth his grief after his mother's death; his golfing skills gain him a scholarship to Ohio State University, and soon he's driving and putting his way through the electrifying and glamorous world of the PGA tour. [Hallberg also edited Perfect Lies: A Century of Great Golf Stories (1989), with 23 golf stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ring Lardner, P.G. Wodehouse, John Updike, Walker Percy, Ethan Canin, et al.]
- Chris Ludlow series: Ludlow is a golf course planner's assistant.
- Sudden Death (1991): The 1st Chris Ludlow golfing thriller.
- A Deadly Lie (1992)
- Death Trap (1993): A Ryder Cup golfing novel.
- Shadows on the Green (1994)
- Dead on Line (1996): Involves Ludlow coping with debt collection, property deals, and a large-scale fake golfing antiques ring involving the Yakuza, murder, arson, kidnapping and a peripheral police detective. Lots of golf.
- The Cold Blue Blood: A Berger & Mitry Mystery (2001): First book in a new series. In the posh atmosphere of fashionable Dorset CT (read 'Old Lyme') sparks fly when two seemingly unrelated murders bring a brash young New York Jewish film critic (Mitch Berger) and a beautiful black female state trooper (Desiree Mitry) against the closed society of New England's wealthy, social establishment. Mitch plays some golf using a dead man's clubs. [Others in the series, all set in Connecticut, don't seem to involve golf: The Hot Pink Farmhouse (2002), The Bright Silver Star (2003), and The Burnt Orange Sunrise (2004).]
- Splitting Heirs: An Adam McCleet Mystery (1997): An exploding golf ball puts one of the heirs to a will six feet under par. The death during a tournament is a stroke of evil genius that leaves just six people to share the estate. Ex-Marine, ex-cop, and still-struggling sculptor McCleet reluctantly investigates.
JANE HELLER (raised Scarsdale, NY; lives Los Angeles)
- The Club (1995): Judy Price, chafing at the antiquated rules of her country club in suburban Connecticut, finds an unexpected ally in Claire Cox, America's foremost feminist, who has broken the Club's iron-clad rule against admitting single women. There are lots of things about The Oaks Claire wants to change -- until she's found dead in a sand trap on the golf course -- bludgeoned with the golf pro's pitching wedge. When ruggedly handsome local detective Tom Cunningham asks Judy to secretly investigate, she finds herself changing from a conventional wife into a daring woman.
- The Merry Wives of Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery (2010): Murder at a small-town charity golf tournament.
PATRICIA HIGHSMITH (born Fort Worth, Texas; lives Switzerland; 19 Jan 1921 -)
- Mermaids on the Golf Course and Other Stories (1985/1988): Eleven stories.
- The Roar of the Butterflies (2008): The 5th in the Joe Sixsmith series. This time the PI untangles a conspiracy at the Royal Hoo Golf Course, going undercover to investigate an accusation of cheating against a leading member -- despite Sixsmith's not playing golf and being the wrong colour for membership.
- Murder Takes a Wife (1958): Jeff Allen is a murderer extraordinaire and specialist in wife-killing; he provides a service for several husbands in this inventive and suspenseful story of a professional murderer. Texas setting. [Golf?]
- The Man Trap (1996): Police procedural. Detective Chief Inspector Sidney Walsh is summoned to investigate when the body of a notorious womaniser is found in a bunker on the Hasling Abbey golf course. Book 4 in the Sidney Walsh mystery series, following Murder Benign.
HORACE G. HUTCHINSON
- The Lost Golfer (1930/2000)
MICHAEL INNES aka John Innes Mackintosh Stewart (born Edinburgh, Scotland; 30 Sep 1906 - )
- An Awkward Lie (1952): Very short thriller/detective novel. The central character is Bobby Appleby, Sir John's son, who finds a corpse in the bunker near the first hole on a golf course. He recognises the body of the elderly man without a finger as that of one of his prep school teachers from years back. Bobby goes to call the police, leaving a pretty woman, who has apparently been taking a walk, to watch the body. However, when he returns with the police, the body has gone, the bunker has been raked back to a pristine condition, and the woman has disappeared.
- 'Murder on the Thirteenth Hole' in Esquire magazine, Sept. 1942: Short story.
ROBERTA ISLEIB (Lives Connecticut)
- The Cassandra Burdette Golf Mystery Series
- Six Strokes Under (2002): Cassie battles her way through the sectional Qualifying School in pursuit of her life's dream -- a position on the Ladies' Professional Golf Association Tour. Along the way, she stumbles across illegal equipment and repressed memories, and begins to understand that competition can be murder. Read the first chapter.
