A Fatal Glass of Beer by Stuart M. Kaminsky

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A huckster repeatedly robs a comedian, leading Toby on a cross-country chase

The bank accounts are in the names of men like Otis J. Raisincluster, Quigley E. Sneersight, and Cormorant Beecham, but any comedy connoisseur knows that names that nonsensical could come only from the twisted brain of W. C. Fields. When toiling on the vaudeville circuit, the acid-tongued comic actor opened a new account in every town he played, adding up to a mountain of bankbooks and nearly a million dollars squirreled away in banks across the country. When a burglar makes off with a stack of the books, Fields hires private investigator Toby Peters to protect his nest egg. Toby’s going on a road trip, and Fields wants to come along for the ride. As the trail winds through the nation’s smallest towns, complications pop up in the form of the Amish, John Barrymore, and the Ku Klux Klan. If the thief doesn’t kill Toby Peters, W. C. Fields’s ceaseless shtick might.

About Stuart M. Kaminsky

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Stuart M. Kaminsky is head of the radio/television/film department at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also a writer of textbooks, screenplays, and mystery novels. The more popular of his two series of detective novels features Toby Peters. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the Peters books draw on Kaminsky's knowledge of history and love of film by incorporating characters from the film industry's past in nostalgic mysteries. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (1978), for example, features Judy Garland while Catch a Falling Clown (1982) stars Emmett Kelley as Peters's client and Alfred Hitchcock as a murder suspect. His other critically acclaimed series chronicles the cases of Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov. Kaminsky's detailed studies of Russian police procedure combined with aspects of life in Russia have earned the Series an Edgar nomination for Black Knight in Red Square (1984) and the 1989 Edgar Award for A Cold Red Sunrise (1988). Stuart Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and died in 2009.
Published February 28, 2012 by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road. 246 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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 In the strangely prudent youth that preceded his misspent middle age, misanthropic funnyman W.C. Fields squirreled away sizeable chunks of his earnings in banks across the country, under such quaintly Fieldsian monikers as Otis J. Raisincluster and Cormorant Beecham III.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of A Fatal Glass of Beer

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