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In The Club

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New English Library, London, 1975
(price: 40p; 128 pages)

dedication: This book is dedicated to the World Wombat Preservation Trust
Hang on in there, babies!

The blurb on the back:

Sally Deenes has never turned down a worthwhile proposition in all her chequered career. When she is asked to pose as a businessman's wife, and help him run a country club, she is only too happy to oblige - in every way.
Situated in a delightful old manor house, the club offers every sort of sporting facility: huntin', shootin', fishin' and golf. But it is the indoor sport that attracts the visitors, and Sally is soon busily engaged in ensuring that the guests enjoy
every dish on the menu.

It's always a publisher's dream to get a profitable series of books going. That way you don't have to promote every new title from scratch and if you're really, really lucky, the brand name will sell itself regardless of the author's name. It worked with James Bond, and it even worked up to a point with the Confessions books. Petra Christian's series starring Sally Deenes was kind of an attempt at a female Confessions. Unfortunately - while they were equally rubbish - they weren't as successful. For those of you wishing to keep track, this is her New English Library bibliography, so far as I know it: Hitch-hiker (1971), The New Drifters (1972), The Holiday Campers (1973), The Sexploiters (1973), Girls of the Night (1973), Bed and Bawd (1974), The Bust-Up (1974), Hello Sailor (1975), In The Club (1975).

And for those really wishing to keep track... Peter Cave, a prolific author best remembered perhaps for some of the early biker books, starting with Chopper (NEL, 1971), claims that he wrote the Petra Christian books in collaboration with that other prolific author, Christopher Priest. Laurence James confirmed this in an interview with Steve Holland, though he correctly points out that 'Chris will deny it.' As indeed he does, insisting that he had nothing to do with the Petra Christian series and suggesting that perhaps the similarity of names led to the rumour.

Anyway, without wishing to be unnecessarily rude (you know me), I feel obliged to ask: what was the point of these books? They weren't funny, the stories were painfully thin and the characters would have given cardboard a bad name. Above all, they weren't erotic in any way whatsoever. So what was the point? Buggered if I know. Nice glasses on the cover though.

And one of the silliest dedications ever.

more books about Sally Deenes by Ms Christian:
more Petra
Bed and Bawd
more Petra
The Bust-Up