by Jane Stanton Hitchcock


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"An irresistible social noir." —New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein

There has never been a better time for revenge

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 walks out again, a man will have been shot.

Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible, and she uses her ability to fly under the radar as she pursues celebrity accountant Burt Sklar, the man she believes stole her mother's fortune and left her family in ruins. Her fervent passion for poker has taught Maud that she can turn weakness into strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her, and now she has dealt the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.

One unexpected twist after another follows as Maud plays 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 tale of deceit, seduction and revenge, perfect for fans of Mary Kubica and Jeffery Deaver!

Additional Praise for Bluff:
"This delicious novel of sweet revenge reveals, with wit and stylish vigor, a world — New York high society — that the author clearly knows intimately."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
"A smartly plotted upper-crust caper."—Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781464210679
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 127,872
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jane Stanton Hitchcock is a New York Times bestselling author, playwright, and screenwriter. Best known for her mystery novels (Trick of the Eye, The Witches' Hammer, Social Crimes, One Dangerous Lady, and Mortal Friends), Jane is also an avid poker player who competes in the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. Her sixth novel, BLUFF, pays tribute to her passion for poker and will be published in April 2019. Jane Stanton Hitchcock is married to Jim Hoagland, a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. They live in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

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Bluff 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
A great read
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
"Bluff" certainly is a pleasant surprise! I love it. The plot is a bit far-fetched but ingenious in its own way. Taking the bluffing tricks during poker games, the protagonist extends the same trick to achieve the ultimate goal she wants to accomplish, "candidly, honestly, truthfully." In fact, we're dealing with two villains in "Bluff" - a habitual one (the ultimate bad guy) v.s. and a novice (yet a likable heroine at the same time) who wants to seek revenge. This premise is slightly different from most of the mystery novels which are usually about the definite good guys v.s. the bad ones. Two villains try to outwit the other by bluffing and manipulating constantly. Fun, fun, fun. And the author supplies readers many tiny twists and turns from the beginning to the end makes "Bluff" a highly entertaining novel. Entertaining, ingenious and engaging. I can't praise "Bluff" enough. Go pick up your copy, mystery lovers!
kmg7777 9 months ago
Not unlike a game of Poker, Bluff started out slowly for me. While I found the boldness of Maud entertaining when she marches into the Four Seasons with a gun and a plan, the elitist characters that flesh out the storyline were ones that it was hard for me to care about since they just seem like typical bored, rich people. But then the book just got better and better as it went along and you begin to understand Maud's long game and just who exactly is on what side. Honestly, Sklar is incredibly obnoxious in a manipulative, smarmy way, which makes it even more fun as Maud's hand plays out. By the end of the book I was laughing, rooting for Maud, and putting pieces together for a story that was a fun ride.
QuirkyCat 9 months ago
Bluff has got to be one of the most unique combinations I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s a thriller heavily influenced by poker and card games. That may sound a bit odd, but it actually worked really well. The novel follows the events surrounding Maud Warner, AKA Mad Maud, and all of the chaos she creates. To be fair, she had reasons to do everything she did. Like a true thriller novel, Maud is a woman who is out for revenge, but naturally there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Warnings: Like many thrillers, this novel touches upon a lot of sensitive subjects. There’s conning, murder, emotional/physical/financial control and abuse, the whole gambit. There are some moments that talk about abuse, and those may be the hardest moments for some. There is also an animal death that occurs. You can see the buildup to it from a mile away, so it’s not a surprise when it does actually happen. It’s still upsetting though, so consider yourself warned. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bluff. It was fascinating, fast-paced, and truly unique. I loved the poker elements that were woven into the main plot itself. