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Opis ebooka Now You See It - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Toby and his brother team up to protect a magician from disappearing for good. In the six years since he lost his job working security at the Warner Brothers' lot, private investigator Toby Peters has taken cases from oddballs ranging from Peter Lorre to W. C. Fields. But none of them had the stage presence of Harry Blackstone, the greatest magician in the world. When an anonymous rival demands the illusionist reveal his secrets on stage or suffer the consequences, Blackstone hires Toby and his brother, ex-cop Phil, to run security at the show. What starts as a simple protection job turns dicey when Toby finds himself onstage, with a possibly unsafe magic saw about to slice through his midsection. Bodies pile up around the act, and the two detectives begin to think that the killer isn't a jealous member of the Los Angeles Friends of Magic, but rather the great magician himself. 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. "Kaminsky stands out as a subtle historian, unobtrusively but entertainingly weaving into the story itself what people were wearing, eating, driving, and listening to on the radio. A page-turning romp." - Booklist. "If you like your mysteries Sam Spade tough, with tongue-in-cheek and a touch of the theatrical, then the Toby Peters series is just your ticket." - Houston Chronicle. "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.

Opinie o ebooku Now You See It - Stuart M. Kaminsky

Fragment ebooka Now You See It - Stuart M. Kaminsky

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

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

Toby and his brother team up to protect a magician from disappearing for good.

In the six years since he lost his job working security at the Warner Brothers’ lot, private investigator Toby Peters has taken cases from oddballs ranging from Peter Lorre to W. C. Fields. But none of them had the stage presence of Harry Blackstone, the greatest magician in the world. When an anonymous rival demands the illusionist reveal his secrets on stage or suffer the consequences, Blackstone hires Toby and his brother, ex-cop Phil, to run security at the show.

What starts as a simple protection job turns dicey when Toby finds himself onstage, with a possibly unsafe magic saw about to slice through his midsection. Bodies pile up around the act, and the two detectives begin to think that the killer isn’t a jealous member of the Los Angeles Friends of Magic, but rather the great magician himself.

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.

Now You See It

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 © 2004 by Stuart M. Kaminsky

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

 

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

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-128-8

 

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.

To Sheila and Richard Olin for past birthdays and many more birthdays to come

LINCOLN THEATRE

DECATUR, ILLINOIS

WEDNESDAY 2:16 P.M.

NOVEMBER 17, 1942

A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN IN sequined tights and a glittering tiara moved onstage and whispered something to Harry Blackstone who nodded and turned to the audience.

“And now,” he announced, “I will perform an act of magic so big that this theater will not hold all of its wonders.”

Wearing white tie and tails, with a white handkerchief showing out of his left breast pocket, Harry Blackstone looked out at his audience of four hundred people and smiled. Then he winked at a little girl in a seat in the first row on the center aisle. The girl grinned and turned her head toward her mother in embarrassment.

Blackstone was tall and lean; a thin dark mustache and a thick hair of billowing silver hair helped create the illusion that his large ears were not quite so large.

“If you will just follow me into the street in front of the theatre,” he said, moving to the steps to his right and down into the audience. “I will reveal to you a secret that, in my many years as a magician, has never before been revealed to an audience.”

Blackstone stood now in the center aisle and raised his hands to indicate that the audience should rise.

He reached over to the child he had winked at on the aisle row, took her hand and led her toward the rear of the auditorium where the doors were being opened. He looked over his shoulder, saw that people were standing up, and made another gesture.

“The secret,” he said, in a strong tenor voice that everyone could hear, “will be yours as soon as we are all outside.”

“Rabbits?” asked the little girl.

Blackstone reached down to the girl with his free hand, touched her blue coat with its large gold buttons and produced a white rabbit, which he handed to the child.

“Much bigger than rabbits,” he told her in a confidential whisper moving forward again. “How old are you?”

“Six,” she said. “Can I keep him?”

Blackstone looked back at the girl’s mother who was a step behind. The woman smiled and nodded.

“You may keep him,” said Blackstone. “His name is Dunninger. Can you say that?”

“Dunninger,” the girl repeated.

“Carry him gently but firmly,” said Blackstone, moving now to use the hand that wasn’t holding hers to urge the audience into the chilly Illinois afternoon outside.

