This is the most recent book from Hard Case Crime. Written in the mid-1970s but not published till now, the book is set in the '50s and has the sensibilities of that era. Which is to say that if you're a fan of Gold Medal Books, you might like this one. I'll admit that it's loosely plotted (James Reasoner says the plot "meanders," and I can't argue with that), but the narrative voice was so engaging and seductive that I was caught on the very first page.
The plot, such as it is, deals with the adventures of a con man called Curly (or Carly, depending on who's calling). His escapades take him from France to North America to South America and back to France, as he engages in various schemes to make money. Not that he cares about the money. The schemes are what matters, and, as he confesses, he wouldn't want to do anything else or be anything other than what he is.
Besides the novel, there's an entertaining afterword by David Dodge's daughter. She clearly inherited a bit of her dad's writing ability.
This book's just one more reason why Hard Case Crime deserves everyone's support. Check it out.