KINGPINS: Tales from Inside the Mob by Cynthia & Charles Ardai-Eds. Manaon

KINGPINS: Tales from Inside the Mob

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Seventeen stories from the pages of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock magazines, none of them particularly memorable and most not especially relevant to the collection's purported theme--showing the inner workings of organized crime. The opening story is ""The Iceman Cooleth,"" T. M. Adams's tale of a numbers kingpin who's the target of a hit-man when a new state lottery cuts into the take he delivers to his superiors. The final one is Raymond Chandler's ""Philip Marlowe's Last Case,"" in which the classic p.i. helps another mobster on the outs avoid his own date with a wipe-out, only to find that things are not what they seem. Stories between include James A. Noble's ""Murder in the Fast Lane,"" recounting an ingenious death trap and an even more ingenious escape; Stephen King's ""The Wedding Gig,"" a tale as winningly told as one might expect but one which fails in its apparent intent of having more significance than such a minor bit of fluff could hope to achieve; and Avram Davidson's ""The Captain M. Caper,"" the sort of stylish, whimsical effort the author's fans have come to expect, detailing the misadventures of a writer who ghostwrites a mob boss's memoirs. Other competent, if also lightweight, stories include entries by such names as Brian Garfield, Hugh Pentecost, and Andrew Vachss. Nothing special here. An average collection at best, no better or worse than a regular issue of either magazine.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1992
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Carroll & Graf