COURTING DANGER by Alice Marble

COURTING DANGER

My Adventures in World-Class Tennis, Golden-Age Hollywood, and High-Stakes Spying
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A tennis champ from the Thirties serves up memoirs, which include on-court action, movie-star friends, and credibility- defying WW II spy intrigue. The jockish Marble was the mascot of a San Francisco baseball team until her brother gave her a tennis racquet and she found her true gift. Under the tutelage of Teach Tennant, coach to the stars, Marble became a national-caliber player, but on a trip to Europe, she collapsed on the court. She was diagnosed as suffering from TB and told she would never play again. But encouraged by Teach and another of Teach's pupils, Carole Lombard, Marble learned to walk, then play, again. She went on to win Forest Hills in 1936, and then, after a long losing streak, hit her stride in the late Thirties, winning all the major titles in both singles and doubles until the advent of WW II put an end to the competitive tennis circuit. Her first romance, with a dashing Swiss banker named Hans, ended in disaster when Teach insisted that love and tennis couldn't mix. Marble was approached by US Army Intelligence and asked to go to Switzerland, where perhaps she could reconnect with her old beau Hans, suspected of aiding the Nazis in hiding their wealth. She went to teach clinics in Geneva and, sure enough, Hans contacted her; within days, she moved into his chateau. Best of luck, he drunkenly told her not only about the treasure in his vault, but where the key was hidden. She sneaked into the vault, photographed the conveniently available ledgers, and escaped--after a car chase and a shootout. Marble, who died last year, has brought lots of mildly diverting incident into play, but it all adds up to little in the way of insight, gossip, or historical flavor. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos--not seen.)

Pub Date: June 21st, 1991
ISBN: 0-312-05839-X
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991