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Lee Ofsted Books In Order

Publication Order of Lee Ofsted Books

A Wicked Slice (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rotten Lies (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nasty Breaks (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Where Have All the Birdies Gone? (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On the Fringe (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lee Ofsted is a series of mystery thrillers written by the husband and wife team of by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins. The first novel of the Lee Ofsted series of novels was the 1989 published “Wicked Slice”, that went on to become a bestseller. With the first novel in the series fast becoming a fan favorite, the Elkins’ would write four more titles with the last title in the series “On the Fringe” coming out in 2005. The series of novels feature a novice golf writer trying to get into the pro golf tournaments, but finding it is not as easy as she thought it would be. The Lee Ofsted novels are a good example of an emerging sub-genre of mystery, which includes an amateur sleuth who works in a somewhat exclusive world. The lead protagonists such as Lee Ofsted solve crimes that are neither gruesome nor are they bloodless. However, even as the novels offer an inside look into pro golf’s less glamorous women’s tour, the main intrigue of the novels is the mystery as solved by the amateur sleuth. The pro golf circuit is a place where novice golfers struggle to stay afloat, scraping along on charity from the more established golfers and giving their all to become successful. However, it is not all grit and hard work for the novice golfer in the series as she takes it into her hands to add spice to her life, by becoming an amateur sleuth. Romance is also a theme in the series as Lee Ofsted is involved with a detective who takes a lead in most of the murder investigations.

Lee Ofsted is an amateur sleuth and professional golfer looking to get better so that she can get into the higher paying tournaments. However, mysterious murders seem to follow the young Ofsted, as she keeps on stumbling onto dead bodies while playing. When we are first introduced to the character, she is struggling with her gold club that is slicing all the time. But her poorly manufactured golf club is the least of her worries as she is soon embroiled in a murder mystery investigation. Her life gets even more interesting when Lieutenant Graham Sheldon the handsome and charming lead in the case comes into her life. However, Lee Ofsted is more interested in getting into the premier golf tournaments where she can compete with the best that Europe and Britain has to offer. Despite her poor golfing skills, Ofsted somehow manages to get into the enviable golf tournaments. However, these are often moments full of anxiety, as she knows her skills are not up to par. The fear of being found out as a rabbit in a major tournament always fades into the background when some murder or other is discovered. Nonetheless, given her dream of being the best, she is always determined to see the tournament through even as she tries to investigate a series of murders on the circuit. Often times, the killer is a famous golfer on her team or a resourceful killer hired to interfere with the circuit in the most paradoxical and bizarre of mysteries.

The Lee Ofsted series by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins are pleasant light mysteries that happen in golf settings. In terms of overall genre, they are most closely related to the cozy with their sympathetic characters, fast paced action, and tightly structured thrill sequences. Their appeal comes from the fact that these novels are a combination of the traditional cozy and the hard-boiled mystery. The plots in the novels have persuasive, unpredictable, and oftentimes highly satisfying conclusions. Moreover, Lee Ofsted the lead is a highly relatable and psychologically convincing character with multilayered motivations and background, that develops over the course of the novels. As opposed to many cozy mystery protagonists who for the most part work alone, the series introduces romance into the mix. The lead detective who makes an appearance in the first novel in the series is a recurring fixture in the novels. He adds spice by bringing in the romance aspect to what would otherwise be a pure cozy mystery. Despite being a cozy at its core, the novel incorporates forensic detail just enough to emphasize the importance of clues, while not mystifying those not so much scientifically inclined. The Lee Ofsted series just have enough information to enlighten their readers about golf, intrigue them with the forensics, and at the same time thrill the romantically inclined readers. They present an insider view of the game while keeping the technical information to a minimum.

“A Wicked Slice”, the first novel in the Lee Ofsted series is a well-written cozy mystery on the golf club circuit setting. Lee Ofsted just qualified for the premier Pacific Western Woman’s Pro Am golf tournament after perfecting her skills over months. She is sure that her hit is great but for some reason she keeps on slicing the ball. She soon discovers that the mystery of a strange golf club is the least of her worries when she stumbles upon the body of the top rated tourney star at the bottom of the golf club’s lake. Lieutenant Graham Sheldon is the first on the scene and takes the lead on the case while making the case for Lee’s heart as well. But with a diabolical murderer on the loose, jealousy and anger brimming among the players, Lee finds that her poor strike are on the back burner. She must help the handsome and charming lieutenant find the killer before he kills again.

“Rotten Lies”, the second novel in the series is one of the most intriguing of cozies. Ted Guthrie the most hated man at the Cottonwood Creek Country Club has died under the most mysterious of circumstances. The man was found dead on the course, apparently struck down by lightning. Lee Ofsted has been doing very well and was on her way to winning the circuit when the death cuts her dream short. Trying to revive Guthrie, she hurts her arm putting herself out of contention. At twenty-three Lee is possessed of intuition, courage, and talent for seeing things others cannot see, whether it be nasty murder plots or loose golf balls. She suspects there is something fishy about the death and the coroner agrees with her. Teaming up with Graham Sheldon, they make an awesome team trying to find the killer in a country club full of suspects. The killer could be anyone from the Lou the cranky old caddy, to the old man playing with a golf umbrella.

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