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In the darkest hours of communist rule, Father Merhum fought to protect the sanctity of the Orthodox Church. Now the Soviet Union is gone, but the bureaucracy survives, and within it lurk men who would do anything to undermine the fragile new Russian democracy. Father Merhum is on his way to Moscow to denounce those traitors when he is struck with an ax and killed.
As police inspectors Porfiry Rostnikov and Emil Karpo dig into the past of this celebrated village priest, they uncover strange church secrets and a conspiracy to carry the vile corruption of the former regime on into the twenty-first century. But if they don’t watch their steps, someone may need to say the last rites for them.
With the Edgar Award–winning Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series, “Stuart Kaminsky evokes Russian life like a born Muscovite. . . . Don’t miss this one. It’s even better than his Edgar-winning A Cold Red Sunrise.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Kaminsky moves closer to becoming the Ed McBain of Mother Russia . . . The usual strengths of the series—ingenious plotting, solid police procedure, and Rostnikov’s shrewdly perceptive presence—are joined here by casually effective glimpses of the old Soviet Union in chancy transition. It all adds up to Rostnikov’s best outing since A Cold Red Sunrise.” —Kirkus Reviews
Hollywood, 1940: It’s been four years since security guard Toby Peters got fired from the Warner Brothers lot for breaking a screen cowboy’s arm. Since then he’s scratched out a living as a private detective—missing persons and bodyguard work mostly—but now his old friends, the Warners, have a job for him.
Someone has mailed the studio a picture of Errol Flynn caught in a compromising position with an underage woman. Although Flynn insists it’s a fake, the studio is taking no chances. Peters is to deliver the blackmailer five thousand dollars and return with the photo negative. It should be simple, but Flynn, a swashbuckler on and off the screen, has a way of making things complicated.
Soon it’s up to Peters to clear Flynn’s name, following a twisted trail that surprisingly leads to the set of The Maltese Falcon, involving Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet. As real-life PI Toby Peters meets Bogie’s Sam Spade, he doesn’t fall prey to being star-struck. But he may still fall prey to a killer.
“If you like your mysteries Sam Spade tough, with tongue in cheek and a touch of the theatrical, then the Toby Peters series is just your ticket.” —Houston Chronicle
It’s the mid-nineties, and capitalism and privatization have come to Russia. As the trickle of cash turns to a torrent, bureaucrats become oligarchs, and the brutal Russian mafia is on the rise. Newfound democracy has not reduced the crime rate, and Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov, a forty-year veteran of the Moscow police department, and his colleagues have their hands full.
A prominent businessman is kidnapped in broad daylight. Three children—as innocent looking as they are savage—terrorize a slum. And a house full of Czarist treasures is raided by tax police—only to have every piece vanish the following day.
As criminals at all levels rush to exploit a system in confusion, “Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is a rarity among policemen: shrewd, utterly incorruptible and destined to survive each complex political shift” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
A century-old mystery takes Rostnikov halfway around the world.
In the waning days of the Russian Empire, the Czar inked a secret treaty with Japan that was stolen en route by one of the workmen on the Trans-Siberian Railway. More than a one hundred years later, the Soviet Union has gone the way of the Czardom, and police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is trying to find his way in the Russia of Vladimir Putin. A large amount of money is being sent from Odessa to Vladivostok to purchase a mysterious Czarist document, and Rostnikov's superior believes it may be this long-lost treaty. Eastbound ticket in hand, Rostnikov sets out to investigate.
Meanwhile, his subordinates in Moscow tackle a female Jack the Ripper and an anti-Semitic punk rocker whose mob connections may have gotten him kidnapped. It's a brave new world in western Russia, but where Rostnikov is going, the landscape hasn't changed in centuries.
Rostnikov confronts a mystery that stretches from Moscow to the stars.
Once, Russian children wanted to be cosmonauts like Yuri Gagarin. But the Soviet Union is dead, and the days of Gagarin's glory are long passed. For the men and women aboard the decaying Mir space station, life is an unending series of near-disasters. During one such breakdown, cosmonaut Tsimion Vladovka asks ground control to contact Moscow police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov if anything happens to him. And when Vladovka disappears a year after his safe return to Earth, Rostnikov is the only man who can find him.
A philosophical detective, Rostnikov has made a name for himself navigating the bureaucracies of the Kremlin. But never has he encountered anything like the labyrinth that is Star City, home of the Russian space program. Something has terrified the cosmonaut, and since he knows dangerous state secrets, he must be found, alive or dead. But if a man who braved outer space is scared, what chance does an earthbound detective have?
With packs of stray wild canines roaming Moscow, it was inevitable that enterprising criminals would find a way to get rich. As dogfighting became big business, the Mafia got involved, and venues upgraded from alleys and garages to private arenas with padded seats. Police Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov has assigned Sasha Tkach and Elena Timofeyeva to go undercover and bust up a dogfighting ring. But the only ones more vicious than the dogs are the ones who profit from them.
Speaking of fighting in the streets, an international drug cartel has chosen Moscow as its next port of call. One man stands in their way—a young Russian mobster whose brutality is matched only by his madness. In a gang war of this magnitude, no civilian is safe. It’s up to Rostnikov and the Office of Special Investigation to prevent a full-scale bloodbath.
