The Busy Body - Donald E. Westlake - ebook
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A mob boss's right-hand man must track down a missing cache of heroin. The corpse isn't anybody special - a low-level drug courier - but it has been so long since the organization's last grand funeral that Nick Rovito decides to give the departed a big send-off. He pays for a huge church, a procession of Cadillacs, and an ocean of flowers, and enjoys the affair until he learns the dead man is going to his grave wearing the blue suit. Rovito summons Engel, his right-hand man, and tells him to get a shovel. Inside the lining of the blue suit jacket is §250,000 worth of uncut heroin, smuggled back from Baltimore the day the courier died. When Engel's shovel strikes coffin, he braces himself for the encounter with the dead man. But the coffin is empty, the heroin gone, and Engel has no choice but to track down the missing body or face his boss's wrath. Review Quote: "Under any name, Westlake was a grandmaster." - Los Angeles Times "Donald E. Westlake writes a comic novel so well it's a wonder he bothers with crime at all." - Newsweek "Westlake has no peer in the realm of comic mystery novelists." - San Francisco Chronicle Biographical note: Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of the most prolific and talented authors of American crime fiction. He began his career in the late 1950s, churning out novels for pulp houses - often writing as many as four novels a year under various pseudonyms - but soon began publishing under his own name. His most well-known characters were John Dortmunder, an unlucky thief, and a ruthless criminal named Parker. His writing earned him three Edgars and a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Westlake's cinematic prose and brisk dialogue made his novels attractive to Hollywood, and several motion pictures were made from his books, with stars such as Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson. Westlake wrote several screenplays himself, receiving an Academy Award nomination for his adaptation of The Grifters, Jim Thompson's noir classic. wn the missing body or face his boss's wrath.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

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Cover

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About the Book

A mob boss's right-hand man must track down a missing cache of heroin. The corpse isn't anybody special - a low-level drug courier - but it has been so long since the organization's last grand funeral that Nick Rovito decides to give the departed a big send-off. He pays for a huge church, a procession of Cadillacs, and an ocean of flowers, and enjoys the affair until he learns the dead man is going to his grave wearing the blue suit. Rovito summons Engel, his right-hand man, and tells him to get a shovel.

Inside the lining of the blue suit jacket is $250,000 worth of uncut heroin, smuggled back from Baltimore the day the courier died. When Engel's shovel strikes coffin, he braces himself for the encounter with the dead man. But the coffin is empty, the heroin gone, and Engel has no choice but to track down the missing body or face his boss's wrath.

Review Quote:

“Under any name, Westlake was a grandmaster.’ - Los Angeles Times

“"Donald E. Westlake writes a comic novel so well it’s a wonder he bothers with crime at all.” - Newsweek

“Westlake has no peer in the realm of comic mystery novelists.” - San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of the most prolific and talented authors of American crime fiction. He began his career in the late 1950s, churning out novels for pulp houses- often writing as many as four novels a year under various pseudonyms- but soon began publishing under his own name. His most well-known characters were John Dortmunder, an unlucky thief, and a ruthless criminal named Parker. His writing earned him three Edgars and a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Westlake's cinematic prose and brisk dialogue made his novels attractive to Hollywood, and several motion pictures were made from his books, with stars such as Lee Marvin and Mel Gibson. Westlake wrote several screenplays himself, receiving an Academy Award nomination for his adaptation of The Grifters, Jim Thompson's noir classic.

The Busy Body

Donald E. Westlake

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2014 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 © 1966 by Donald E. Westlake

 

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 978-3-95859-026-7

 

www.luebbe.de

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 Henry and Nedra

 

If anyone shall dig up and plunder a buried corpse he shall be outlawed until he comes to an agreement with the relatives of the dead man, and they ask that he be allowed tocome among men again.

The Salic Law, c. 490

Anything awful makes me laugh. I misbehaved once at a funeral.

Charles Lamb

1

Engel’s knees hurt. This was the first time he’d been inside a church in twelve years, and he wasn’t used to it any more. He’d come in here, all unknowing, and the first thing he knew he was on his knees on this hard wooden plank, and pretty soon the kneecaps had started burning, and then shooting pains had developed up and down the legs, and by now he was almost sure something was broken down there and he’d never walk again.

To his left, blocking the aisle directly in front of the altar, was Charlie Brody’s casket, draped with a black cloth bearing a gold embroidered cross. It was really very fancy-looking, and a nutty rhyme began to circulate around in Engel’s head: A tisket, a tasket,/A black and yellow basket,/Charlie Brody kicked the bucket/And now he’s in a casket,/A casket,/And now he’s in a casket.

The rhyme struck him funny, and he grinned a little, but then out of the corner of his eye he saw Nick Rovito giving him the fish-eye, so he dummied up again. Then his left knee suddenly gave him a particularly vicious twinge, and he got on his face an expression Nick Rovito couldn’t possibly object to. He leaned as much weight as possible on his forearms resting on the back of the pew in front of him, and he wondered how much longer this foofaraw was going to take.

In a way, none of this was even necessary, since Charlie Brody hadn’t kicked off in the line of duty, hadn’t been gunned down or anything like that. All he’d had was a heart attack. Of course, he’d had it just when he was putting some water on to boil for instant coffee, and he’d fallen over with his head in the flame, so he was just as much a mess now as if he been rubbed out—closed coffin and all, no viewing the remains, the whole bit—but nevertheless, in the old days this sort of big-shot funeral had been reserved either for VIPs or guys sliced down on the job.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!