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.
"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.