Friday, November 15, 2019

Friday's Forgotten Books

From the archives: Randy Johnson

THE BIG KISSOFF OF 1944, Andrew Bergman

Jacob “Jack” Levine is not your regular fictional private eye. He’s Jewish, middle aged, and bald. He has a lady friend with a “friends with benefits” arrangement. The line goes : “I even took my socks off. In my circles, that’s class.”
Still, he’s not immune to the fairer sex.
So when the leggy blonde came in one morning with a problem, Jack was more than ready to help. She had a bit role in a play on Broadway, just having moved from the chorus line, and her problem was blackmail!
It seems when she was on the west coast trying to make it in the movies and in need of money, she’d had a moment of indiscretion and had made a couple of stag films. Now someone was demanding money and promising to tell the show’s producer and she needed the job so bad!
Jack got a twenty dollar retainer from her and said he’d see what he could do.
He soon finds himself in over his head.
 A dead body turns up, the producer calls and is being blackmailed as well. He knows there’s a girl in the show who’s made stag films, but not who, and wants Jack to make the pay-off, twenty thousand.  Another dead body, his first client disappears and Jack figures out she’s more than she seemed(he knew she’d not told him everything), someone is taking shots at him and sending goons by his home, and politics enter the picture, going all the way to the highest office in the land.
I liked this P.I novel. 


Margot Kinberg said...

It sounds like a good 'un, Patti. And PIs can be great characters.

Jerry House said...

Loved this one and miss Randy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I miss all of those that came, contributed, made a lasting impression on me and left. They deserve to appear here as much as the books.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Good choice. I read and enjoyed Bergman's LeVine books a lot, though when he revived him a few years ago, not as much. But Bergman's best writing for me was as a scriptwriter, especially the original version of THE IN-LAWS, and THE FRESHMAN (which he also directed), and BLAZING SADDLES. We also saw his play SOCIAL SECURITY on Broadway, starring Marlo Thomas and Ron Silver (in 1986).

George said...

Andrew Bergman's LeVine novels provide plenty of fun reading, especially the early titles. I miss Randy, too.

Rick Robinson said...

What Jeff said. I liked this one a lot.