- A Buried Lie (2003): Set at the Shoprite LPGA tournament.
- Putt to Death (2004): Cassie Burdette is hired as a touring pro at the Stony Creek Country Club in Connecticut.
- Fairway to Heaven (2005): Cassie, playing in the tri-tour team golf tournament at legendary Pinehurst, North Carolina, has agreed to participate in her friend's wedding. When the bride's father disappears, not even her suddenly stellar swing can lift Cassie's spirits.
- Final Fore (2006): Cassie has qualified for the US Women's Open, but someone is sending her sinister emails.
- 'Moonlight Golf, Midnight Murder' in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, May 1985" Short story.
- 'The Case of the Missing Gutta' in Golf Journal, Aug 1999: Short story.
- Unplayable Lie (2002): Introduces Chief Inspector St. George. of Scotland Yard. A secret computer project worth millions of dollars. A catastrophic fire. A badly charred body amid the debris. What final clue awaits the Inspector at St. Andrews? Golf mystery.
- Stymie (2004):
- The Case of the Dying Foursome (2004):
- Skinner's Round (1995): Features Edinburgh's Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner. A tale of murder, witchcraft and golf.
- Aftershock: A Bob Skinner Mystery (2009): When the decomposed body of a young woman is found on a golf course, laid out in a familiar way, Detective Chief Constable Bob Skinner and his men wonder if there's a serial killer afoot.
OWEN FOX JEROME aka Oscar Jerome Friend (1897-?)
- The Golf Club Murder (1929): Mystery, action story, romance, in cozy fashion. The first of two murders is committed on the course, during a round of golf, in an unusual way.
- 'Club Champion' in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Feb 1998: Short story.
- The Graceful Exit (1989): Satirical mystery novel centering on Great Events, a service that creates the dream of a lifetime for an ailing loved one, and then arranges for a graceful exit of this life in painless style. The book opens with the protagonist arranging a St. Andrews golfing exit for her alcoholic father.
JAMIE KATZ (lives Watertown, Massachusetts)
- A Summer for Dying (2000): Features Dan Kardon, Boston attorney. Kardon's law partner and love Jenny Crane convinces Dan to represent Jerome Mann and Jerome's famous athlete cousin, Daryl, who want to open a first-class golf course and adjacent summer camp for disadvantaged youth. But endangered blue-spotted turtles -- whose home is in a small pond on the prospective golf course/camp property -- and local townspeople and officials who don't want the inner-city campers stymie the development. Then the cousins' original attorney turns up murdered, his office ransacked. Threats and bad luck plague Jerome and Daryl, but nothing shakes their determination to see the project through, until Jerome is also murdered and Daryl is the prime suspect. Read the first chapter.
H.R.F. KEATING aka Henry Reymond Fitzwalter Keating (British; 1926 - )
- The Body in the Billiard Room (1987): Inspector Ganesh Ghote golf mystery, set in the Indian hill town of Ootacamund.
- Nancy Drew #71: The Silver Cobweb (1983/1990): (Juvenile) Nancy tries to find out who is blackmailing a young female golf pro, making her drop out of the tournament, and what a red jeweled spider neckalace has to do with it. Illus. by Paul Frame.
JERRY KENNEALY (1938 - )
- Polo in the Rough (1989): Nick Polo mystery. A golfing detective is assigned to protect a Crosby Pro-Am player. Not many golfing scenes but has golfing venue.
[Father] RONALD A. KNOX (born Leicestershire, England; 1888-1957)
- The Viaduct Murder (1925): A group of golfers discovers the dead body of the local atheist below a railway viaduct.
- 'Mystery Puzzle: Golf Murder' in Mercury Mystery, Jan 1958: Short story.
- Death Under Par (1981): An Anna Peters Mystery. Anna Peters and her new husband Harry Radford are in St. Andrews, Scotland, for a honeymoon, while Harry sketches illustrations of the British Open Gold Tournament. Soon after they arrive in the famous old resort, golf, and university town, one of Anna's former clients asks her to investigate some minor vandalism at the Old Course. In doing so, she runs into three alumni of an college in her hometown in America. When one alum turns up dead and another is threatened, Anna finds her honeymoon turning into a full time and dangerous job.
