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The Game of Thirty (1994)
William Kotzwinkle, despite his frequent turns converting blockbuster movies like ET: the Extraterrestrial into novels, is one of the more consistently interesting fantasy writers around. In The Game of Thirty, he tries his hand at a hard-boiled private eye novel and proves quite capable.
Jimmy McShane is a former military cop turned NY City private detective. When he is hired to look into the mysterious death of an antiquities dealer, he finds himself getting drawn into a murderous match of wits with the killer, based on the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs' Game of Thirty.
Mixing traditional elements of noir fiction--first person narrative, wisecracking dialogue, and urban locale--with nearly Victorian elements, reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes or Fu Manchu tale--cobra venom, egyptology and the like--and throwing in a New Age heroine as Jimmy's sidekick, Kotzwinkle produces a neat little thriller that manages to be both modern and nostalgic and seems like it would be perfect for the big screen.
See also:Private Eyes
-INTERVIEW: The BEATRICE Interview: William Kotzwinkle
-INTERVIEW: Interview with William Kotzwinkle (Lynn Flewelling, Bangor Daily News)
-REVIEW: THE GAME OF THIRTY By William Kotzwinkle (Daniel Easterman, NY Times Book Review)
-REVIEW: The Game of Thirty by William Kostwinkle (fict/myst, noahs)
-REVIEW: of THE BEAR WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN By William Kotzwinkle (CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT, NY Times)
-REVIEW: of William Kotzwinkle, The Bear Went Over the Mountain (Edward Neuert, Salon)
-REVIEW: of William Kotzwinkle, The Bear Went Over the Mountain (First Impressions)
-World Fantasy Award: 1977 William Kotzwinkle Doctor Rat