With the help of his best friends, Mike and Other Mike, twelve year old Lenny Norbeck wins the Armchair Announcer contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Phillies. In the broadcast booth, before the game, Len meets nineteen year old rookie starter R. J. Weathers, a fun loving talent making his debut that night. In the first inning, R. J. has a rocky first few pitches, then drops dead on the mound. While everyone else is saying things like “tragic heart attack,” Len and the Mikes are saying “murder.” Who would murder a nice-guy rookie? Why? How? Only Len and the Mikes seem to care at first. They are soon joined by an unexpected ally: a baseball savvy girl.
Josh Berk opens Strike Three You’re Dead with the young detectives being shot at by the murderer, then tells the entire story as a flashback. Not until the story works its way back around to the “present” at the end of the book do we find out who’s shooting at them. This is a great baseball yarn; an intense murder mystery; and a humorous buddy tale; three good books in one.