JOHN LOGUE (lives Birmingham, Alabama; 1933 - )
- Morris and Sullivan Mystery series: Morris is a veteran Associated Press
sports reporter; Julia Sullivan is his long-term companion. Replay: Murder (1983)
is a college football-focused book in the series.
- Follow the Leader (1979): Novel of suspense at the 1976 U.S. Open.
- Flawless Execution (1986): Golf?
- Murder on the Links (1996): John Morris just wants to enjoy the golf, the golfers, and the elegant social swirl of the Masters. But a dead publishing mogul is making that difficult and soon Morris has another death on his hands. Now Morris himself must find out who is on a killing spree at Augusta, before the champion's green jacket comes up the color of blood.
- The Feathery Touch of Death: At the British Open (1997): Murder on the links of the British Open at St. Andrew's. 5th in the series.
- A Rain Of Death (1998): When a corporate tycoon drops dead from cyanide poisoning at the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament in the Lodge at Pebble Beach, Morris and Sullivan find a collision of ambition, talent, and greed that reaches from the golden days of Hollywood to the windswept Monterey Peninsula.
- On a Par With Murder (1999): With his skill, grace, and innocence, young golfing phenom Buddy Martin even won over the cynical press corps. And with legions of fans following his every move, Buddy Martin was headed for the promised land: a victory at this year's U.S. Open on Long Island's famous Shinnecock Hills golf course. But somewhere between the fairways and the sea, tragedy would strike Buddy Martin and the one person who really knew him.
CLAIRE LORRIMER (U.K, lives in Kent)
- Dead Centre (2005): Pretty young university students Rose and Poppy Matheson are keen golfers. But one night Poppy is attacked on the footpath near the golf course and her sister, following behind, mistakenly kills the attacker in trying to rescue her twin. The girls cover up the crime by making it look like a car accident but are overheard by another golf club member, Betty Russell, who wants to go to the police. Unfortunately her husband dissuades her and starts blackmailing the girls instead. As Inspector Govern and Sergeant Beck try to disprove the car accident theory, first Betty, then her husband Barry also disappear. Meanwhile Rose's boyfriend John cannot understand why her manner towards him has changed. It is not until after the discovery of two more dead bodies that all can be resolved.
- Fairway Danger (1969): (RL: Juvenile/Young adult) A sixteen-year-old youth's passion for golf and skin diving inadvertently involves him in mysterious events at the Hickory Hills Golf Club where he is employed. 72 pp. Illus. by Max Ranft.
ANGUS MACVICAR (Scottish; 1908 - 31 Oct. 2001)
- Also wrote Golf in My Gallowses: Confessions Of A
Fairway Fanatic (1983), said to be 'a delightful ramble around the links in the Mull Of Kintyre'
in Scotland. When he died, MacVicar was the longest serving member of Dunaverty Golf Club.
- Murder at the Open (1965/1983): Golfing mystery set on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.
- The Painted Doll Affair (1973)
ARTHUR MALING (American; 11 June 1923 - )
- Go-Between (1970): Top pro golfer acts to thwart a blackmail scheme in this second book from the Edgar Award winning author of Decoy.
- The Haunted Major (1902/2000): Not really a mystery, more a ghost story. Set on fictitious St. Magnus links in Scotland, based on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Jacky Gore, an English gentleman, challenges crack golfer Jim Lindsay to a game for the chance to propose marriage to Mrs. Gunter, a beautiful American millionairess. Although Gore alleges to be a sportsman, he has never golfed and has a week to learn how. To prepare for the match, Gore secretly hires a coach and transforms his hotel room into a golf studio, outfitted with turf, a moveable hillock, a bunker, and specially padded walls to absorb drives. Gore is set to win or lose like a gentleman when the revengeful ghost of a Scottish cardinal with some odd-shaped clubs materializes, adding an otherworldly twist to the story.
- 'Death under Par' in Dime Detective Magazine, May 1947: Short story.
- The Incumbent (2000): A meeting between Washington D.C. journalist Jack Flynn and the President of the United States on the golf course ends in a hail of gunfire -- but while Flynn lies recovering in a hospital bed, he receives a warning that the incident is much more complicated than it appears. Political thriller. [This may be the only golf-related incident in the book.]
RALPH MATTHEW MCINERNY (24 Feb. 1929 - )
- Law & Ardor: An Andrew Broom Mystery (1995): Indiana attorney Andrew Broom investigates the murder of industrialist Edar Bissonet on the 7th green. 5th in Broom series. Indiana locale. [Broom plays golf in other books in the series but golfing is not a major component in them.]
