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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.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (B)

  

Websites:

See also:

Private Eyes
Book-related and General Links:
    -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

Other recommended books by William Kotzwinkle:
    -Doctor Rat
    -Fata Morgana

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