7,000 Clams: A Novel

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Crown/Archetype, Jan 11, 2005 - Fiction - 368 pages
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Frank Hearn is a down-on-his-luck bootlegger and bruiser, looking for the big score in the heart of the Roaring Twenties. When he loses a shipment of top-quality booze to a double-crossing government thief, Frank hunts him down, roughs him up, and finds something that catches his eye. What at first appears to be a scrap of paper is actually a handwritten and unmistakably authentic IOU for $7,000, signed by Babe Ruth.

Seven-thousand clams is a lot of money--and when Frank gets a tip that the Yankees are about to begin spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida, he wastes no time leaving New Jersey to track down the Babe. Frank thinks he's covered his bases: Along for the ride is a dangerous and curvy blonde named Ginger DeMore. She’s smart, she packs a snub-nose pistol in her purse, and she’s the perfect accomplice to help convince the Babe to cough up the dough. It seems like the perfect plan, but Frank and Ginger aren’t the only ones seeking their fortunes in Florida. 1920’s St. Pete is a veritable nest of vipers. Hustlers, gamblers, Yankee fans, and even a sociopath are lurking in the booming burg—not to mention a team of gangsters sent by a prominent Chicago mobster named Al Capone (who’s instructed his boys to scour the town for a curvy dame by the name of Ginger DeMore).

In this taut Roaring Twenties crime novel, filled with colorful characters both real and imagined, Lee Irby takes readers straight into the authentic heart of the era, bringing to life all the sizzling style—from the slang and the fashions to the smell of bathtub gin. Worthy of a place at Elmore Leonard’s table, 7,000 CLAMS is an enormously entertaining tale and a superb fiction debut.
 

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7, 000 clams: a novel

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Florida in the 1920s is a world of con men, bootleggers, speculators, hot deals, and fast bucks; and the action kicks up a notch beyond frantic when the New York Yankees move into St. Petersburg for ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
33
Section 4
67
Section 5
77
Section 6
87
Section 7
93
Section 8
107
Section 14
187
Section 15
205
Section 16
227
Section 17
235
Section 18
259
Section 19
270
Section 20
295
Section 21
327

Section 9
113
Section 10
123
Section 11
151
Section 12
159
Section 13
175
Section 22
343
Section 23
345
Section 24
353
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About the author (2005)

LEE IRBY is a college history professor who has a particular interest in the Roaring Twenties. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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