Shell Games: A True Story of Cops, Con Men, and the Smuggling of America's Strangest Wildlife (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Exciting and fascinating true stories of animal smuggling (geoducks, dungeness crabs, and much more!) and the agents who protect our environment. 

Strange but true-- and local to boot! 

— From Tegan's Picks


A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature's bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief. A stranger-than-fiction true story centered around a larger-than-life character who pursued a larger-than-life clam--the Geoduck--and then led wildlife police on a two-year-long chase, Shell Games is enthralling and remarkable from page one on.

Praise For…

“[A]n engrossing tale of both human excesses and the attempts of a few brave souls’ to curb them. Everyone, not just the denizens of Puget Sound, has a stake in this battle’s outcome.”
-Washington Post

“Riveting...Ed Volz and Doug Tobin are perfect antagonists.”
-Wall Street Journal

“Endlessly fascinating.”
-Seattle Times

“Welch brings us into the underworld of shellfish smuggling from multiple angles...Shell Games is an eye-opener, exposing a murky world operating just below the surface.”

“With hit men, snitches, and midnight smuggling runs, this book has all the adventure of a Miami Vice episode. That it reads like a detective novel - with the quarry being millions of dollars of freakishly large clams - is testament to the formidable writing and reporting talents of Craig Welch.”
-Mark Obmascik, author of The Big Year and 2009 National Outdoor Book Award winner for Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled - and Knuckleheaded - Quest for the Rocky Mountain High

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061537141
ISBN-10: 0061537144
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: April 12th, 2011
Pages: 288
Language: English