With eviction looming, St. Ives searches for a big payday and a rare book.
Philip St. Ives has no love for New York’s drafty, broken-down Adelphi Hotel, but he is in no mood to be evicted from it. His cash dwindling, he is happy to learn about a job that calls for his specific talents as a mediator between thieves and their victims. It sounds like the set-up to a bad joke: A thief, an insurance salesman, and the Library of Congress call Philip’s lawyer to ask about a stolen copy of Pliny’s Historia Naturalis. To find it, Philip will risk becoming history himself.
The book was stolen on its way from the Library of Congress to California, and the detective guarding it vanished as well. Mired in snow-choked Washington, DC, St. Ives must arrange for a pair of ransoms to avoid becoming a victim of book collectors who value a nice first edition over an investigator’s life.
©1976 Ross E. Thomas (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
An old book, a tits and bits insurance agent, an ex-intelligence bully, a rich chick on Malibu beach, a bitter ex-girlfriend somebody called “Virgie”, a short tight crooked alcoholic cop, and a Go-Between man who gets an Eviction Notice and a letter from the Wall Street Journal saying he could get rich if only he subscribed for six months.
In six months and a week, Philip St. Ives has earned $75,000, received 2 invitations to live and play with a woman, one in NYC and one on Malibu Beach, failed but then found an old book, but not before somebody shot a bullet through it.
At the end, on his way back to New York, his trusty helper asks him if there’s anything he can study in University to help him become a Go-Between man. St. Ives thinks about it for a while and says “Ethics, you might study Ethics.”
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