In the sixth of Randisi’s current series (I’m a Fool to Kill You, 2011, etc.), Bing Crosby makes the Rat Pack scene.
An iconic figure in the annals of pop, Crosby gets downsized here and nudged into the wings. True enough, he triggers the mystery, such as it is, but thereafter he does not much more than nudge the plot a bit through infrequent, mostly banal walk-ons. Seems Bing wants to buy a certain horse at a certain price. Seems the trainer on whose expertise he intended to rely has suddenly gone missing, giving rise to a need for ad hoc help. Enter Vegas’s Eddie Gianelli, casino pit boss extraordinaire, ever ready, willing and, no matter how complex the challenge, remarkably able to aid the Rat Pack and all its adjuncts. And if Eddie enters, can hulking Jerry Epstein, career muscle guy, fail to heed the call of friendship? Though they’re an ill-assorted pair of buddies, big Jerry always has the back of fast Eddie, who unfailingly returns the favor. Mutual support will soon be required, it turns out, when a hit man’s bullets make targets of them both. Meanwhile, Bing’s trainer goes from missing to dead, additional bodies are tagged and the ongoing question, never adequately answered, becomes: why all the gunplay and bloodletting just because a crooner wants to buy a horse for a song?
The weakest entry in the series to date. Pass it up, dig out a cherished old album instead and spin a platter or two.