The further adventures of magician/horseplayer Shifty Anderson, who, in order to afford the upkeep on the filly Mad Margaret (left to him in The Hard Knocker's Luck, 1985), becomes horseflesh partners with rich, cruel, and possessive builder Michael Cameron and his heart-stoppingly beautiful wife Linda. At Sovereign Acres, where ""Maggie"" is moved to recover from shinsplints, manager Win Freeman remarkably resembles Linda, who is so drawn to him that she stops dallying with Shifty and begins a heated affair with her male look-alike. When Win is killed, Shifty asks questions of Sovereign Acres owner Judge Jed Hunter, who treated Win like a son (to the disgust of his wife) and whose legal career may not have earned him nearly as much money as his association with the crooked Cameron and the indicted Fazzini Brothers. Between races and beatings, Shifty uncovers a sorry tale of past adultery, unacknowledged births, arson, and a ruthless scheme to co-opt local water rights in order to bring Sovereign Acres into being. More importantly, Mad Margaret wins by a lip. Only someone with Murray's great skill would dare twins as a clue (and even he barely pulls it off). But for Runyonesque dialogue, picaresque racetrack vignettes, and great verve, Murray gallops in a winner.