Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Michael Kardos is the author of the novels Bluff, Before He Finds Her, and The Three-Day Affair, an Esquire best book of 2012, as well as the story collection One Last Good Time, which won the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award for fiction, and the textbook The Art and Craft of Fiction: A Writer’s Guide.

Kardos applied the Page 69 Test to Bluff and reported the following:
From page 69:
The air was gustier than it was up north, and I wrapped my arms around myself as Ace and I crossed the street. You couldn’t see inside the bakery because of the shelves of bread blocking the windows. The sign on the door said closed, but the door was unlocked.

Ace gently touched my arm. “If you win a hand, don’t lay your cards down extra slow to rub it in. It’s bad etiquette.”

“Slow rolling. I know.”

“And protect your cards. Not everyone’s as honest as you and me.”

I smiled.

“Let’s go get ’em, tiger,” he said, and we went in.
On page 69 of Bluff, the novel’s protagonist, Natalie Webb, is accompanying a professional card cheat named Ace into an Atlantic City bakery, the setting of the novel’s first of two key poker games. Natalie, a world-class sleight-of-hand magician, is there to observe Ace’s technique: she plans to write a magazine article comparing the techniques and artistry of magicians and cardsharps. But to ensure his cover isn’t blown, Ace has insisted that Natalie can’t simply watch the game and take notes: she must sit at the table, put up her own hard-earned money, and play.

Will everything go as planned? (Spoiler alert: No.)
Learn more about the book and author at Michael Kardos's website.

--Marshal Zeringue