The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

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A mob boss’s right-hand man must track down a missing cache of heroin

The corpse isn’t anybody special—a low-level drug courier—but it has been so long since the organization’s last grand funeral that Nick Rovito decides to give the departed a big send-off. He pays for a huge church, a procession of Cadillacs, and an ocean of flowers, and enjoys the affair until he learns the dead man is going to his grave wearing the blue suit. Rovito summons Engel, his right-hand man, and tells him to get a shovel.

Inside the lining of the blue suit jacket is $250,000 worth of uncut heroin, smuggled back from Baltimore the day the courier died. When Engel’s shovel strikes coffin, he braces himself for the encounter with the dead man. But the coffin is empty, the heroin gone, and Engel has no choice but to track down the missing body or face his boss’s wrath.


“Under any name, Westlake was a grandmaster.” —Los Angeles Times

“Donald E. Westlake writes a comic novel so well it’s a wonder he bothers with crime at all.” —Newsweek

“Westlake has no peer in the realm of comic mystery novelists.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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via Wikipedia

The Busy Body is a 1967 comedy film starring Sid Caesar as a member of a crime ring and Robert Ryan as his boss. It was directed and produced by William Castle and was the first film appearance for Richard Pryor. The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Donald E. Westlake.