$20 Lust and published under the pseudonym Andrew Shaw by Nightstand in 1961, this early Block novel has its quirky charms. As the MWA Grandmas"/>
 

CINDERELLA SIMS

Lawrence Block, Author
Lawrence Block, Author . Subterranean $30 (0p) ISBN 978-1-931081-51-1
Reviewed on: 05/20/2002
Release date: 06/01/2002
Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-4532-0862-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-59562-9
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Originally titled $20 Lust and published under the pseudonym Andrew Shaw by Nightstand in 1961, this early Block novel has its quirky charms. As the MWA Grandmaster explains in the Lawrence Block Bibliography: 1958–1993, "much of the work in question was bad, and categorically so... in the early sixties I wrote a soft core sex novel every month, designed to titillate but not to inflame, with a requisite sex scene in every chapter." Strip away the requisite sex scenes and one is left with a dark, clever crime story that shows Block's emerging strengths: good storytelling, a bright sense of humor and more than a few flashes of good writing. Ted Lindsay, a reporter for the Louisville Times, loses his wife to another man, then to a fatal accident. He relocates to New York in order to get a new start. He's unsuccessful until he sees "the girl." The girl turns Ted's life upside down, setting him on a path of treacherous lies, deceptions and dangers as they try to outwit the gang that's after her. The sex scenes, mild by today's more graphic standards, are more likely to amuse than titillate. Readers who have not yet discovered the joys of Block—bookseller/thief Bernie Rhodenbarr, PI Matthew Scudder, hitman John Keller, etc.—should skip this one. But established Block fans should enjoy this peek at the author's obscure apprentice work and be grateful that he moved on to create better books. (June 10)

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