HIGH MIDNIGHT by Stuart M. Kaminsky


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After a slight improvement in his last couple of 1940s-Hollywood mysteries, Kaminsky hits rock-bottom with this one: thin plot, tired mock-hardboiled writing, and a very uncolorful guest star in Gary Cooper. Coop's problem: some thugs are trying to blackmail him (they know his sex secrets and that he's harboring a foreign fugitive) into making a low-budget Western called High Midnight for third-rate producer Max Gellhorn. And some other thugs are rouhging up narrator-sleuth Toby Peters, promising permanent injury unless Cooper does the picture. Who's behind it all? Is it the one of the has been actors who'd also be in the movie. . . or the writer? And why do two dead bodies turn up on Toby's premises? Along the way, Toby meets Coop's pal Papa Hemingway (they play at fisticuffs a bit) and also Babe Ruth (on the set of Coop's Lou Gehrig picture). But a couple of cutesy cameos hardly do much to enhance this limp exercise; whatever steam the Peters mysteries may have had at the start now seems to have fizzled out entirely.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's