I've been in the mood for Pulp novels lately and so I was able to breeze through this 127 page quickie, River Barge Virgin by Wright Williams. It was published in 1949 by Phoenix Press. The cover was naturally intriguing, but does not quite portray what the book is about.
There is a girl on a barge - that much is true. This tale is a complicated story about why people marry. Do you marry for love, or for money? A complicated love triangle forms between poor Carl Vanners who is staying in his uncle's New York penthouse; a stunning model who is looking for money, Joan Ransome; a lovely, simple girl, Diana Monroe, whose only possession is a river barge which she inherited - so naturally she lives on it and girlies it up. Diana docks in front of poor Carl's apartment, so he starts seeing Diana after he is ditched by Joan for lack of money.
Enter a reporter who is convinced Diana is a murderess as well as Joan's mercenary mates and you get a ripping tale about morals and what lengths women will go to to find security. This fast, easy read made me feel quite sad for the main male character, Carl Vanners, who seemed like a regular guy just trying to find love without the interference of unsavory characters. Had a noir-ish tinge to it, and the ending was a total surprise.