Trying to dispose of six Fabergé beauties, a retired English teacher runs afoul of nogoodniks.
Jake Wanderman thought early retirement would mean long afternoons with his wife of 25 years. But following a year in Sag Harbor, Rosalind moves out. After moping around for several weeks, Jake goes to a party at Morty and Sherri Adler’s, where he meets blonde beauty Cynthia Organ, whose dollar-bill green eyes shine with excitement as she shows him an attaché case filled with Fabergé Imperial eggs she discovered after the abrupt demise of her husband Boris. Soon Jake gets a visit from Jascha Solofsky, who has his thug Pyotr whack Jake upside the head as he demands the eggs. But Cynthia’s already given them to Toby Welch, the socialite Rosalind’s bunked with since leaving Jake. At Toby’s house, Jake and Cynthia find their host, Rosalind, and antiques dealer Cormac Blather duct-taped to chairs and FBI agent Mackelworth dead upstairs. The NYPD’s Bill Catalano insists that Mackelworth isn’t FBI but an agent of Misha Bialkin, a Russian mobster out of Brighton Beach. To sidestep the American branch of the Russian mob, Jake flies to Moscow for a meeting with Cormac’s contact, ex-spy Nikolai Pankov, but ends up in the hands of an ex-KGB agent Putlezhev with only a beautiful girl named Anna to save him.
Riskin’s debut is less Brighton than Coney Island, with thrills, spills and double-crosses beyond number.