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Opis ebooka A Few Minutes Past Midnight - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Toby hunts for the man who wants to kill a fallen star of silent film. As Toby Peters crouches behind a tombstone, hiding from a crazed gunman, the private eye thinks of Charlie Chaplin. A few days earlier, the pioneer of film comedy sat in Toby's office, and told him of the hundreds of people who want him dead. Beloved when his public could not hear him speak, his political leanings have made him a pariah. Right-wing radicals, the Ku Klux Klan, and the fathers of the innumerable young women Chaplin has deflowered have all threatened the "Little Tramp." But now someone has broken into Chaplin's house with a long knife, telling him to quit making movies and leave Fiona Sullivan alone. Chaplin has never heard of Fiona, and wants Toby to find out why he's supposed to stay away. Toby Peters is about to learn a lesson Chaplin learned years ago: If you want to stay alive in Los Angeles, keep your mouth shut. About the Author. Stuart M. Kaminsky (1934-2009) was one of the most prolific crime fiction authors of the last four decades. Born in Chicago, he spent his youth immersed in pulp fiction and classic cinema - two forms of popular entertainment which he would make his life's work. After college and a stint in the army, Kaminsky wrote film criticism and biographies of the great actors and directors of Hollywood's Golden Age. In 1977, when a planned biography of Charlton Heston fell through, Kaminsky wrote Bullet for a Star, his first Toby Peters novel, beginning a fiction career that would last the rest of his life. Kaminsky penned twenty-four novels starring the detective, whom he described as "the anti-Philip Marlowe." In 1981's Death of a Dissident, Kaminsky debuted Moscow police detective Porfiry Rostnikov, whose stories were praised for their accurate depiction of Soviet life. His other two series starred Abe Lieberman, a hardened Chicago cop, and Lew Fonseca, a process server. In all, Kaminsky wrote more than sixty novels. He died in St. Louis in 2009. Review quote. "Impressive. . . . Kaminsky has staked a claim to a piece of the Russian turf. . . . He captures the Russian scene and characters in rich detail." - The Washington Post Book World. "Quite simply the best cop to come out of the Soviet Union since Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko in Gorky Park." - The San Francisco Examiner. "Stuart Kaminsky's Rostnikov novels are among the best mysteries being written." - The San Diego Union-Tribune. "For anyone with a taste for old Hollywood B-movie mysteries, Edgar winner Kaminsky offers plenty of nostalgic fun . . . The tone is light, the pace brisk, the tongue firmly in cheek." - Publishers Weekly. "Marvelously entertaining." - Newsday. "Makes the totally wacky possible . . . Peters [is] an unblemished delight." - Washington Post.

Opinie o ebooku A Few Minutes Past Midnight - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Fragment ebooka A Few Minutes Past Midnight - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Epilogue

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

Toby hunts for the man who wants to kill a fallen star of silent film.

As Toby Peters crouches behind a tombstone, hiding from a crazed gunman, the private eye thinks of Charlie Chaplin. A few days earlier, the pioneer of film comedy sat in Toby’s office, and told him of the hundreds of people who want him dead. Beloved when his public could not hear him speak, his political leanings have made him a pariah. Right-wing radicals, the Ku Klux Klan, and the fathers of the innumerable young women Chaplin has deflowered have all threatened the “Little Tramp.” But now someone has broken into Chaplin’s house with a long knife, telling him to quit making movies and leave Fiona Sullivan alone. Chaplin has never heard of Fiona, and wants Toby to find out why he’s supposed to stay away.

Toby Peters is about to learn a lesson Chaplin learned years ago: If you want to stay alive in Los Angeles, keep your mouth shut.

About the Author

Stuart M. Kaminsky (1934-2009) was one of the most prolific crime fiction authors of the last four decades. Born in Chicago, he spent his youth immersed in pulp fiction and classic cinema - two forms of popular entertainment which he would make his life’s work. After college and a stint in the army, Kaminsky wrote film criticism and biographies of the great actors and directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. In 1977, when a planned biography of Charlton Heston fell through, Kaminsky wrote Bullet for a Star, his first Toby Peters novel, beginning a fiction career that would last the rest of his life.