- 'Hole in Two' in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, August 1997: Short story.
- Green Thumb: A Mystery Set at the University of Notre Dame (2004): One early morning during spring break, detectives Phil Knight and Jimmy Stewart are enjoying a golf game at the University of Notre Dame when they find a man apparently suffering a heart attack on the green; he dies at the hospital and an autopsy suggests that he was poisoned with deadly nightshade.
CLAIRE MCNAB (Australian living in Calif.)
- Death Club (2001): A Detective Inspector Carol Ashton mystery. Set in Australia. Loaded with brains, style and megabucks, Australian lesbian fashion magnate Gussie Whitlew is used to getting everything she wants. And what she wants is the finest food, the fastest cars, and the most fabulous women. This time her bait is Whitlew Challenge, an exclusive golf tournament carefully designed to lure the world's top female athletes to her private clubhouse.
HERMAN CYRIL McNEILE, writing as Sapper
- Uncle James's Golf Match (1932): Also as Out of the Blue.
KEITH MILES aka Edward Marston, Conrad Allen, Martin Inigo (Welsh)
- Alan Saxon series: Each set in a different locale. Saxon (Scottish) is retired golf
- Bullet Hole (1986): Alan Saxon's preparations for the British Open Championship are rudely interrupted by the appearance of a golf groupie who ends up naked and dead in his bed.
- Double Eagle: A Golfing Mystery (1987): Two-faced treachery and corruption on the international golf circuit. Set in California's San Fernando Valley.
- Green Murder (1990): Golfing mystery set in Australia.
- Flagstick (1991/2004): Golfing mystery set in Japan.
- Stone Dead (1991, under the pseudonym Martin Inigo): Mystery set during the Ryder Cup.
- Bermuda Grass (2002): After a ten year gap, Keith Miles returns to the world of golf with a mystery set in Bermuda.
- Honolulu Play-Off (2003): Saxon, arriving in Honolulu to act as best man in his friend Donald Dukelow's wedding, unexpectedly finds the pre-wedding festivities shattered by murder when Dukelow is killed, and launching his own investigation, Saxon soon finds himself the target of two rival killers.
- Murder on the 18th Hole (1970s?)
- Open Season (2004): A psychotic serial killer is stalking some of the more famous golfing venues, including the Masters, the Hilton Head tournament, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, host of this year's U.S. Open. Veteran golf photographer Nick Oliver gets involved. Subplot concerns Internet sports gambling.
- 'Golf Nut' in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, June 1982: Short story.
- Coconut Killings (1977): A Henry Tibbett mystery. When a U.S. senator is found brutally murdered on the grounds of an exclusive golf club on St. Matthew's, one of the British Seaward Islands, Henry Tibbett, Detective Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, is dispatched to the tropical resort.
SUSAN POLONUS MUCHA
- Deadly Deception (2005): A murder of mistaken identity at the Augusta National Golf Club during the Masters sets the pace for this fast-moving thriller. Also set in Lima, Peru.
- 'The Case of the Untidy Golf Cult' in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Nov 1983.
E[dward] PHILLIPS OPPENHEIM (born London, 22 Oct 1866 - 3 Feb 1946)
Golf is mentioned in many of his novels and stories, including in The Illustrious Prince (1914), The Pawns Count (1918), The Devil's Paw (1920), etc.
- A Lost Leader (1906/2001): Made into a silent film, 1922. Golf mystery.
- The Vanished Messenger (1914): Golf discussed in the first chapter.
- Michael's Evil Deeds (1923): Master detective Sir Norman Greyes, formerly of Scotland Yard, pursues an arch criminal. [Golf?]
- The Man Without Nerves aka The Bank Manager (1934): [Golf?]
- 'Between the Eighth Green and the Ninth Tee' in Advice Limited: A Series of Stories (1936): Short story.
ROY ORASON (lives California)
- Five Iron (1994): Golf mystery.
