Catch a Falling Clown - Stuart M. Kaminsky - ebook
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A circus stakeout puts Toby Peters at the bottom of the food chain. The gorilla doesn't like clowns. Normally that wouldn't bother Toby Peters, since detective work tends to keep him far away from animal cages, but tonight he's dressed as a clown and locked in with the ape. The animal's handler told him not to worry - gorillas don't eat people. They just like to tear their arms and legs off. What the ape doesn't understand is that Peters is here for his protection. Earlier that week, someone electrocuted an elephant, and the gorilla, as one of the star attractions in this second-rate circus, is next on the hit list. Someone is killing animals to kill the circus, and if that doesn't work they may move on to human prey. Toby Peters has a shot at unraveling this big top mystery, as long as he survives his night in the gorilla's cage. 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. "The Ed McBain of Mother Russia." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

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

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

A circus stakeout puts Toby Peters at the bottom of the food chain.

The gorilla doesn’t like clowns. Normally that wouldn’t bother Toby Peters, since detective work tends to keep him far away from animal cages, but tonight he’s dressed as a clown and locked in with the ape. The animal’s handler told him not to worry - gorillas don’t eat people. They just like to tear their arms and legs off.

What the ape doesn’t understand is that Peters is here for his protection. Earlier that week, someone electrocuted an elephant, and the gorilla, as one of the star attractions in this second-rate circus, is next on the hit list. Someone is killing animals to kill the circus, and if that doesn’t work they may move on to human prey. Toby Peters has a shot at unraveling this big top mystery, as long as he survives his night in the gorilla’s cage.

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.

Catch a Falling Clown

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 © 2011 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1981 by Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Mumtaz Mustafa

 

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

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-050-2

 

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 one is forGar Simmons and his clan

The gorilla was sleeping.

When he woke up he’d find a clown in his cage. There would be no reasoning with Gargantua. He was not a reasonable gorilla. Maybe there are no reasonable gorillas. This was the only nonhuman one I had ever met, and if fate didn’t step very gently in and let me out, it was the only gorilla I would ever meet.

His keeper had told me that Gargantua was so mean that they had to throw live snakes into his cage just to get him to move out so they could clean the floors.

“But gorillas, they don’t eat people,” said the keeper, a knotty twig named Henry Yew. “That is a misnomer. They rends ’em apart or chomps ’em sometimes, but they don’t eat ’em.”

So when Gargantua woke up looking for some succulent head of cabbage to bend or chomp, he would find instead a private detective named Toby Peters. With the war in the Pacific going badly and reports of the Japanese bombing Los Angeles and Seattle, I’d just make a curiosity item in the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times: FAMOUS CIRCUS GORILLA RIPS PRIVATE DETECTIVE. Maybe the Times would wonder why I had been in his cage dressed as a clown. Maybe not.

Well, what the hell, forty-six isn’t a bad age to go out at. Not quite getting old, but sure as hell not young. If I survived the night in the cage, my back would probably be sore, and the killer I had been tracking would be gone.

Maybe that great black ball of fur would stay asleep through the night. He looked like a peaceful drunk with his arms out, palms up, his back against the wall of the cage, and his mouth slightly open. He smelled like a musty closet, but I probably smelled worse.

I didn’t have much hope of outsmarting him when those eyes opened. Given what had happened over the last three days, he was almost certainly smarter than I was.

The cage was in the corner of a side tent. A lion in the cage nearby lay with his head on his paws, watching me and purring. A breeze from outside sent ripples across the canvas and made a guwhump-guwhump sound. Through the open flap of the tent I could see the dark outline of a wagon and the open field in which the circus had been put up. In the moonlight, I could also see the frozen furrows of the truck tracks. In the morning, when the sun came out and the circus began to shrug awake, the thin layer of ice would be crushed or melt away, and the field would again be a sea of mud. The big cat watching me grew restless and yawned or howled sadly. Gargantua stirred, swatted an imaginary fly in his sleep, groaned a few echoes below sea level, and was quiet.

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!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!