Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Lucky at Cards has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Green Earth Books. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Lucky at Cards Mass Market Paperback – March 29, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.00
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.77
$3.47 $1.75

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$6.77 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Lucky at Cards
  • +
  • Grifter's Game (Hard Case Crime Novels)
  • +
  • The Girl With the Long Green Heart (Hard Case Crime)
Total price: $20.42
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Before Matt Scudder, before Bernie Rhodenbarr, before being named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, Lawrence Block turned out paperback originals. This one--unavailable for more than 40 years--now receives a timely reissue from Hard Case Crime. It's a doozy. Bill Maynard is a card mechanic (cheater) who took a beating in Chicago and now is in serious need of some dental work. He finds it in an unnamed burg on the road to New York, and he also finds a nice little poker game. But who wanders into the game but one of the player's wives--who just happens to know a mechanic when she sees one. Soon enough Maynard and the wife are plotting to skip town with the husband's money, but, of course, the plan goes awry--in part because the square's life starts to feel good to our card shark. Block unwinds his plot superbly, pointing toward a classic noir finale but then seeming to pull away--or maybe not. And, along the way, there is all the teasing sexuality and tongue-in-cheek noir style that a pulp devotee craves. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hard Case Crime; 42343rd edition (March 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857683411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857683410
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Craig Clarke VINE VOICE on February 15, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"They say every man has a weakness. They say that for every man there's a woman somewhere in the world who can make him jump through fiery hoops just by snapping her fingers. They say a man's lucky if he never meets that woman." -- from Lucky at Cards

If your publishing imprint's best-selling novels were by a particular author, you'd keep putting out novels by that author, wouldn't you? Well, that must be what's going on over at Hard Case Crime, because Lucky at Cards is the third "lost" Lawrence Block classic they've come out with. Lucky for us, it's another doozy, but what else could you possibly expect from the master of the crime novel?

Bill Maynard is an ex-magician who found his way into the card-sharp business. He upset the wrong people in his last town, so he's moved temporarily to New York, following an opportunity. But he's about to get very distracted by another, much more unexpected, opportunity -- one "with hooker's hips and queen-sized [...]," and one that's easily as dangerous as getting aces and eights.

Lucky at Cards was originally released under the title The Sex Shuffle and the byline "Sheldon Lord," and it was published in 1964, the year before The Girl with the Long Green Heart, Block's previous Hard Case Crime outing. It shares a more optimistic tone with that novel that is a far cry from the much darker Grifter's Game (a.k.a. Mona) from just a couple of years before. This is apparently a huge coup for the Hard Case gang as Block has been notoriously shy when it comes to his early pseudonymous novels.

Its brisk pacing is a big attraction, but Lawrence Block's forte has always been his wonderfully complex plots, especially in these early novels.
Read more ›
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the best of Block's Hard Case Crime novels, though all three are superb. It's all that the reviewers say--vintage, pulpy noir with all the expected features and attachments. The interesting thing is that it's very different from the current Block style. Block's Scudder, Burglar, and Hit Man books are silky smooth, with economical plotting, perfect pacing, and effortless, but plausible endings. LUCKY AT CARDS is very different, and not just because of the differences in genre. For one thing, the book spends a lot of time on the mechanics of the card sharp's craft, the differences between cheating at gin and cheating at poker, the simplicity of cheating at bridge, etc. Second, the plotting is far more complex than Block's usual, with cuticle-chewing suspense and nasty double binds. The characters are straight out of the pulp noir genre, but they're still engaging and memorable. One of the first we meet is a dentist with a heavy nicotine addiction who sticks his fingers in the protagonist's mouth and annoys him with their taste. Yum. Welcome to pulpdom.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This gritty grafter novel sucks you into card sharp Bill Maynard's stop off for a dental visit which soon spirals into something much bigger- the biggest potential con of his career.

I have not read too many novels that feature a card sharp as a protagonist. Bill Maynard, a former magician, is just that, but the story goes well beyond any card game. Murray Rogers seems an easy mark while his wife Joyce looks to Bill for more than card-playing lessons. I have to say that when she gives Bill a signal early in the book is one of my favorite moments. I won't give it away, but I thought it was very cool the way Lawrence Block revealed that little trick.

The prose here is straight forward and the story moves well but no so fast as to be just unbelievable. I could see most of this actually happening in real life. So good plausibility here. This book was gone for forty years until Hard Case Crime brought it back and I am one reader who is very happy they did. It was an excellent read that I know I will be reading again. A must have for any crime fiction fan!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By D. Sturm on December 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You know you're in the classic noir time zone when our protagonist is disgusted by the taste of nicotine on the fingers of the dentist working on his teeth. Bill, a professional card sharp, has lammed out of Chicago with a mouth full of broken teeth (guess why). A pause for dental repairs at some huckburg. An invitation to a poker game. At the game, one of the player's wives, Joyce, wanders in and, on the QT, let's Bill know she recognizes what he's doing. Bill and Joyce, being two of a kind, plot to take hubby's money.( Interestingly, it's not by killing him.) While Bill starts putting the set-up in place, he takes a job as cover. What do you know? He's good at this job! Then he meets a soulful school teacher, who digs him. Two paths. Which one? You may think you have it figured out, but Block pulls off a twist ending that will have you grinning and shaking your head. If you like your pulp high on wit and low on gunplay, this is your book.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Almost 50 years ago Block penned this short novel about a card sharp and the trouble he gets in as he passes through a town. There are lots of classic plot elements in here that Block became known for, but you can see that this was earlier in his career as some of the paragraphs repeat information from earlier paragraphs, and there are many characters not worth the page space given to them. However, Block's ear for dialogue and narrative focus move this novel along at a pretty brisk speed, and you'll be entertained the whole while. What's especially interesting is how poorly written all the female characters are.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Lucky at Cards
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Lucky at Cards

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: mystery diagnosis