If you like horses and mysteries and are curious about the world of horse racing, then Even Money is your ticket to a winner.
Synopsis: Ned Talbot has been running his independent bookmaker business at racetracks since his grandfather Teddy started it years before. Everything is routine until a customer shows up one day and claims to be Ned's father, who was supposed to have died years ago. The man is then killed in front of Ned by a mugger with close-set eyes and a scarf over his face, demanding money.
Ned confirms that the mystery man's fatal stabbing was not random, as he gathers more information about the man and his relationship to the horse racing business.
A bonus: Three sub plots provide some relief to the main story: the sometimes amusing love life of Ned's bookmaker assistant Luca, the story of Ned's wife Sophia, and Ned's family history involving his long dead father.
Comments: Easy reading, spare prose, excellent dialogue and character development, a solid plot and good subplots worked easily into the overall book - I enjoyed this mystery and also learned quite a bit about modern day horse racing in Britain.
Review copy provided by the Penguin Group.