- Golf Twins/Golf Heist (2000): Two tales of suspense set in the world of professional golf. In 'Golf Twins,' a brutal crime takes place on the grounds of a swank Texas golf club that results in the birth of twin boys, who are raised far apart buy meet again as young men on a golf course. Both are professional golfers in the process of making their names on the tournament circuit. Recognizing immediately that they are brothers, together they set out to unravel the mysterious circumstances of their birth, which leads them into the sinister underworld of racketeers and sleazy opportunists who operate behind the scenes of professional golf. In 'Golf Heist,' more than a fortune in gold is at stake when a man loses his family during a daring robbery. A young mother and her son are at the wrong place at the wrong time when $25 million in gold is airlifted off the grounds of a golf club during a highly publicized tournament. Mother and son are taken aboard the getaway helicopter along with the loot and are held captive on a remote island.
- One Dead Judge (1993): Second Dallas Henry (attorney and beach bum) mystery novel. Ocean City, Maryland setting. [Golf?]
RACHEL COSGROVE PAYES
- O Charitable Death (1968): Hideous murder comes to the posh country club set, with a vengeance!
PENZLER, OTTO ed.
- Murder In the Rough: Original Tales of Bad Shots, Terrible Lies, and Other Deadly Handicaps from Today's Great Writers (2006): Golf-course mystery anthology, including selections by Lawrence Block, Jonathan Gash, H.R.F. Keating, Laura Lippman, Ian Rankin, William G. Tapply, and John Sandford.
KIN PLATT (born New York City; 8 Dec 1911)
- The Kissing Gourami (1970): Second mystery with Max Roper. Golf?
- 'Tee for Two' in The Saint magazine, May 1967: Short story.
- Stableford (2010). In German. Written in the style of the British Golden Age Mysteries. Set on the Cornish coast in 1936. Eight golfers isolated by a storm on a peninsula hunt for a murderer in their midst. Published in 2013 in English as Stableford on Golf.
MARY ROBERTS RINEHART (born Pittsburgh PA; 1876 - 22 Sep 1958)
- Tish Plays the Game (1921): Five novellas; in the first Letitia Carberry takes up golf.
WILLIAM ROCKE (Irish)
- Operation Birdie (1993): A romantic/triller set at the Open Championship in Turnberry. Mingling with the spectators are Martin Dignam and Marie Kird, members of the Real IRA ... sent to disrupt the Open Championship.
- All to Play For (2004): Moves at a fast pace between America and Ireland, telling the story of a group of golfers vying for the Ryder Cup, held in Killarney, Ireland. [There's kidnapping, illicit affairs, and a golf game -- not sure whether there is a murder.]
- The Haunted Seventh (1922/2000)
JONATHAN ROSS aka John Rossiter (2 Mar 1916 - )
- A Time for Dying (1989): 16th in series featuring Inspector George Rogers. [Golf?]
SAM AND ALICE SEGAL
- Shooting for Par (2003): Murder mystery and social comedy concerning golfers in the Hamptons of Long Island. The fourth of a golf foursome keeps dying.
- Par for the Corpse (2000): Oona Blackwell 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, amateur sleuth, investigates.
- Impossible Bliss (2001): A golfer disappearing into thin air from a sand trap is more than new police chief Dan Shepard bargained for when he left the big city for the supposedly quiet resort town of Carmel, California.
- The Wanton Wedge (1993): No info available.
ELIZABETH SIMS (1957 - )
- Damn Straight: A Lillian Byrd Crime Story (2003): Library Journal Review says: 'Freelance writer Lillian Byrd escapes a Michigan freeze only to find herself in very hot water. After some Los Angeles mentoring time with her oldest friend Truby, who's suddenly dying to try the lesbian lifestyle, the pair opt for Palm Springs, where Lillian's new-found love, golf pro Genie Mayfield, will play in a major tournament. Someone's been threatening Genie, however, and Lillian decides to play sleuth. What she finds is a lethal combination of ex-coach and ex-boyfriend, a pairing fraught with hatred and violence.' Won a Lambda Award.
KATHLEEN KELLY SPRISSLER (born Rochester NY, lives Northern Virginia)
- Par for the Corpse (2004): Murder mystery set during a women's golf tournament, in which a member is found floating off the twelfth tee. Detective J.D. March and his team have to learn about golf fast to prevent the new course's closure. First in a planned 14-book series.
CHESTER K. STEELE
- The Golf Course Mystery: Being A Somewhat Different Detective Story (1919): Available online.
- Hole in One: A Mystery (1992): Who on earth would want to kill old Charlie Tinkelpaugh? That's the question that puzzles Carlton Withers, sometime reporter for the Silver Falls Lancer. Golf?
