That's the first place I read that advice. Lew Archer quotes part of it in one book, attributing it to a wise man from Chicago. James Crumley used that part as the epigraph of The Wrong Case, attributing it to Lew Archer (or Ross Macdonald, forget which).
> To: email@example.com
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 18:42:48 +0100
> Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Seeking mystery novel
> Nelson Algren's A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karin Montin" <email@example.com>
> > Years ago I read a novel that had the protagonist chasing the bad guys
> > (or somebody) from one small town to another in the southern U.S. A lot
> > of the towns had hot springs and were former spas, so there were big,
> > rundown old hotels. It was the first time I ever heard "Never eat at a
> > place named Ma's" and "Never play poker with a man named Doc."
> > Anyone know what book that might have been?
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