The Prop

by Pete Hautman

The world is mighty puzzling, so I won’t even ask myself why I started reading Pete Hautman’s novel The Proptwo days before a poker game, my first in many years, at my son’s home. I mean, when I picked up the book someone had given me long ago, I didn’t know The Prop was set in a casino and the main character’s job was to play Hold-em, which was what my son plays. But the little I learned about Hold-em that night served me well, as I the story features many, many poker hands.

It’s set in Tucson where I lived quite a while and which is a favorite place of mine. Mr. Hautman gives a rich and authentic portrayal of the city and the desert. Also, the crime and much of the action happens at an Indian casino, which I appreciated as I am intrigued by native American culture. And the mystery served up at least as many twists and turns as I cared to live through.

So, I recommend the book to any mystery fan, and strongly recommend to those who favor poker, Tucson, or Native Americans. I wish Mr. Hautman had written sequels, but I haven’t found any.

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