Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

For the in-universe article about the confidence trick see shell game.

Trapped without power, the USS Enterprise crew must race to solve the mystery of a lifeless Romulan space station.

Shell Game is a Pocket TOS novel – #63 in the numbered series – written by Melissa Crandall. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in February 1993.


From the book jacket
While on a routine mission to retrieve a research drone for recycling, the USS Enterprise encounters a Romulan space station adrift within Federation borders. Exploring the lifeless station, the crew finds ghostly apparitions flitting at the edges of sight.
Soon the Enterprise is also inexplicably without power. Captain Kirk and his crew must now solve the mystery of the strange apparitions before the Starship suffers the station's fate.
The situation becomes desperate when a Romulan warship arrives looking for the station, and the Romulan Commander accuses the Federation of treachery. Before Captain Kirk can save the Starship Enterprise from complete destruction, he must avoid becoming drawn into a deadly shell game – a game that will leave no winners and no survivors.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information

  • This is the only solo Star Trek novel written by Melissa Crandall, though she was briefly part of the L.A. Graf writing team, contributing to the novel Ice Trap. The novel was one of two proposals put to Pocket by the L.A. Graf team after Ice Trap; the other was what became the second Graf novel, Death Count. Shell Game was ultimately written by Crandall alone after she moved to New York. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 95-97)


James T. Kirk
Leonard McCoy


Enterprise, USS

External links

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#62: Death Count Pocket TOS
Numbered novels
#64: The Starship Trap
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