You Bet Your Life by Stuart Kaminsky

You Bet Your Life by Stuart Kaminsky

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Toby Peters goes to Chicago to clear up a famous comic’s gambling debts

There’s nothing funny about the package that comes for Chico Marx. It’s a severed ear, a simple message from a Chicago bookie who wants $120,000 from the world-renown Marx brother. The strange thing is that, though Chico likes to gamble, he hasn’t been making bets in Chicago. Terrified, he goes to the studio for help. Louis B. Mayer, king of Hollywood, places a call to Toby Peters.

Peters’s first lead is promising. Traveling on the studio’s dime, he makes his way to Florida where he gets an interview with Al Capone, deposed lord of the Chicago underworld. The retired bootlegger’s mind has gone soft, and he doesn’t know anything about Chico’s bookie, but he suggests Peters speak to his brother. With Scarface’s good word as an introduction, Peters goes to Chicago, where it will take more than a good sense of humor to keep the Marxes from getting axed.


“Peters is a good guy with a sense of humor, and every appearance he makes is a welcome one.” —Booklist

“Kaminsky came to detective fiction from academia, but the ease of his prose was anything but academic.” —Guardian

“Makes the totally wacky possible . . . Peters [is] an unblemished delight.” —Washington Post

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