Sunday, April 13, 2014

Queenpin by Megan Abbott

QueenpinA sexy book if nothing else. Crime noir. Makes me think of Mob City. Speaking of, does anyone know when that's coming back?

What was sexy about it is the writing. Let me lay out some examples for you.

I'm yours, that's what I told him without every spitting out a word. He could see it on me, feel it on me. He liked to have me on the bare mattress, like the way it rubbed me raw. I liked it. Liked the burn of it. Liked thinking of it all the next day, every time I leaned against anything, every time the strap on my brassiere pulled across it.

But while I could totally feel the heat from the pages, I hated that we got a pretty savvy woman once again suckered by a man. Why do men always have to be our downfall?

Though the narrator does her share of suckering.

I gave him my best walk, half class, half pay-broad. You can twist those two tightly, fellas don't know what hit 'em. They can't peg you. It gets them--the smart ones--going. Spinning hard trying to fix you. You're like the best parts of their grammar school sweetheart and their first whore all in one sizzling package.

Basically: the narrator is seductive, whether you like what she's doing or not.

At only 180 pages, this is a book you just pick up to kill some time. You won't lay it down enlightened, won't muse deeply on anything, won't really remember it a few days later, but it is entertaining as it follows two lady gangsters embroiled in the gambling business--which sometimes has to include murder...

We got the senior Gloria and we got the narrator and just who is going to be betray who? I feel this story could have been expanded on and it would also make a great TV show. I'd love to read something like this without a woman being taken in by a sleezy man though. I'd like to feel the women come out on top for a change.

As for the writing: superb. I'm impressed with this author's voice.

I got this via Paperback Swap.


  1. Thanks for the writeup of Queenpin, which is one I've been meaning to read for a while just because I like the author's writing style. It's been a long time since I read it, but I think Abbott's first novel Die a Little may be along the lines of what you're looking for. It's about a respectable woman who descends inadvertently into the corrupt underworld of 1950s Los Angeles and discovers she's nowhere near as fragile as she appears to be.

  2. I think I considered that one. I will look for it again. Thank you, Sarah.