The Man Who Shot Lewis Vance - Stuart M. Kaminsky - ebook
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A hotel murder involves Toby Peters with one of Hollywood's toughest stars. Toby Peters wakes up with a headache, a gun in his face, and a body on the hotel-room bed. He is less surprised by the gun than by the man holding it: Marion Morrison, a.k.a John Wayne. Both of them were lured here by the dead man. The next arrival is a prostitute named Olivia, and hot on her heels is the house detective, who's come to check on the commotion in Room 303. Reasoning that nobody knows all four of them besides the desk clerk, Teddy, the two detectives haul Teddy upstairs, where he confesses to the murder. Wayne, Peters, and Olivia all have careers to protect, so the house detective agrees to keep their names out of it. It all seems too simple. As he looks into the murder, Toby finds that powerful people want to stop him from learning what happened while he was sleeping in Room 303. 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. "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

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

A hotel murder involves Toby Peters with one of Hollywood’s toughest stars.

Toby Peters wakes up with a headache, a gun in his face, and a body on the hotel-room bed. He is less surprised by the gun than by the man holding it: Marion Morrison, a.k.a John Wayne. Both of them were lured here by the dead man. The next arrival is a prostitute named Olivia, and hot on her heels is the house detective, who’s come to check on the commotion in Room 303.

Reasoning that nobody knows all four of them besides the desk clerk, Teddy, the two detectives haul Teddy upstairs, where he confesses to the murder. Wayne, Peters, and Olivia all have careers to protect, so the house detective agrees to keep their names out of it. It all seems too simple. As he looks into the murder, Toby finds that powerful people want to stop him from learning what happened while he was sleeping in Room 303.

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.

The Man Who Shot Lewis Vance

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 © 1986 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 978-3-95859-052-6

 

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.

“Pilgrim, forget what I said about buyin’ a gun. You’re a tenderfoot and Liberty Valance is the toughest man east or west of the Picketwire River.… Next to me that is.”

—Tom Doniphan in The Man Who

Shot Liberty Valance

Chapter 1

When I opened my eyes, I saw John Wayne pointing a .38 at my chest. It was my .38. I closed my eyes.

The inside of my head seemed to be filled with strawberry cotton candy with little unnamed things crawling through its sickly melting strands. Nausea forced my eyes open again. John Wayne was still there. He was wearing trousers, a white shirt, and a lightweight tan windbreaker. He was lean, dark, and puzzled.

“Don’t close your eyes again, Pilgrim,” he said.

I didn’t close them. He was standing over me and I was slumped in a badly sprung, cheap, understuffed hotel chair. I tried to sit up and speak but my tongue was an inflated, dry pebbly football. There was a flat half-full glass of brown Pepsi on the stained yellow table in front of me, but I didn’t reach for it. That glass, and what had been in it, had put me out.

I wasn’t sure of the day or the time. When I took those last few gulps of Pepsi, it had been a Sunday night in June of 1942. I had been sitting in a cheap Los Angeles hotel room with a guy who had identified himself as Lewis Vance.

Lewis Vance had left a message for me at my office, but I had been out of town filling in for a gate guard at an old people’s home in Goleta. It had netted me $20 minus gas. The message on my desk, left in the uncertain hand of Sheldon Minck, the dentist I rent space from, had said I should call Lewis Vance in Room 303 of the Alhambra Arms over on Broadway, that it had something to do with John Wayne, the actor. I’d called and Vance had told me to come right over. I didn’t even have to drive. My office was on Hoover a few blocks away and I ambled over knowing I needed a shave and worrying about what was happening to the U.S. fleet off the island of Midway while I was in Goleta.

My gray seersucker was crumpled but reasonably clean—if you ignored the remnants of mustard stain on the sleeve. It was the best suit I had. The sky threatened rain but no one on the street seemed concerned. Soldiers, sailors, overly painted women laughing too hard to make a buck, and sour-faced vistors flowed with me. Before the war, tourists had been thick on Broadway on a Sunday, but tourists had stopped making their way to Los Angeles after the first threats of an invasion by the Japanese. Now Broadway was kids in uniform, waiting women, and girls and people who couldn’t afford to or were too stubborn to leave. I was one of the latter.

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!