Killer Nashville Book of the Day

“The Perfect Game” by Leslie Dana Kirby / Reviewed by Alycia Gilbert


 Purchase “The Perfect Game” or read other reviews through Killer Nashville’s affiliate,* 

Photo by Shawn Kirby 2
Leslie Dana Kirby
Photo by Shawn Kirby


In Leslie Dana Kirby’s debut novel, The Perfect Game, Lauren Rose, a young doctor, finds herself caught up in the emotional aftermath of her older sister’s murder. Immediately cast as a suspect in death, Lauren finds herself defending her reputation not only to the police, but to the quick-to-judge media who feeds off the fame of her sister Liz’s widowed husband—star pitcher Jake Wakefield.

But there’s a snag in Lauren’s reputation: she thinks she might be falling for Jake, bonding with him in their mutual grief and love of baseball. Lauren must navigate the suspicions against her, her feelings for Jake, and eventually the highly publicized trial against Liz’s murderer in order to be at peace with her sister’s death.

Through The Perfect Game, Kirby explores the pressures of a high-publicity trial, and makes the ordeal more relatable for readers through Lauren’s grounded, quieter lifestyle compared to the lavish wealth and fame of the Wakefields.

Kirby hits her stride in the trial portion of the novel, with strong courtroom dialogue and an exciting pace that will leave readers anxiously waiting for the jury’s verdict. The twists leading up to the media-circus and the trial will have readers frustrated and delighted with the characters Kirby creates. From the intelligent, compassionate Lauren, to the sharp-tongued and sassy lawyer Candace Keene (my personal favorite), the characters of The Perfect Game invest readers in the drive behind the novel: justice, secrecy, and the theatre-like aspect of the courtroom. 

The major characters feel organic, and their relationships evolve naturally over the length of the novel. Kirby’s writing is quickly paced, and finishes with one last twist that’s both satisfying and unexpected. I would recommend this book to readers looking for a mystery that follows a high-profile case with romance and baseball fans.

Alycia Gilbert studies English and French at a local university with an emphasis in both literature and writing majors, which thankfully excuses the large amount of time she spends reading. An aspiring writer, Gilbert enjoys penning short stories and poems, and she is currently expanding a short story in an attempt at writing a full novel. She acts as editor-in-chief of her university’s two literary journals, and loves to help other student writers through editing and strengthening the products of their talents.

(If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the irreplaceable assistance of Meaghan Hill, Maria Giordano, Will Chessor, and credited guest reviewers. For more writer resources, visit us at

*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.

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