(from the archives: RANDY JOHNSON, 2015)

213856I’ve posted about the first two Jack LeVine novels HERE and HERE previously, so i thought I might as well get to the third and last in the series.

It’s 1950 and Jack LeVine has had his office given a good upgrading. It’s a response to the funk he’s been in since his father died in 1948. After more than a year of virtually doing nothing, sulking in his apartment while listening to ball games, news reports, and classical music programs on the radio with little enthusiasm, the private detective decides to get back to work.

His first client is a German violinist, a Jew, who visits LeVine with an outrageous claim: his maestro, the famous Toscanini of the NBC Symphony Orchestra has been replaced by an impostor. The man’s memory is slipping, his conducting style has changed, and his eyesight is suddenly better than it used to be. The violinist, and others in the orchestra, suspect the conductor has been replaced by a double.

A crazy idea on the surface, but Jack takes the job.. After all, the upgrades on his office have yet to be paid for.

It’s not long before organized crime steps into the picture, the pair that turn Jack and his client away from seeing the Maestro, are way too obvious. His client gets murdered, a trip to Cuba gets an invite from hood Meyer Lansky, a boat ride back to the States, and Vegas calls, as well as a chase across country with the Maestro.

A satisfying mystery. Would that Jack LeVine had appeared in more novels.