Friday, January 29, 2010

Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime

Title: Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime

Author: Robert J. Randisi

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Copyright Date: 2006

Print Date: November 2006

ISBN: 0312338627

Pages: 274

Series: 1st of the Rat Pack mysteries

Book Description (from dust jacket):
Las Vegas, 1960

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford are the Kings of Cool — the Rat Pack. Ocean's 11 is their first movie together and they have taken Sin City by storm — filming during the day and cavorting onstage at the Sands Casino at night. It's clear not everyone is charmed, however, when Dean begins receiving anonymous threatening letters.

Eddie Gianelli, also called Eddie G., is a pit boss at the Sands. After twelve years, he's got the whole town wired. But he's still surprised when Joey Bishop drops by his table and invites him to meet with Frank in the Rat Pack's private steam room. Frank asks Eddie to find out who's been sending the threats, as a favor to him and Dean.

Eddie wants to politely decline, but caught between his boss, Jack Entratter's, not-so-subtle nudging and being utterly starstruck by Dino, he agrees to look into it. He gets help from his P.I. best friend and a Jewish torpedo from Brooklyn. A few dead bodies and bruised ribs later, he remembers why he was reluctant. In a city of gamblers, Eddie has become the highest roller of all. The game is murder, and the stakes just may be his own life.

Robert J. Randisi, the man Booklist claims "may be the last of the true pulp writers," takes his readers on a vivid, neon-lit tour of back rooms, bars, and famed gambling dens of the desert mirage that was — and still is — Las Vegas. Broads, blackjack, and bourbon flow. Celebrities, from John F. Kennedy to Angie Dickinson, strut in and out of this amazing first in a series that Rat Pack fans and crime fiction lovers will not want to miss.

I was browsing the local library and saw a copy of a book called Luck Be a Lady, Don't Die. I loved the title (I love the song. I first heard Luck be a Lady while watching the water show in front of the Bellagio.) and decided to read it. Then I discovered it was the second in a series. So of course I had to find the 1st book first.

I do have to say I know nothing about the (real) "Rat Pack." I've heard of Sinatra, and I know he was a singer, but that's about it. I haven't even heard of the other guys until this book. For instance, I missed the meaning behind the title (I read on Armchair Interviews that Dean Martin — the Rat Pack member with the original problem to be solved — was responsible for a song called Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime). So the entire time I was reading this, I was trying to figure out which tidbits were true and which were there to help the mystery along (and, apparently, missing details).

It was an enjoyable read, and once I've done some research and know what's true, it'll have been an informative one as well. It does have some hard language. The were some details about racial attitudes. And the women were pretty much objects/things. I will be re-checking out Luck Be a Lady, Don't Die to read Eddie's next mystery with the Rat Pack.

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