Still in costume, people from the show were also exiting the building into the street, stopping traffic in both directions to make room for the people slowly flowing out.

“Can you do that?” the girl asked.

“Stop traffic? I’ve done it before,” he said, moving with the girl and her mother.

“Across the street!” he called out. The audience followed his directions. “On the sidewalk.” They began to congregate on the opposite pavement.

There, a woman in tights and a man who looked very much like Blackstone—down to the mustache, silver hair, and large ears, but in a rumpled business suit instead of tie and tails—gently urged people into a semicircle facing the theatre. Blackstone motioned to the woman behind the ticket booth. She pointed at herself, and he nodded that he, indeed, wanted her to join the audience on the street. The woman came out of the booth and crossed the street, where she stood next to a teenage boy.

“There are two of you,” the little girl at Blackstone’s side said, pointing to the man who looked like her companion.

“There is only one Harry Blackstone,” the magician said. “That’s my brother Peter.”

“Is he magic, too?”

“He has been known to do magic,” Blackstone said. “Excuse me.”

He took the girl’s hand from his and patted it gently. The girl wrapped both hands around the nose-twitching rabbit, and Blackstone said above the afternoon traffic.

“Are you ready?” he said.

“So what’s the trick?” called a man from the sidewalk.

“And what’s the secret?” came the shrill voice of a woman.

“Behold!” said Blackstone with a sweep of his hand back toward the theater.

Smoke was now coming out of the open door. A shock of red flame could be seen inside the theater beyond the doors. The people on the street began to applaud wildly.

“Hell of a trick,” came the voice of the man who had asked the question.

“You said you’d tell us the secret,” shouted another man. “How’d you do it?”

“The secret which I could not tell you from the stage, but which I can now reveal,” said Harry Blackstone, “is that the theater really is on fire.”

Place a drinking glass and a nickel on a table. Light a match. Have someone balance the nickel on the table. Blow out the match. Bend the match and balance it on the nickel. Cover the nickel and balanced match with the glass. Challenge those present to remove the match from the nickel without touching the glass or the table and without the nickel moving. If you wish, you can give the following hint: “You can do it with the help of something you might have in your pocket or purse.” The trick: Take a comb. Run it through your hair to create static electricity. Move the comb in a circle around the glass. The match will fall and the nickel will not move.

—From the Blackstone, The Magic Detective radio show,which aired from 1948 to 1950 withEd Jerome as Blackstone

Chapter

1

JUNE 25, 1944

THE PANTAGES THEATER WASN’T ON fire, but Blackstone definitely had a problem. My brother Phil and I had been hired to take care of the problem before it killed the World’s Greatest Living Magician.

Inside the Pantages, Phil was sitting in the front row with his sons Dave and Nate. Dave, at fourteen, was two years older than his brother and trying his best to hide his awe. It was what fourteen-year-olds did.

Blackstone had opened the show holding a thin yellow hoop, its center covered by white paper. He turned the hoop to show there was nothing on either side. He then turned its face toward the audience, plunged his hand through the paper with a pop of ripping paper and began to pull objects seemingly from another dimension. He pulled out different color silk scarves and let them drift to the stage floor. Dozens of scarves. The audience applauded. Then he reached through the hole in the paper and began to pull out and deposit onstage a collection of rabbits, ducks, and even a pig. The crowd loved it.

Finally, he reached through the paper and took the hand of a smiling dark-eyed woman in a black dress who stepped through the hoop and stood next to him.

From the slit in the rear curtain where I was standing, I could see the boys and my brother Phil. Phil was applauding, but there was no sign of awe on his broad face.

Phil had seen it all in his more than twenty years as a Los Angeles cop. He had seen it all and had enough. We were partners now, Peters and Pevsner, Confidential Investigations, office in the Farraday Building on Ninth just off Hoover. Clients few. Prospects questionable.

Phil’s wife Ruth had died less than a month earlier. She had been sick and going weaker for a long time. When she died, Phil had walked away from the LAPD and taken my offer to join me. I hadn’t expected him to accept, but he walked away from the past and took his boys and his four-year-old daughter Lucy with him. While we were at the Pantages, Lucy and Phil’s sister-in-law Becky were at the house in North Hollywood.

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!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!