Recommended Read: Subtraction by Andrew Peters

Mark Paris AKA The Professor is a man with a past- and a damned gaudy past at that. He’s the widow of a famous singer, an ex-pianist, ex- army, ex-boxer and ex-mathematician with a murky closet full of family secrets.

subtraction

Paris operates as a ‘fixer’ in 1960s Las Vegas and when he receives a panicked phone call one morning from Stan Maxwell , a boozing acquaintance who has woken up with a dead blonde in his bed, Paris is soon embroiled in a hard-boiled murder mystery that involves blackmail, a high class bordello, cops, the mob and very nasty psycho killer. Peters cleverly and deftly adds social commentary, pop culture references, smart dialogue and witty asides to an already potent cocktail.
Andrew Peters’ Subtraction is one of the most enjoyable and original crime novels I’ve read all year. Fantastic stuff and I look forward to more from The Professor. Smashing cover, too.

Rat Pack Revue @ The Bijou

Over AT THE BIJOU, the  Absolutely  Fabulous ABSOLUTELY*KATE is hosting a RAT PACK REVUE in honor of the legendary Robert J Randisi, author of the Rat Pack Mysteries books.
 
There are contributions from Mr Randisi himself,  Kevin Michaels, Julie Lewthwaite – Morgan  and Absolutely * Kate . And coming up there is stuff from Eric Beetner, Sean Patrick Reardon, Anthony Venutolo and little snifter from me.
 
So pop over AT THE BIJOU and have a gander.
 
And to get you going here’s one for the road. It’s a little piece I wrote for Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books this time last year.
 
 
Shawn Levy 
 
Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party’

The Rat Pack were formerly known as the Clan until they turned up at a Noel Coward gig in Las Vegas looking so rough that Lauren Bacall said they looked “like a goddamn rat pack”.
 
The Rat Pack were, of course, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
 
Levy’s exhilarating spiked cocktail kicks off in Las Vegas in January 1960 when Sinatra summons a group of friends there to make a movie. It was a time when Frank and his Pack pretty much owned the world of showbiz and defined what stardom was all about.
 
In Rat Pack Confidential we go on a bar crawl with stars,starlets, mobsters and corrupt politicos – even the President of the United States is a major player and far from saintly. It’s a booze-up that turns into a monster hangover after just four adrenalin, ego and drink pumped years.
 
But it’s not just a biography of five famous men. It’s a biography of Vegas – its neon brightness casting sordid shadows, its murky corners – and of an era; an era burning out.
 
Most biographies- especially showbiz biographies- are as flat as week old champagne but Levy’s prose sparkles and fizzes and is damn well intoxicating. He pulls no punches in showing the Rat Pack’s unpleasant sides – the picture he paints shows their spiritual impotence as much as their cultural importance .
 
I reread this book in 2009, a decade since I’d last read it, and I loved it just as much on the second reading.
 
Ring a ding ding!

Recommended Read: Rat Pack Confidential by Shawn Levy

Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey & the Last Great Showbiz Party’

The Rat Pack were formerly known as the Clan, until they turned up at a Noel Coward gig in Las Vegas looking so rough that Lauren Bacall said they looked “like a goddamn rat pack”.

The Rat Pack were, of course, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Levy’s exhilarating spiked cocktail kicks off in Las Vegas in January 1960 when Sinatra summons a group of friends there to make a movie. It was a time when Frank and his Pack pretty much owned the world of showbiz and defined what stardom was all about.

In Rat Pack Confidential we go on a bar crawl with stars,starlets, mobsters, corrupt politicos – even the President of the United States is a major player and far from saintly. It’s a booze up that turns into a monster hangover after just four adrenalin, ego and drink pumped years.

But it’s not just a biography of five famous men. It’s a biography of Vegas – its neon rat-pack-confidentialbrightness casting sordid shadows, its murky corners – and of an era; an era burning out.

Most biographies- especially showbiz biographies- are as flat as week old champagne but Levy’s prose sparkles and fizzes and is damn well intoxicating. He pulls no punches in showing the Rat Pack’s unpleasant sides – the picture he paints shows their spiritual impotence as much as their cultural importance .

I reread this book last year, a decade since I’d last read it, and I loved it just as much on the second reading.

Ring a ding ding!