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9780062266002Mitch is a bit of a mogul. He’s parlayed a couple of inventions and a good business mind into a prosperous business selling parts to Detroit auto manufacturers. Then he gets involved in one of those mid-life affairs and ends up paying a much higher price than anyone should. It’s minor, this thing, and he cuts it off after three months and tells the wife, who isn’t pleased, but the marriage should survive. However, it soon appears that the couple themselves might not.

220px-Elmore_LeonardThree ambitious, though not particularly bright, crooks put an elaborate  blackmail scheme  into play. Mitchell could probably best them if he knew who they were, but he doesn’t. Thus, first problem is to figure out who he’s up against. Not easy.

Next problem play them off against one another. Not quite as hard as the first one.

Last problem is to foil the perps as they try to beat out one another for the top prize. Very difficult. Into at the mix comes a rogue labor boss intent on cooking the goose that’s laying the golden eggs–namely, Mitchell’s company.

It’s hard to imagine plotting anything better than this one, and Leonard’s at his best. I think there’s a soft spot at the very end, though, that undermines the ironic and amusing conclusion to it all. Maybe you’ll disagree. Try it and see.

sitting up clapping

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