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book cover of Too Hot to Handle

Too Hot to Handle

(1959)
A novel by

Shockingly illustrated with dark, period photos.

One of Orrie Hitt's darkest novels, Too Hot to Handle focuses on a young woman named Kay who, out of bad circumstance, winds up as a high-priced call girl in the late 1950s.

Kay comes from the wrong side of town, Orchard Street, the red light district of sin and booze and crime. At fourteen, she is seduced by a local pimp and smut peddlar Lucky Burke. After teaching her all about sex, he tries to enlist her as a call girl for his operation. She refuses.

At nineteen, she gets a job in a law office and winds up marrying the boss’ son, Burt, much to his father's chagrin — Kay, from Orchard Street, is just not the class of lady as he had hoped for his son to marry.

Burt tries opening his own law practice office but business is slim enough to make him and Kay struggle to make rent on their high-end apartment. To make matters worse, Kay’s mother is suffering from end-stage stomach cancer and their are steep medical bills to be paid.

Kay meets a married woman named Iris who seems to have a lot of money; she tells Kay she secretly works as a call girl for a prosperous old woman, Mrs. Gordon, who only deals with high-end executive businessmen who pay top dollar for the best girls — $100 an hour, when most hookers can only get $10-15.

With mounting bills, and a sexual appetite scarcely satisfied by her husband Burt, Kay does it. The men give her high marks — she’s a sexual dynamo who is truly too hot to handle. But when she tries to quit, she finds it's not so easy.

Turning to a lesbian love affair with her neighbor Iris, Kay tries to make sense of a life which had once seemed so simple, if deprived and depraved, on Orchard Street.

This is the ultimate in late-50's sleaze-pulp-noir from the master, Orrie Hitt, author of 'As Bad As They Come," "Suburban Sin," "The Love Season," and countless other vintage paperbacks.


Kindle Editions

September 2012 : USA Kindle edition
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Title: Too Hot to Handle (Illustrated)
Author(s): Orrie Hitt
Publisher: Iconoclassic Books
Availability: Amazon