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The plot itself was interesting and strong enough to catch my attention and then hold it. Bluff lived up to its name in many respects; it was thematic and dramatic all in one, and it did hint towards the truth hidden within the pages. Even with that title though, I wasn’t quite ready for all of the hidden angles inside. The novel kept making comparisons between what was happening and elements of poker games. It was interesting, unique, and best of all, it actually added to the context of what was actually happening. These unusual twists took the novel from being a thriller that resembled many others out there, to being something truly different. I respect and appreciate what was done here, and I can’t wait to see if more novels will come out like this from Jane Stanton Hitchcock. It probably took me about two chapters to truly get into the novel – and that’s mostly because they started in the thick of things. I was immediately curious, but not yet actually invested in any of the characters. Once I had a better idea of who was involved, that’s when I began to care about what was going to happen next. Maud was an interesting character on the whole. She’s clearly intended to be the main perspective, even though we do get to see through the eyes of several other characters as well. I think this was done to help occlude the truth of what Maud had done and was doing (and no, I’m not going to give that bit away). I’m not sure I could go so far as to say I was emotionally invested in Maud’s character. I was rooting for her to win, surely, but there were other characters that I felt more strongly about (both the good and the bad, in this case). There was a lot of complexity to this plot – a lot of twists and turns and surprising revelations about the characters. Most of the emotionally compelling reveals were thrown at us earlier in the novel, but that was a good play, because it forced us to become invested relatively early. Lately it feels like a lot of the thrillers I’ve been reading have had lackluster endings. You know, the endings that just don’t hold up to the intrigue in the rest of the book. That was not the case for Bluff. I felt like it was a solid ending, it made sense, it had impact, everything. It was actually really refreshing, now that I think about it!
diane92345 9 months ago
“Poker has its own moral universe. Lying is called bluffing. Deception is the norm.”—from the new humorous revenge thriller Bluff Maud is convinced that her parent’s financial advisor, Burt, stole all their money. However, she cannot get anyone to believe her. Broke, Maud plays online poker. Skilled at the game, she wins. When the online casinos are shuttered by the government, Maud turns to live games. Throughout it all, she continues to nurse her grudge with Burt. One morning, she walks into the Four Seasons and shoots Burt. Luckily for Burt, he is able to shield himself with his lunch companion, and longtime friend, Sun. While Sun is in the ICU, his secrets begin to unravel leading to a domino effect on his entire social circle. Structured like poker itself, Bluff manages to surprise at every turn. Plus it has many moves like tournament poker. Honestly, if you love thrillers where the motive is cunningly plotted revenge, you will love this tale as much as I do. 5 stars! Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Katie__B 9 months ago
This book has one of the more memorable opening scenes I've read this year. Maud Warner, a 50+ year old socialite walks into the Four Seasons restaurant in NYC and shoots a man named Sun Sutherland. She then proceeds to walk out calmly and ends up boarding a train headed to Washington D.C. But why did she shoot Sun instead of the man he was lunching with, Burt Sklar, the person she blames for losing her family's fortune? I think the real strength of the book is the writing style. It's quirky and had a bit of an old school vibe to it where nothing is as it seems and even though a crime is committed you aren't expected to take it too seriously. I feel like the style was a breath of fresh air and not something you really get to see much in today's books. I did think the first half of the book was stronger than the second. I probably would have enjoyed this one a tad more if it was written as a novella rather than a full length novel. Overall, a decent read and I recommend checking this one out if you are in the mood for something a bit different. Thank you to the publisher and BookishFirst for sending me a free advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
YourDreamComeTrue 9 months ago
Bluff is definitely one of those "un-put-downable" books, especially for crime fans. Usually, we see the main role of a character from a male's perspective, and that is what sets this novel apart from others of its kind. The true hero, or should we say "heroine," of this story goes beyond what we have come to expect as far as enjoyment of characters goes. The writing for this novel was intricately woven, and even at some of the spotty bits--every book has them--it still kept me entertained. The characters were some that I could feel for, really relate to (in a fictional sense, even if by only my imagination), and wanted to see their story to the end of the book. This has the perfect amount of twists and entertainment, giving a new enjoyment to the crime fiction genre.