Somewhere in this novel about bridge buffs (they could be bums), Mr. Powell makes the point that while bridge is a partnership game, it doesn't encourage relationships. It might also be added that it doesn't promote any reading habits beyond the ACBL Bulletin and this is really a book for people who play bridge. . . like Tony Manuto, who travels the duplicate circuit (this time the Nationals are in Miami Beach) a permanent club fixture and money player; or Ace McKinley, a second string columnist; or Carola, his ex-wife, whom he taught--needless to say the marriage didn't last; or the Dukes and the Ashcrafts who do change partners for keeps after the Mixed Pairs session here. There's also a cheating incident (no fingers) and a suicide. . . . Mr. Powell's novel is strictly Standard American but, on the basis of his name, should be good for a one round force. It's the publisher's commercial candidate for fall so obviously they don't expect a bust response.