What's So Funny? by Donald E. Westlake
(Dortmunder Novels)

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Synopsis

In his classic caper novels, Donald E. Westlake turns the world of crime and criminals upside down. The bad get better, the good slide a bit, and Lord help anyone caught between a thief named John Dortmunder and the current object of his intentions. Now Westlake's seasoned but often scoreless crook must take on an impossible crime, one he doesn't want and doesn't believe in. But a little blackmail goes a long way in... WHAT'S SO FUNNY?


All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar, which unfortunately reached Russia after that party was over.


From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with John Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.
 

About Donald E. Westlake

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Darwyn Cooke is an Eisner Award-winning comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, known for his work on the comic books CATWOMAN, DC: THE NEW FRONTIER, THE SPIRIT and Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter. Amanda Conner started out in comics after working as an illustrator for New York ad agencies. However, loving comic books and cartooning the most, Amanda found work at Archie, Marvel and Claypool Comics early in her career. She's probably best known for her work on Vampirella for Harris Comics, as well as Painkiller Jane, CODENAME KNOCKOUT, BIRDS OF PREY, and the creator-owned books Gatecrasher and The Pro (with Jimmy Palmiotti and Garth Ennis).
 
Published March 1, 2008 by Grand Central Publishing. 368 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for What's So Funny?

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Tracking his well-insulated quarry to the midtown Manhattan hotel he owns, and then to Washington's famed Watergate complex, Dortmunder, with an increasingly elaborate entourage in tow, succeeds in taking Fairbanks for bigger and bigger scores, arousing Fairbanks's growing suspicions, but always-...

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The set reposes in a subterranean vault under a bank under floors of lawyers’ offices, where the Northwood descendants of the original looter are squabbling over custody of it, unaware that the original Northwood’s co-conspirator’s descendant, wheelchair-bound Hemlow, wants the share he was cheat...

Feb 15 2007 | Read Full Review of What's So Funny? (Dortmunder ...

Book Reporter

First, the good news: John Dortmunder and his crew are back!

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of What's So Funny? (Dortmunder ...

Entertainment Weekly

Blackmailed into stealing a valuable chess set by a PI and his wealthy client, Dortmunder assembles his old-school, ragtag team of crooks, none of whom are getting any younger (for them, Google is just ''some other nosey parker way to mind everybody else's business'').

Apr 20 2007 | Read Full Review of What's So Funny? (Dortmunder ...

Mysterious Reviews

But Westlake brings in other capricious characters such as a young precocious couple, Mr. Hemlow's granddaughter, attorneys with a prestigious law firm, some who involved with the search of the chess set, and others having no idea about it, all of whom add to the humor.

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