Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Pages: I can’t seem to find an official page count…weird.
My Copy Came From: NetGalley & Poisoned Pen Press
Read Via: Kindle
My Like Level: 4 out of 5
Genre: Poker, Mystery, Women Sleuths, Amateur Sleuths
Book Summary from Amazon:
“Driven by the heart-pounding suspense of a high-stakes poker game, Bluff is a vivid, compelling novel about deceit, seduction, and delicious revenge that will keep you spellbound and cheering as you turn the last page.” -Susan Cheever, New York Times bestselling author
One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she shoots Sun Sunderland, the “Pope of Finance,” as he lunches with “accountant to the stars” Burt Sklar – the man she’s accused for years of stealing her mother’s fortune and leaving her family in ruins – she deals the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.
Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible, and uses it. Her fervent passion for poker has taught her that she can turn weakness into strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her. It’s uncanny how she reads them.
Her intimates in New York high society believe that “Mad Maud” accidentally missed Sklar, her real target. But nothing is as it first appears as she weathers the unexpected while following her script. And while Maud is on the run, the dark secrets of men who believe their money and power place them above the law will be exposed. Betrayal, larceny, greed, sexual battery, and murder lurk beneath the surface of their glittering lives.
One unexpected twist after another follows as we watch a fierce, unapologetic Maud play the most important poker hand of her life. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to bluff. And on who will fold.
Can she win?
A murder mystery at its finest with an unlikely murderess at its core! Bluff doesn’t make you wait to find out who murdered a man in cold blood. This bit is told right in the beginning and we are left to unravel the mystery as to WHY it happened. I loved the twisted plot and the pacing of the story. The characters and their back stories were fascinating, and I LOVED that the main character was an older woman named Maude. Mad Maude for the win! She was a character I loved rooting for. The revelations as to who she was working with, and their end game was jaw dropping. It was nice to have her as our main character. She was extremely intelligent and very humble. She knew that she would fly under radar as she fled the murder scene because she was an older woman. People don’t see older women, and especially don’t suspect them of being capable of waltzing into the Four Season’s Restaurant and shooting someone at point blank range. Mad Maude’s love of poker meant she always had an ace up her sleeve and her bluff game was impeccable. Hence the name of the book. The slimy men she went after deserved every bit of what she had planned for them. I felt like I needed a shower after reading their parts of the book.
I am so happy to have had the chance to read this. I haven’t read anything by Jane Stanton Hitchcock before, but you can count on me picking up her books the next time I venture out to the bookstore.
Also, I am in love with the cover of this book! It is so classic murder noir. I love the black, white and red. This is one for my shelf, for sure!
Fun Fact: Jane Stanton Hitchcock is also an avid poker player who competes in the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker.
Thanks to Amazon for this info. 🙂
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for giving me an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.