The other day I commented on Lawrence Block's$20 Lust, reprinted asCinderella Sims. Block started out to write a Gold Medal crime novel, figured this one didn't quite cut the mustard, and published it as soft-core porn. Now Hard Case Crime has reprinted another of Block's old soft-core novels,Lucky at Cards (aka The Sex Shuffle). This one comes a lot closer to being a Gold Medal book, I think, thanCinderella Sims.
For one thing, there's a lot less sex.Cinderella Simshas alotof sex, and the scenes are considerably longer and more explicit than those inLucky at Cards. Another thing is that the background inLuckyis a lot more carefully worked out and believable than the one inCinderella. All the stuff about poker and gin sounds exactly right, and the setting is as convincing as in anything Block has done.
With a little tweaking, especially toward the end, this book would have fit right into the Gold Medal line. I wonder if Block tried it there and it just didn't fly for some reason. At any rate, it's great to have this new edition on the shelves. Check it out.