Begin laughing right now.
Offensive fence Arnie Albright’s been sent to a Caribbean Club Med by his family in hopes that, once there, he’ll develop charm and social skills. Instead, he finds a mark, Preston Fareweather, who’s spent the past three years there hiding out from the subpoenas of his four ex-wives. (Fareweather: “To have ex-wives is normal. It’s merely the end product of lust.”) So his multimillion-dollar New York penthouse with its Picassos and Ming vases is empty, as Arnie explains to Dortmunder, Tiny, Kelp and Stan when he returns. But there are some snags. The gang can’t reconnoiter as usual at the O.J. Bar & Grill because Mikey the mobster has taken it over. Will Dortmunder (The Road to Ruin, 2004, etc.) ever get another house bourbon-and-ice again? Even once Mikey’s out, he doesn’t go quietly but puts a tail on Dortmunder that leads directly to the Fareweather penthouse and the moving van that Stan has confiscated from undercover feds to haul the loot away. By this time, however, Fareweather, gulled by yet another beauty, has retreated to the empty penthouse, which now plays headquarters to: our gang; young Judson Blint, who is being trained, sort of, to join our gang; the mobsters’ gang; and Fareweather. Can the cops be far behind? Can the laughs?
A top-flight caper from Westlake, who can outconnive anyone in the writing business.