Most notable in the sixth story to feature horseplayer Shifty Lou Anderson are Murray's ( The Getaway Blues ) penchant for describing lovemaking in horse-racing terms and the oft-repeated use of the phrase ``my man'' by a black homicide detective, as if to certify this character's ethnic identity. These stylistic quirks stand out because the story itself merely struggles to be told, hampered by pertinent events that occur offstage and are revealed after the fact. Shifty, never a paragon of virtue, leaps into an affair with the wife of an unsavory new partner, whom he has taken on to help support a potentially great filly inherited from an eccentric millionaire. When the lady in question leaves Shifty for another man, the ensuing tragedy seems the culmination of extraordinary and unbelievable coincidences. Although the novel contains the elements that have made this series successful--the love of horses and beauty of racing, the camaraderie among Shifty and his fellow track reprobates, the integration of Shifty's skill as a magician into the storyline--Shifty never leaves the slow track in this outing. (Nov.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Farther down the coast, author Murray serves up a horse-oriented plot (with soap opera overtones) fraught with the usual racing terminology, betting fever, racetrack nicknames, and murder. Series regular Shifty Anderson, card trickster and bettor extraordinaire, meets a wealthy, crooked judge after Shifty and new partner Linda Cameron stable their horse in his establishment. Events quickly reach a boiling point when Shifty and Linda become involved--with each other and intrigue. Horse fans will appreciate the atmosphere, but the racing/sex metaphors wear thin.
Library Journal - Library Journal