Synopsis: Jake Winkman,
bridge professional, decides to write a book on how we can all become bridge
pros and make a great living ($50k in 1960s dollars) while living in swank
hotels and having all the women we ever want. To tell the story, he'll take
us through a normal tournament. But as he tells the story, things start to
spin out of control. It starts when someone plants stolen diamonds in his
beach towel. And then there's the dead body in his hotel shower. And before
Jake can say two-clubs, he's in trouble with the police and is starting to
pick up hints of international incident. But Jake is intent on teaching us
to be bridge pros. He takes us through some interesting hands and describes
the type of logic that professional bridge players use to make their
decisions--and to help their less skillful partners. It turns out that
bridge logic and bridge-trained memory aren't only useful at the bridge
table, however. When pushed, Jake finally uses his honed mind to figure out
who is really behind the thefts, and identify both victim and killer. Author
Don Von Elsner) does a fun job mixing useful bridge information with
adventure. Jake's attitudes toward women and casual sex were probably
liberated by the standards of the time this book was written in the 1960s,
but seem terribly outdated now, as do the fears of Communism that lurk
behind some of the dangers Jake Winkman faces. Likewise, the bridge world
has changed--with sadly fewer young faces of the type Jake frequently met.
But THE JAKE OF DIAMONDS isn't all history lesson. There's a lot of fun
stuff here--and fascinating bridge.
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