DAVID ANTHONY – Stud Game. Pocket, paperback original; 1st printing, July 1978.


   I like mysteries that have titles with two meanings, but believe it or not, this one has three! (1) Stan Bass, who for a friend undertakes a job normally performed by private detectives, is in his own words by profession a gambler. The book opens with an impressive bit of bluff-calling that closes out a “friendly” game of poker. (2) The dead man with a solidly satisfying marriage to a wife in San Francisco is not totally immune to playing a role with the starlet beauties of Los Angeles. (3) One of the starlets gets pregnant on cue, and she calls upon the widow for assistance.

   A long and complicated detective story develops, but I fear that at 256 pages, it’s too much of the former for its own good. The plot mixes the usual ingredients with some freshness; the writing is only adequate.

– From The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 3, May-June 1979.

[UPDATE] 04-29-09. For what it’s worth, and I’d say quite a bit, Kevin Burton Smith thinks that Sam Bass was close enough to being a private eye as to include him on his Thrilling Detective website. Bass only had two recorded adventures, this one and another one.

   I wish I remembered more about this book, but other than what I wrote 30 years ago, I’m drawing a complete blank. You know as much as I do, in other words. Regarding my opinion of this book that it’s only about average, there are two big reasons why I think I ought to read it again, if I had the chance. See the next post.

   You’ll find a complete bibliography for David Anthony there, too.