Books: Quality Not Quantity

TACEY CROMWELL—Conrad Richter— Knopf ($2).

Author Conrad Richter (The Trees') has already published one novel about the Southwest (The Sea of Grass). The setting of his brief new novel is Arizona in the early 1900s.

Youngster Nugget sneaks away from his horrible home in Kansas and hitch-hikes in search of his half brother, Gaye Oldaker. He finds Gaye running the roulette wheel in a New Mexico "sporting house" filled with painted ladies whose names are strange to him—Midnight Rose, Drowsy Dolly, Fleabitten Daisy, Rowdy Kate. Gaye Oldaker's lady friend, Tacey Cromwell, runs the establishment. But after Nugget turns up Tacey moves to the...

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