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Murder Me For Nickels
by Peter Rabe
No current Talk conversations about this book.
Not the best mystery I've ever read, but it was a "period piece". I bought the book for the iconic cover art by Robert McGinnis. ( )
It's the fifties and it seems that, if you just scratch beneath the surface of middle class America, everywhere you look is graft and corruption and it seems as if the jukebox business is no different. Who gets to put their jukes in which bars and ice cream shops is important, particularly when the Chicago boys roll into town and challenge the local boss. It's a battle of mean hoodlum versus hoodlum and crooked promoter against crooked hoodlum.
This one is filled withhardboiled goodness and you feel as if you are a part of this cooked war. In some ways, it reminded me of Orrie Hitt's crooked radio promoters and sleazy insurance salesmen. It's as if you took a dip into a period of time where everyone is leaning on everyone and everyone is double crossing everyone.
Waler Lippit makes music all over town. He owns the juke boxes that play the tunes that keep the bars and the diners hopping. Jack St. Louis works for Lippit, smoothing the customers and keeping the nickels coming. But then along comes Benotti and the Chicago syndicate to louse up the operation. It's everything Jack can do to stay one step ahead. One step ahead of Benotti's gang, Lippit, and Lippit's willing wife Patty, who wants to be a singer and is convinced that Jack can make that happen too. And maybe he can. It's all in a week's work.
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