Let It Ride: Gambling, Casinos, and Danger

The lights of the Vegas Strip beckon you into a world of hard drinking, sex and money. Pull up a stool across from the dealer, where the stakes are high, and Let it Ride.

Luck of the Draw

By Carolina Garcia-Aguilera

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"Gambling runs through the blood of the Navarro family. And like the luck needed to score big, the Navarro clan will certainly need a lot of it, if they're going to hold themselves together through a hilariously highstakes game of family history and secrets. Having heard her entire life of the lost glory of La Estrella -- 'The Star,' the name of the casino the Navarro family owned in Havana before Castro took power -- Esmeralda thinks it a joke when her mother informs her and her siblings Sapphire, Ruby, and Quartz that the family has a duty to bring La Estrella back into existence.

"With a mandate given to her through a dream, the Navarro matriarch announces that in order for La Estrella to thrive once more, the family must be reunited in Miami. Only there's a hitch: the youngest daughter, Diamond, a journalist living in Las Vegas, is missing. The family must find a way to rescue her, not only in time to restore the family's lost business to its shimmering glory, but also to save Diamond's life."

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Vegas Nerve

By Susan Rogers Cooper

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"Sheriff Milt Kovak, having joined his psychiatrist wife on a trip to a conference in Las Vegas, expects a welcome vacation, inspecting the casinos. He has left a capable second-in-command to watch over his small town in Oklahoma, but almost as soon as they arrive, Milt gets an S.O.S. call from his cousin Maida. Her pregnant daughter has been beaten by her husband, and Maida's husband, Burl, has thoroughly trounced his son-in-law. The young man is the son of a very powerful businessman in Vegas, and the police want to lock Burl up.

"Milt manages to talk his fellow cops into giving him custody of Burl until the trial and takes the still-steaming man to their hotel room; Burl reciprocates by disappearing. Milt doesn't think anything else can go wrong - except it does. The next morning, the young man is found dead.

"Now Milt must forgo the wonders of Las Vegas to try to find Burl and clear him from the charge of murder. He expects to get some help from the young widow's several brothers, who descend on the town 'volunteering to help.' But they are more involved with quarreling among themselves than in finding the murderer."

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Vegas Heat

By Fern Michaels

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The year is 1980. Las Vegas has grown from a crude desert wasteland filled with bawdy miners and bingo parlors into a showplace of dazzling casinos - a gambler's paradise. Fanny Thornton has recently married Sallie's son, Simon, but theirs is not a happy union. Simon is a jealous, domineering man whose suspicions and increasing paranoia about his brother - Fanny's ex-husband Ash Thornton - have estranged Fanny from her four children. But now Ash is ill, possibly dying. Babylon, his life's achievement - and Vegas's most magnificent casino - is in danger of falling into the wrong hands. It is Fanny who reluctantly steps in to take over Babylon...Fanny who vows to make her family whole again even as Simon tries to sabotage her at every turn. But when another man offers her the chance for a new beginning, it is a gamble Fanny is determined to take.

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Tishomingo Blues

By Elmore Leonard

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Daredevil Dennis Lenahan has brought his act to the Tishomingo Lodge #38 Casino in Tunica, Mississippi -- diving off an eighty-foot ladder into nine feet of water for the amusement of gamblers, gangsters, and luscious belles. His riskiest feat, however, was witnessing a Dixie-style mob execution while atop his diving platform. Robert Taylor saw the hit also. A blues-loving Detroit hustler touring the Southland in a black Jaguar, Taylor's got his own secret agenda re the "Cornbread Cosa Nostra," and he wants Dennis in on the game. But there's a lot more in Robert Taylor's pocket than a photo of his lynched great-grandfather. And high-diver Dennis could be about to take a long, fatal fall -- right into a mess of hoop skirts, Civil War play-acting ... and more trouble than he ever dreamed possible.
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The Winner

By David Baldacci

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When LuAnn Tyler is asked to be part of a crooked lottery scheme, she refuses, even though it would mean millions of dollars. But when she is framed for murder, the single mother is forced to participate. Ten years later, it all comes back to haunt her.
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Sin City

By Harold Robbins

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The big time in Las Vegas always comes at a cost, as Jack "Lucky" Riordan is about to learn. He is the illegitimate son of Howard Hughes and will do anything to hit the big time.
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Murder in Vegas: New Crime Tales of Gambling and Desperation

By Michael Connelly

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Edited by bestselling-author Michael Connelly, this new anthology from the International Society of Crime Writers gathers 22 never-before-published crime and mystery stories about the ultimate playground, Las Vegas, and what can happen behind the glitz and glamour.
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Henry of Atlantic City

By Frederick Reuss

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From the author of Horace Afoot comes this affectionate and beautiful tale of a six-year-old prodigy with a photographic memory and a penchant for the Gnostic gospels and Byzantine history. Set against the background of Caesar's Palace, Henry of Atlantic City is a satirical "hagiography" of a troubled child trying to make sense of the world around him. Henry, whose imagination has been fed by ancient texts, finds himself living in a conflated world of past and present where casino owners are Byzantine Emperors, and the world is populated by Huns, Cappadocians, and Visigoths. When his father, a casino security guard, lands in trouble with the mob, Henry begins a peripatetic life wandering from relatives to foster homes to orphanages. As Henry struggles to find a place for himself in the world, we are treated to an exploration of spirituality and childhood that is heartbreaking, uplifting, and simply divine.

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Deadman's Poker

By James Swain

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The first in a two-novel, back-to-back series follows scam-buster Tony Valentine as he heads to Sin City to match wits with killer card sharks working the ultimate con. Includes insider tips for catching poker cheats, as well as a glossary of card hustler terms.
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A Gambler's Rose: A Novel

By G.W. Hawkes

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G.W. Hawkes' third novel is the suspenseful and engaging story of a family of card sharps working Hawaii in 1971. Playing cards for a living has obvious risks, and trying to cheat even more, but combined with family history and a new need for a different life, the combination proves combustible. Part adventure, part love story, Gambler's Rose is a crisp, taut read about love, high stakes, and what risks we're willing to assume

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