- Fer-de-Lance (1934): Also published as Meet Nero Wolfe. College president Peter Oliver Barstow drops dead while playing golf on the links of the Green Meadow Club near Pleasantville, NY. His doctor declares it a heart attack but Nero Wolfe looks at a cut-up newspaper and some steamship tags and calls it murder.
LEE TYLER (born Newton, Massachusetts; 1929 - )
- Golf Mystery series: Features June Jacobs and Harry (Win) Winslow, a sleuthing team from
San Francisco, Calif.
- The Clue of the Clever Canine (1994): San Francisco Peninsula setting, golf mystery.
- The Case of the Missing Links: A Golf Mystery (1999)
- The Teed-Off Ghost: A Hawaiian Golf Mystery (2002): Golfing sleuths Harry Winslow and June Jacobs are called to the Kohala coast of Kona to solve a mystery: somebody or something is disrupting the progress of golf course construction and maintenance at the new Mauna Makai resort. Win and June are happy to have a chance to work in this romantic island paradise, but paradise gets complicated when their romance gets out of hand. By the time they discover who's behind the pranks, it's almost too late to salvage the hotel's reputation and their own relationship.
- Dead on the Stick (1986): Murder amidst the members of the ultra-exclusive Palm Isle Golf Club in the Bahamas lures San Francisco detective Amos McGuffin to the spectacular duffer's paradise where his suspects run the gamut from predatory yacht-owning widows to sinister voodoo priests.
CICELY van STRATEN
- Caddy for a Crook (1980): No info available.
- The Putt at the End of the World (2000): Round-robin mystery novel. A group of acclaimed authors co-wrote this novel of suspense, romance, and hilarity on the links. Three golf pros receive an invitation from multibillionaire Phillip Bates, founder of Macrodyne Software, to a tournament inaugurating his new course in Scotland and to launch his revolutionary computer operating system. There they are joined by wild and wacky terrorists, golfers, caddies, and ecoterrorists who converge on the course for an explosive putt to end all putts. Written jointly by Les Standiford, Ridley Pearson, Tami Hoag, Lee K. Abbott, Tim O'Brien, Richard Bausch, Dave Barry, James W. Hall, James Crumley, and Anonymous.
- Cart Girls: Love and Murder at Sandy Creek Country Club (2005): Sandy Creek Country Club is thrust into the center of a horrific scandal when one of its cart girls is found murdered on the thirteenth hole of the golf course. Lieutenant Ron Carr, the lead investigator on the case, struggles to connect the meager evidence to any of the suspects, with help from the county medical examiner, Dr. Jean Loreno, an attractive single mother who is looking for a father for her son.
J. MICHAEL VERON
- The Greatest Player Who Never Lived: A Golf Story (2001): While working as a summer intern at a prestigious Atlanta law firm, Charley Hunter, an avid golfer, stumbles upon a series of letters between the legendary Bobby Jones and talented teen golfer Beau Stedman, correspondence that draws him in a decades-old murder case.
W. SHELLEY VIALL (born Kentucky)
- Golf -- A Dreadful Hazard (2002): Early one morning, near the fifth hole, one of a foursome of retired men finds the dead body of Louise Pearsall, a club member, in the Ladies' rest room. Pearsall owns a dress shop, but on the side she traffics in the pharmaceutical Viagra, with some of the club members as her regular buyers.
- Take Dead Aim (2002): During the final round of the Los Angeles Open, the caddie for the world's number one golfer is shot and killed by a sniper on national television. Was the caddie the real target? Or was it one of the golfers?
- The Brocklebank Riddle (1914)
- Unholy Writ (1976): The plot involves a manuscript copy of a Shakespeare play and Shakespearean skullduggery in a stately home as Treasure tries to discover who murdered the gravedigger. Series character: Mark Treasure, investment banker-vicar and sleuth. First in series. Golf?
PHILIP CARLTON WILLIAMS
- The Tartan Murders and Mission Bay Murders (1988): Features PI Michael Thompson. Golf?
MILDRED A. WIRT [BENSON]
- Linda (1940): (Young Adult) Illustrated by Fred C. Rodewald. Linda, a talented golfer at 18, finds herself in an exciting mysterious summer adventure.
ANTHONY WYNNE (aka Robert McNair Wilson; 1882 - 1963)
- Death of a Golfer (1937): Golf-related genre mystery.
- Crimson Green: A Quinn Parker Novel of Suspense (1994): The U.S. Open Golf championship becomes a killing field. Features Quinn Parker, a phobia therapist from San Francisco.