DOWN FOR THE COUNT by Stuart M. Kaminsky


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This tenth outing for 1940s sleuth Toby Peters leans less heavily on real-life celebrities: the only major cameo player is champ Joe Louis--who's on the beach when Toby discovers the dead, face-battered body of Ralph Howard, airline exec and new husband of Toby's ex-wife Anne. Did Louis kill Howard? Of course not. But he's a likely suspect--especially since Howard had been buying up the contracts of some professional boxers. So, to protect the champ and do the right thing for Anne, Toby sets out to find the real killer--by sleuthing around the gym where Howard had hapless dealings and some shady, angry partners. Lots of rough stuff ensues; more murders follow among the gangster-types whom Howard had enraged. And finally Toby winds up in a showdown with the killer--whose identity involves a familiar, less-than-plausible twist. Less irritating than some previous outings, but routine shamus-ing overall--only slightly enlivened by Toby's colorful sidekick (an ‚migr‚ midget), his rekindled love for Anne, and the shaky period atmosphere. (Though the action is set in 1942, narrator Toby compares Anne to Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice, of 1946 vintage.)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's