Monday, January 23, 2017

Now Available: Death and the Naked Lady/The Lady and the Cheetah - John Flagg (John Gearen)


Mac McLean, successful international singer, boards the Dauphiné on his way to New York, unaware that his patron, Georges Fournier, has just been murdered in Paris. But death is also on the passenger list of the luxury liner as it makes its way across the Atlantic. It starts innocently enough when McLean finds a case under his bed filled with Fournier’s precious jade figurines. Everyone seems interested in these statuettes. Lady Harcourt, playing around on her husband Albert, is intrigued when she finds them under McLean’s bed. The unsavory Gonzales makes it clear that he wants them. So does Joseph Pasquela. But why does a man so rich ask McLean to spy on his wife Elisabeth, formerly the Naked Lady of the Folie Bergère? And why does movie star, Lili Fenwick, keep showing up in his stateroom? When death makes an appearance, it is not entirely unexpected.


Bert Mason’s wife Myra has disappeared. Was she cheating with Milt, as everyone says? Bert laughs them off. Milt wouldn’t cheat on his wife. Not Lillian. Then they find Myra’s body...


After a bogus interview is published, everyone thinks that Rafferty Valois is an international man of adventure when, in fact, he is simply an out-of-work newspaper man. But that doesn’t stop him from accepting a job from the Countess Becellini to retrieve a packet of stolen letters for her. The Countess is trying to make sure nothing comes between the marriage of her daughter Bianca and the deposed King of Movania, soon to be reinstated to the throne. But there are others who want the letters, and are prepared to offer Valois large sums for their deliverance—Bianca’s grandmother for one, “the bitch of Rome;” and Carlo Cattoriere, a deported gangster who has other plans for the former king that involves his niece, Maria. They all think Valois such a clever man that surely he can find them for him. Because if he doesn’t, his life won’t be worth a damn.

As you can see from the cover, I wrote the introduction to this collection of two novels and a short story by John Flagg, and good yarns they are, too. If you're a fan of the Fifties Gold Medals and haven't read these, this volume is highly recommended.

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