“As usual, Kaminsky manages to make the postlapsarian fracas strangely engrossing. His major characters are vivid and varied . . . Good storytelling in yet another of a distinguished series.” —Kirkus Reviews
The Moscow Film Festival is in town, and the elite artists of the East and West have convened at the legendary Metropole Hotel to drink, gossip, and flirt. But the party is about to come crashing down. Four men—one American, one Japanese, and two Russians—will all be dead by morning, poisoned.
To keep the killings under wraps, the Kremlin hands the investigation over to the famously discreet police investigator Porfiry Rostnikov. A hard-boiled cop with more than three decades’ experience navigating the deadly jungle of the Soviet bureaucracy, Rostnikov is about to find himself both in the international spotlight and in the crosshairs of a terrorist, who is targeting foreigners to embarrass the Soviet state and will happily sacrifice any Russian who gets in the way.
This Edgar Award–nominated follow-up to Death of a Dissident confirms Stuart Kaminsky’s status as “the Ed McBain of Mother Russia” (Kirkus Reviews).
On the eve of a show trial, a Soviet dissident is stabbed through the heart.
On a frigid night in silent Moscow, Aleksander Granovsky paces the floor of his government flat. He has dedicated his life to exposing the brutality of the Russian penal system, and in two days he will be tried for the crime of smuggling essays to the West. Granovsky is drafting a speech to deliver in court when an assassin appears and pierces his heart with the point of a rusty sickle.
The case falls in the lap of Porfiry Rostnikov, a Moscow police inspector whose three decades on the force have made him an expert in navigating the labyrinths of the Soviet bureaucracy. But it will take every ounce of Rostnikov's skill to find the killer and survive the investigation, as every question he asks takes him closer to the heart of the KGB.
After a lifetime in service to the Soviet Union, police inspector Porfiry Rostnikov may have found a way out. A high-profile homicide leads him to a cache of documents packed full of incriminating Kremlin gossip, which he uses as a bargaining chip to secure exit visas for himself and his Jewish wife. But just before the deal is concluded, Brezhnev’s death sends the nation into turmoil, and makes escape impossible. His career derailed, the veteran cop is reduced to investigating penny-ante murders—one of which may lead somewhere very big indeed.
An elderly Jewish man is shot to death in his bathtub by killers who steal nothing but a worthless brass candlestick. And as the brutal Moscow summer wears on, the police find themselves the targets of car thieves and snipers. With the help of his two faithful lieutenants, Karpo and Tkach, Rostnikov needs to find a way to solve these cases and salvage his good name—if it doesn’t cost him his life.
The Edgar Award–winning Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series is one more reason why New York Times–bestselling author Tony Hillerman says, “Never miss a Kaminsky book.”
A woman fights to protect her family when, eight years after her husband's murder, his killers return.
Bittie's hot dogs are worth waiting for. Outside the hot dog stand one summer afternoon, Maureen sits with her two children in the family's car, wishing her husband would hurry up and get their food. Two men lurk nearby -- a couple of drunks who had followed them from the supermarket. Before David can get into the car, the drunk men confront him, attack him, and take a baseball bat to his skull, while Maureen desperately tries to shield their little boy and girl.
Eight years later, Maureen doesn't eat hot dogs anymore. She makes a living as an exercise instructor and all-around fitness freak, a rigorously disciplined lifestyle that has just managed to see her family through the horror of David's murder. But one day, the phone rings -- a message from the killers that they are not finished tormenting her family. They are coming for Maureen, and no matter how fit she is, she cannot run fast enough to escape.
During the widespread corruption of the Yeltsin era, violent crime has risen in Moscow by 200 to 300 percent, keeping Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov and his team at the Office of Special Investigation busier than ever. So it’s fortunate that having his bad leg amputated six months ago and replaced by a prosthetic limb has not slowed down the veteran Moscow cop one bit.
Now he’s investigating a hate-fueled crime wave, as a bloodthirsty gunman wages a campaign to systematically exterminate the city’s Jews. At the same time, a knife-wielding rapist is running rampant. Despite the urgent demand to end the mayhem, the inspector finds himself most intrigued by a centuries-old mystery concerning a murdered baroness and a priceless golden wolf statue that has been missing since 1862.
Stuart Kaminsky’s long-running, Edgar Award–winning series has seen his intensely moral Moscow police inspector through the turbulence of several regimes, and always “Kaminsky takes care not to rob his beleaguered cops of their human core” (The New York Times).
A simple job turns treacherous when Toby Peters stumbles upon a corpse.
It's a lucky thing that Cary Grant once trained as an acrobat, because Toby Peters's life is in the actor's hands. As the two men sprint through the pitch-dark woods, trying to elude the man with the gun, they come to a canyon ledge. With nowhere to go but down, they scramble over the side. Peters slips, and Grant grabs hold of his wrist. As the killer closes in, Cary's grip begins to falter.
The job began simply. Grant hired the Hollywood detective as a bagman in a blackmailing hand-off. He gives Toby a satchel full of cash, to be exchanged for an envelope of the leading man's secrets -- not sexual or financial, but details of his work for the British crown. When the envelope bearer winds up dead, Toby and Cary dive into a complex plot of murder, money, and Nazi spies, which ends with them trapped in an all-too-literal cliffhanger.