From: e_lynskey ( e_lynskey@yahoo.com)
Date: 24 Apr 2007

This is a fabulous reprint of a Lawrence Block title originally published in 1964 from the good folks at Hard Case Crime. I don't believe anything was altered to fit 2007. Esso gas is mentioned. The prices all sound like 1964's. I like that.

This paperback is a pure gem. The card sharp is Bill Maynard who has breezed into town. After caught cheating and getting his thumbs busted, Bill beat it out of Chicago. He meets a vivacious Joyce Rogers who's married to a Murray Rogers, a wealthy tax lawyer. Sparks fly. Bill and Joyce soon scheme to rip off Murray and go off to live the good life.

The poker and card-playing references give the tale its gritty realism. Bill with a conscience becomes a likeable protagonist. Marvelous twists and great minor characters, too.

My next card-playing mystery: THE PICASSO FLOP by Bob Randisi and Vince Van Patton.


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