Ruby Tuesday

Jennifer Anne Kogler, Author
Jennifer Anne Kogler, Author . HarperCollins $15.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-073956-0
Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Library Binding - 307 pages - 978-0-06-073957-7
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-06-073958-4
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The risqué world of this first novel—big-time sports betting and casino gambling—sets it apart. As the story opens, 13-year-old Ruby Tuesday (named for the Rolling Stones song), has not figured out yet what everyone else in her ritzy hometown of Laguna Heights, Calif., knows: her father, Hollis, is a professional gambler. When Hollis's bookie is murdered, her father is the prime suspect. Ruby's mostly absent mother whisks Ruby away to Las Vegas where they meet up with Nana Sue, Hollis's card-shark mother, who lives in a hotel with her pet iguana Twenty-one, knocking back bourbon. Ruby learns that her father secretly placed a "winter book" bet on the outcome of the 1988 World Series at 40-to-1 odds—yielding a $2 million winning ticket. And the Vegas rumor mill has churned up Larry and Hollis's involvement. A long set-up (Hollis slices off his finger at Ruby's brother's wedding while listening to Game One of the Series) and Ruby's act of revenge on a classmate stall the plot's pacing. But Ruby's adventures—winning at blackjack with her grandmother, chugging Johnny Walker with her mom, meeting a rock star—may attract readers only slightly younger than the author herself, who began this novel as her senior college thesis. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

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