Friday, April 14, 2017

FFB: The Dame's the Game -- Al Fray

An article by Gary Lovisi in Paperback Parade reminded me of Al Fray, all of whose novels I'd read except The Dame's the Game.  So naturally I decided to read it.  

Barney Conroy, who was once a crooked gambler, is now reformed and is a detective working in Las Vegas.  Shelly Tanner comes to town from Los Angeles.  She's looking for someone to help with her husband, who's been suckered into an ongoing dice game that she's convinced is crooked.  Conroy doesn't want to take the job, but when he's beaten up in the casino parking lot after talking to Shelly, he decides he'll investigate. 

The came is crooked, all right, and when Tanner is murdered, Conroy finds himself in trouble with  both the cops and the bad guys.  Nothing new here, but what sets the book apart is Fray's discussion of dice games and how they can be rigged.  He doesn't tell anything new, but he does a good job of explaining things.  The cover suggests that the book might be the first in a series, but a second never appeared.  This was Fray's last novel.  It's entertaining and a fast read.  Lovisi has done some investigating and might have discovered Fray's real name, as well as a reason for his retirement from writing, but there's no way to know for sure.

1 comment:

George Kelley said...

I've read a couple Al Fray mysteries, but not THE DAME'S THE GAME. Obviously Al Fray had a fascination with dice games. In THE DICE SPELLED MURDER (DELL, 1957) there's more hanky-panky with those little cubes.