cover image Lucky at Cards

Lucky at Cards

Lawrence Block. Dorchester Publishing Company, $6.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8439-5768-6

The Hard Case Crime imprint has found a perfect partner in Block, as this gritty grifter's tale, in print for the first time in 40 years, goes to show. In a small town somewhere between Chicago and New York, down on his luck card shark Bill Maynard stops off to take care of his teeth, recently broken in a beating he took for fixing a game. Planning to stay only long enough to heal, Bill's plans change when his dentist invites him to join a friendly game of poker. Having fooled the locals and earned a bundle at the game, Bill's ready to leave town when he falls hard for his host's sexy young wife, Joyce, who isn't fooled by his card tricks. Indeed, she's got higher stakes in mind: after seducing him, she ropes Bill into that old scheme, helping her get rid of her hubby. The plot twists here, then there, then back again, rooted in Block's strong characters and no-nonsense prose style.