Dancing in the Dark - Stuart M. Kaminsky - ebook
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To save a film star's fingers, Toby Peters gives dance lessons. Fred Astaire has a headache named Luna. The moll of a well-known Los Angeles gangster, Luna has demanded dance lessons from Hollywood's finest hoofer, and whatever Luna wants, Luna gets. But after two lessons with the lead-footed lady, Astaire tires of her making passes at him, and hires famously discreet private investigator Toby Peters to break the news gently. Trouble is, Luna and her boyfriend - nicknamed "Fingers" because he likes to cut them off - don't take bad news well. To protect the star's digits, Toby attempts to pass himself off as a dance instructor. For his troubles, he earns a spanking from Fingers and a promise of more pain if Astaire doesn't come around. Not long after, Luna surfaces with a cut throat, never to dance again. Toby may not be a dancer, but to escape this deadly mire he has no choice but to stay nimble and keep his feet moving. 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

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

To save a film star’s fingers, Toby Peters gives dance lessons.

Fred Astaire has a headache named Luna. The moll of a well-known Los Angeles gangster, Luna has demanded dance lessons from Hollywood’s finest hoofer, and whatever Luna wants, Luna gets. But after two lessons with the lead-footed lady, Astaire tires of her making passes at him, and hires famously discreet private investigator Toby Peters to break the news gently. Trouble is, Luna and her boyfriend - nicknamed “Fingers” because he likes to cut them off - don’t take bad news well. To protect the star’s digits, Toby attempts to pass himself off as a dance instructor. For his troubles, he earns a spanking from Fingers and a promise of more pain if Astaire doesn’t come around. Not long after, Luna surfaces with a cut throat, never to dance again.

Toby may not be a dancer, but to escape this deadly mire he has no choice but to stay nimble and keep his feet moving.

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.

Dancing in the Dark

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 © 1996 by Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

 

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

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-131-8

 

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 for Henry Kraus, who had faith and a smile and taught me to dance. If he could teach me, he could teach Helen Keller.

Good Lord I thought I was prepared

but I wasn’t prepared for that.

—Bert Williams

Chapter 1

Black Bottom

“First you put your two knees close up tight,” I said, my hands behind my back, nodding in approval as she followed my instructions.

“Now,” I went on, “you swing them to the left, then you swing them to the right.”

She started the first swing left, stopped, and eyed me skeptically.

We were in the middle of the dance floor of the Monticello Hotel on Sunset which, until a few years ago, had been the St. Lawrence Hotel. All the chairs had been pushed back to give us room and the word had gone out to the staff that Miss Luna Martin and I were to be left alone, except for the ancient piano player who sat at his instrument on a slightly raised bandstand, waiting for me to give him orders.

“You sure this is the tango?” she said, her hands on her hips.

Luna Martin had short, very blond and curly hair, a pale round face, and large, very red lips. She had a few extra pounds in her hips but she looked good in her white silk blouse and tan slacks. And she was ready to learn the tango. From me.

I was pushing fifty, had the battered face of a washed-up middleweight, and didn’t know a tango from a funeral march. But if I didn’t convince the lady I could teach her to dance, my client was on the verge of having his nimble feet dipped in concrete, after his toenails were trimmed down to the knuckles.

“Well,” Luna said, tapping her foot, “I am waiting.”

Luna, I had noticed, used no contractions. She also used no control over her patience. She didn’t have to. She was the girlfriend of Arthur Forbes, formerly known as Fingers Intaglia for having indelicately removed the fingers of people who annoyed him or his pals in the Purple Gang. Arthur Forbes was well-known in Los Angeles in 1943. He owned four downtown office buildings, a contracting company, a chain of hardware stores, and the hotel in whose ballroom I now stood, not knowing what the hell I was doing.

My name is Toby Peters. I’m a private investigator. Investigator sounds better than detective. Detective sounds like comic strips and radio shows, Dick Tracy and Sam Spade and Johnny Dollar. Investigator isn’t quite class, but it doesn’t send you into the game with a handicap. I sell my battered face and a reputation for dogged determination, loyalty to clients, and knowing how to keep my mouth shut. I could not live by my dance skills, though there now seemed to be the possibility that I might die by my ignorance of the tango.

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!