Someone’s gunning for John Wayne in this “well-plotted” mystery set in 1940s Hollywood featuring a wisecracking private eye (Publishers Weekly).
Something about Lewis Vance’s story doesn’t add up. The guy claims to be John Wayne’s stand-in, and he’s called Det. Toby Peters about a possible job involving the star. But when Peters meets him in a seedy hotel room, Vance slips him a mickey. After Peters comes to, his head pounding, he sees the real John Wayne pointing a .38 at him. Vance was not exactly a dead ringer for the Duke—but he is dead, lying on the hotel bed with a bullet hole drilled in his forehead. And it’s a dead heat as to who’s more confused—the gumshoe or the movie star.
On screen no one gets the drop on the Duke, but in real life someone’s trying to kill him. Wayne hires Peters to get to the bottom of things, and soon he’s tangled up in a twisted conspiracy that also involves a dubious desk clerk named Teddy Spaghetti, the Russians, and none other than the Little Tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin.
“As in the other entries in this series, Kaminsky’s use of period detail and his appealing renderings of real-life celebrities provide the strongest recommendations for this well-plotted mystery.” —Publishers Weekly