Bullet For A Star

This is the 21st in a series of Friday Forgotten Books

Bullet for A Star by Stuart M. Kaminsky, © 1977, Mysterious Press 1991 paperback (shown), first Toby Peters, mystery (P.I.)

I like most of the entries in Kaminsky’s other series featuring Russian cop Inspector Rostnikov, and A Cold Red Sunrise is a particular favorite. Reading some of the many tributes to Kaminsky after his death last year, I realized I’d not read any of  the Toby Peters series and decided to start with this one, the first in the series.

It’s 1940. Peters is a down-at-the-heel private eye working in the Los Angeles – Hollywood area. He’s been a cop – his brother still works in homicide – and he worked in security at the Warner Brothers studio for several years before a fight with a star got him fired. Now he pretty much lives from job to job. A producer at Warner’s hires Peters to deliver a blackmail payment, and get a compromising film and it’s negative in return. The trade doesn’t go well, with the film, negative, Peters’ .38 and five thousand dollars disappearing while Peters is left with a bashed in head and a corpse nearby.

From there is pretty much the classic P.I. story. The plot takes a lot of twists, Peters gets knocked around, and rubs shoulders with a lot of movie stars while trying to find the missing materials and the killer. There’s nothing complicated or stunning in this, but it’s fast, fun and easy to read. I enjoyed it and I’ll try the next in the series, which runs to 24 books, as soon as I get a chance.

~  ~  ~  ~

Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more FFB reviews at her own blog,
and a complete list of today’s participating blogs will appear in a day or two.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Friday Forgotten Book, mystery, Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Bullet For A Star

  1. I don’t think I’ve read any Kaminsky(maybe a short story or two). This looks like one I should maybe start with.

  2. Richard says:

    Light and easy, Randy, you’ll probably get through it in a couple of hours. It’s not Hammett, Chandler or Pronzini, but it’s fun.

  3. Bill Crider says:

    I read this one and a good many of the others in the series. Always a good time.

  4. Patti Abbott says:

    I’ve read some Kaminsky (my Mom was a great fan) but not this one.

  5. Kaminsky was one of those dependable pros whose work kept to a consistently high standard. I’ve enjoyed every one of Kaminsky’s books that I’ve read.

  6. Keith Graham says:

    I had the first two Kaminsky “star” novels as books on tape. They were great for listening to on my commute. They are lightweight, but fun. Good for a change of pace when you reach that point where all your reading seems relentlessly grim.

    Kaminsky is a film historian and these books are full of factoids about the secret life of stars in the 1940s.

  7. Richard says:

    Good assessment, Keith. I can certainly see how these would make good choice for audiobook listening!

  8. Evan Lewis says:

    I remember this – and the next ten or so in the series. Quick-reading romps through screenland.

  9. Richard says:

    Exactly. Obviously not very forgotten, since everyone says “oh, yes, I know that one” but a goodie anyway.

  10. Todd Mason says:

    For some reason my browser, I guess, can’t see the writeup on this one. Just a white space.

  11. Carl V. says:

    The author’s name sounds really familiar, but I’m sure I’ve not read any of the books.

    The cover image reminds me of some classic Hollywood actor. Not sure who though. Does he look familiar to anyone else?

    As long as the book is a good one, not matter if it is as forgotten as you thought it was. We all love a good book.

  12. Richard says:

    It’s Errol Flynn, Carl. The poster for Captain Blood behind him is a clue. Yes, he’s the actor in the book who is being blackmailed.

  13. Todd Mason says:

    For whatever reason, Rick, the restaging made the text visible for my browser now.

  14. Richard says:

    Good. All I did was open, edit by changing one word, then saving. Anyway glad it works now.

  15. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I read one or two of these but didn’t care too much for them.

    My favorite Kaminskys are:

    1. Porfiry Rostnikov
    2. Abe Lieberman

    Sadly, I just read the last Rostnikov, which was as good as all the others. The characters are so real I’ll really miss them.

  16. Carl V. says:

    Ah, as soon as you said it his image popped right into my head. I didn’t even take the time to notice the Captain Blood poster or I might have guessed that myself as I just watched some behind the scenes thing recently that featured some scenes from Captain Blood. Thanks for giving my memory a kick in the pants!

  17. Richard says:

    Ha! Any time…

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