Kaminsky penned twenty-four novels starring the detective, whom he described as “the anti-Philip Marlowe.” In 1981’s Death of a Dissident, Kaminsky debuted Moscow police detective Porfiry Rostnikov, whose stories were praised for their accurate depiction of Soviet life. His other two series starred Abe Lieberman, a hardened Chicago cop, and Lew Fonseca, a process server. In all, Kaminsky wrote more than sixty novels. He died in St. Louis in 2009.

A Few Minutes Past Midnight

Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2012 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 2001 by Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-129-5

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

This book is dedicated to Alysha, Allison, and Bill Wargo

Prologue

I SAT WITH my back against the cool headstone over the grave of one Samuel Sidney Talevest. It was dark. It was cold and somewhere in the night a man with my gun and a flashlight was looking for me.

His plan was simple: to kill me and get what I had in my pocket. My plan was simple: to stay alive. One of us was not going to be happy.

I could make out headstones and a few trees. Maybe a few feet behind the headstone my back was against, he stood waiting, listening. Something slithered through the nearby grass. I held my breath.

Then, footsteps. At least I thought I heard footsteps. They were behind me. I couldn’t tell how far. Suddenly I saw the beam of his flashlight to my left. It swept from left to right and then moved forward. He was systematically going down each row, looking behind each stone.

The cemetery wasn’t small, but it wasn’t as big as I would have liked. And the stone wall around the place was about ten feet high. On my best day, at the age of eighteen, I couldn’t have made it up and over that wall. Pushing fifty with a sore ankle, my chances hadn’t improved.

I didn’t see how things could get much worse.

Then it started to rain.

He didn’t have all night to look. The police would be coming soon. But he was moving fast now and the odds were good that he would get to me before the cavalry arrived.

I had a little time to try to come up with something. I couldn’t. I could have done a lot of things differently. I should have done a lot of things differently.

You can make up your own mind about that.

It had all started four days ago.

Chapter

1

“IT WAS A few minutes past midnight,” Charlie Chaplin had told me sitting in an overstuffed chair in his living room.

He was wearing dark slacks, a white knit sweater, and tennis shoes. He twirled a tennis racket in his hands as he spoke. His thick, mostly white head of curly hair needed a trim. Chaplin looked at the racket and then turned his tired blue eyes to me before continuing in precise, clearly spoken words with just a hint of an English accent as he paced the living room of his house in Bel Air.

“I couldn’t sleep,” he continued. “I don’t sleep at all well when I’m working on a new film or considering one for that matter. I happened to be sitting on the stairs near the Chinese gong on the first landing. I heard a knock. Distinct, five times, not loud. I wondered how my visitor had gotten past the gate. Given my recent problems, Mr. Peters, I’ve been rather more bothered by the press and the morbidly curious.”

“Call me Toby,” I said.

“I shall,” said Chaplin not telling me what to call him. “Mr. Chaplin” would be fine for now.

He paused and looked at me, trying to decide if I was the right bill of goods. I had met him briefly once before while working on a case. I was surprised he had remembered my name and called me. Maybe I make a better impression than I think I do. Maybe. He was silent, studying me. I knew what he was looking at.

Seated in the chair across from him was a rumpled private detective with a battered face and flattened nose, a forty-eight-year-old wreck with dark hair beginning to show gray. A wreck with a bad back and some bills to pay.

I’m a good listener. I know how to keep secrets. I’m not the brightest you can buy, but I come relatively cheap and I don’t give up on a client. I also know when to keep my mouth shut.

“I opened the door,” Chaplin went on, apparently satisfied with what he saw. “There he stood, a slight man about forty years old, drenched, dark hair hanging over his eyes and in his right hand he held a singularly sinister and quite long-bladed knife, almost a sword really. I should have been afraid I suppose. The effect was worthy of theatrical appreciation—especially since there had been no rain. That was the perfect touch.”

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!