Curveball (a Cat McDaniel mystery) by Jen Estes

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.



Baseball reporter Cat McDaniel specializes in exposes. Now that very talent has left her unemployed. Desperate to get off the bench and back into the lineup, she is thrilled to land an interview with the Buffalo Soldiers’ General Manager Roger “Rakin'” Aiken–Baseball legend, eight-time All Star… and oblivious father to a Major League bratty co-ed named Paige.


Aiken offers Cat the team writer position for the following spring, but the opportunity is tempered by a curveball of a caveat: she must first spend the winter as a blogger reporting on the Latin American training facility. She is also supposed to look out for Paige, nominally the team’s newest scouting assistant. Being a glorified babysitter and chaperone still beats being an out-of-work sportswriter. Cat reluctantly leaves behind her gorgeous boyfriend Benji and accompanies the party girl to sunny Santo Domingo to balance baselines and conga lines.


Paige falls for Chance Hayward, an agent who plays hardball–the figurative kind. Joining them on the field is Paige’s ex, Junior DeLeon, one of the coaches who’d really like to score with Cat. When an aspiring player turns up dead, it is up to Cat and Junior to devise a game-changing strategy. Will Cat’s snooping work in her favor this time, or will she strike out … losing her job, her boyfriend and her life?  (-synopsis from Goodreads)

The book opens with a determined Cat going for an interview with Roger Aiken, the Buffalo Soldier’s manager.  In the middle of the interview the manager gets a call that his troublemaker daughter is in trouble at her college…again.  With a press conference coming up in hours he sends Cat to deal with her.

Cat gets the bratty Paige in the car and back to her father.  Seeing how firm Cat was with Paige, Roger gives Cat a chance to work with the Soldiers…but there is a catch.  She has to fly to Santo Domingo and write about the Latin American training facility.  Cat is excited until she learns that Paige is coming along as well.  Not only will Cat be a reporter on this trip, she’s also there to be Paige’s babysitter.

The two start out disliking each other but throughout the book you can see them growing on each other.  Even though Paige seems spoiled and bratty she really grew on me and showed personal growth at the end of the book.  

Cat is a strong willed, smart, and sneaky reporter who will do anything to bring down the bad guys and keep the baseball players safe.  Together Paige and Cat begin snooping around when a baseball recruit ends up dead and a slimy agent, Chance Hayworth, acts as though he didn’t know the boy even though they had a contract.

Throw in an old flame of both Cat’s and Paige’s and things heat up quickly in Santo Domingo.  This pair is such an odd couple but it really works in this book.  They seem to despise each other on the surface but when push comes to shove you can tell they care about one another.  Their insults to each other kept me laughing throughout the book.

I read this book quickly and it kept my interest throughout.  I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I found the baseball references to just be another part of the book and I actually enjoyed them.  The characters are realistic and the interactions were so spot on that I could picture them in my mind.

I hope I see more of both Paige and Cat in the future as they make a great team and end up catching the bad guy at the end.  

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 



  1. Your review made me very interested in reading this! It sounds like a fun plot & like it would be an easy, relaxing read!

    dsickles87 at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *