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“Reno in 1949 was a hot town, with legal gambling, quickie divorces, legal prostitution just up the road – and gangsters, too, who kept a low profile,” says Nevada author Maggy Anthony about the historic Reno she knew and loved as an impressionable teenager. Anthony’s red-hot Reno of the 1940s and ’50s plays a starring role, alongside a small-town P.I. named Hank Faro, in her new mystery series launched this month with its first book, Death is a Crapshoot – A Hank Faro Mystery.
Full of well-researched details and first-hand accounts of such well-known Nevada luminaries as “Pappy” Smith of Harold’s, Lincoln Fitzgerald at the Nevada Club and Bill Harrah at Harrah’s, Anthony’s series brings Reno alive for history – and mystery – buffs.
“In 1953, as a teenager, I came to Reno from San Francisco with my mother when she moved here to get a divorce from my father,” Anthony said. “We stayed at a place owned by a retired brothel madam, Scottie’s Guest House just north of downtown, and experienced a whole new life. At 17, dressed-up, I was able to go to the clubs and see the action; the town and people fascinated me. I was mesmerized by the clubs and by their owners, who always seemed to have a presence in their clubs. In 1974, as a young divorced mother myself, I returned to Reno and went to work at the Nevada Club as a keno runner. ”
Now a retired family therapist, Anthony wrote her first book, Jung’s Circle of Women: The Valkyries, in the 1990s as a nonfiction chronicle of the women she encountered during her studies at the Jung Institute in Zurich. “I’ve published several books about people and places that intrigue me, and have always wanted to write about Reno of the Fifties,” she says. “Researching and writing the Hank Faro series has given me the opportunity of showing the Reno that had so attracted me, including the mix of characters in town from all walks of life and cultures. Death is a Crapshoot is the first of a planned series, intertwining the gambling and other aspects of Reno which made it the town it is.”
Anthony is also widely published as a novelist, poet and playwright, whose one-woman play, “Impossibly Blonde: Marilyn at 80,” premiered in 2004 and has been performed at the Nevada Museum of Art and in San Francisco. Anthony has taught extensively on mythology, dreams and issues of creative exploration, at Esalen Institute and the University of California, San Francisco, and in Reno at the YWCA’s Center for Living Well.
For more about the first Hank Faro mystery, which is available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook, and other books by Maggy Anthony, visit http://www.maanthony.com or http://www.amazon.com. Her blog is at http://www.maggyanthony.com. For more information, call Maggy Anthony at (775) 830-8212 or email [email protected].