Strange Embrace/69 Barrow Street (A Hard Case Double)

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9781596064898: Strange Embrace/69 Barrow Street (A Hard Case Double)
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Strange Embrace

They say the show must go on--but in the case of Broadway's next sensation, A Touch of Squalor, someone s out to make sure the show never opens. And when threats don't do the trick, a straight razor to the throat just might.

It s a case for the NYPD...but with a mysterious killer targeting his cast, producer Johnny Lane can't just wait in the wings. There's a Playbill full of suspects, giving Johnny the casting challenge of his career: who to put in the role of murderer, when the wrong call could bring down the curtain on his show--or his life!

Published here for the first time in half a century--and the first time ever under the author s real name--Strange Embrace is one of MWA Grand Master Lawrence Block s earliest detective novels, presented in the classic Ace Doubles format with new cover art by the legendary Robert McGinnis. It's two times the Block, and for fans of his whodunits who want to see where it all began, it's cause for a standing ovation...
69 Barrow Street
Greenwich Village: home to every form of depravity and perversion known to man...or woman.

It's on the streets of the Village that Ralph met Stella--but what started as a love affair between a painter and his seductive muse has become torment as he s found himself drawn into her world of cruel pleasures. It is a tinderbox of hatred and desire--and when beautiful Susan Rivers moves into their apartment building, tempting Ralph and Stella both, it's set to ignite.

From dim waterfront bars to the movie houses of Times Square, from nights in rat-trap hotel rooms to drug-fueled orgies in ground-floor apartments, no one can bring 1960s New York to life like Edgar Award winner Lawrence Block. And in this early tale of psychological suspense--unavailable for fifty years and never before published under his real name--readers will discover a harrowing portrait of men and women pushed to their limits and beyond. Presented in the classic Ace Doubles format, with new cover art by the legendary Robert McGinnis, it's a double shot of darkness as only Lawrence Block can deliver it.

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From Booklist:

69 Barrow Street, originally published in 1961 under the name Sheldon Lord, is the kind of smutty pulp novel that would have remained lost in the thrift-store spinner racks if not for two facts. One, Sheldon Lord went on to become Lawrence Block, and two, it’s actually kind of good. Read straight, it’s the raunchy, melodramatic tale of a kept Greenwich Village painter who turns a lesbian straight—but it’s impossible not to see Block winking out from behind some of the breathless hyperbole. Strange Embrace (1962), originally published under another Block pseudonym, Ben Christopher, is less a sex book with a crime in it than a mystery with a little sex thrown in. Broadway producer Johnny Lane is about to open a surefire hit when he finds his leading lady nude in bed with her throat slashed. Someone doesn’t want the play to open. It’s a by-the-numbers showbiz caper, but again, there are funny bits, such as a Japanese butler who only pretends to be inscrutable. Block’s afterwords explaining each book’s origins will be pure catnip for fans. --Keir Graff

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