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Tip on a Dead Crab
Shifty Anderson, a magician on vacation, and Jay Fox, an obsessive race handicapper, get involved in a horse-race scam at California's Del Mar racetrack. This book has a lot of style and the horse racing scenes seem authentic.
Paperback, 230 pages
Published April 2nd 1985 by Penguin Books
(first published 1984)
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“dead crab” is shorthand for “sure thing” in this racetrack intrigue set mostly at Del Mar, with forays to Las Vegas and L.A. on page 82, the term is elucidated in an anecdote revealing the universality of the human urge to place bets on animals, and its fundamental ghastliness. this pervasive quality of tawdriness redeems the author’s clunky phrasing, lack of dramatic sense, and inability to settle on a genre. an undertow of existential crisis incrementally displaces the initial comic bromance ...more
William Murray was an American fiction editor and staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years. He wrote a series of mystery novels set in the world of horse racing, many featuring Shifty Lou Anderson, a professional magician and horseplayer. Among his many contributions to The New Yorker was the magazine's "Letters from Italy" of which he was the sole author. The majority of his later years were ...more
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