The Toby Peters Mysteries

25 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 225 ratings

You Bet Your Life Publisher's Summary

Toby Peters goes to Chicago to clear up a famous comic's gambling debts
There's nothing funny about the package that comes for Chico Marx. It's a severed ear, a simple message from a Chicago bookie who wants $120,000 from the world-renown Marx brother. The strange thing is that, though Chico likes to gamble, he hasn't been making bets in Chicago. Terrified, he goes to the studio for help. Louis B. Mayer, king of Hollywood, places a call to Toby Peters.

Peters's first lead is promising. Traveling on the studio's dime, he makes his way to Florida where he gets an interview with Al Capone, deposed lord of the Chicago underworld. The retired bootlegger's mind has gone soft, and he doesn't know anything about Chico's bookie, but he suggests Peters speak to his brother. With Scarface's good word as an introduction, Peters goes to Chicago, where it will take more than a good sense of humor to keep the Marxes from getting axed.

©1978 Stuart M. Kaminksy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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  • Book 1

    Bullet for a Star audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

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  • Book 2

    Murder on the Yellow Brick Road audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

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  • Book 3

    • You Bet Your Life

    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 9

    There's nothing funny about the package that comes for Chico Marx. It's a severed ear, a simple message from a Chicago bookie who wants $120,000 from the world-renown Marx brother. The strange thing is that, though Chico likes to gamble, he hasn't been making bets in Chicago. Terrified, he goes to the studio for help. Louis B. Mayer, king of Hollywood, places a call to Toby Peters.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 4

    The Howard Hughes Affair audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

    There are many reasons why a book might be unavailable.

    Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.

  • Book 5

    • Never Cross a Vampire

    • The Toby Peters Mysteries, Book 5
    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7

    Coffins fill the basement of a crumbling Los Angeles movie theater. Five vampires crowd around fading horror idol Bela Lugosi, peppering him with questions. A malfunctioning plastic fang causes one of the undead-wannabes to lisp. The effect is less than fearsome, but Lugosi is terrified, for one of these oddballs has been making threats on his life. He hires Toby Peters to provide security against his unbalanced fans. The detective is not concerned, but he should be. Even fake vampires can kill.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • L.A. Detective Toby Peters is on the Case!

    • By dwhith on 11-12-14

    Regular price: $19.95

    • Never Cross a Vampire

    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Brian Holsopple
    • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 6

    Coffins fill the basement of a crumbling Los Angeles movie theater. Five vampires crowd around fading horror idol Bela Lugosi, peppering him with questions. A malfunctioning plastic fang causes one of the undead-wannabes to lisp. The effect is less than fearsome, but Lugosi is terrified, for one of these oddballs has been making threats on his life. He hires Toby Peters to provide security against his unbalanced fans. The detective is not concerned, but he should be.

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 6

    High Midnight audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

    There are many reasons why a book might be unavailable.

    Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.

  • Book 7

    • Catch a Falling Clown

    • A Toby Peters Mystery, Book 7
    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11

    The gorilla doesn’t like clowns. Normally that wouldn’t bother Toby Peters, since detective work tends to keep him far away from animal cages, but tonight he’s dressed as a clown and locked in with the ape. The animal’s handler told him not to worry - gorillas don’t eat people. They just like to tear their arms and legs off. What the ape doesn’t understand is that Peters is here for his protection. Earlier that week, someone electrocuted an elephant, and the gorilla, as one of the star attractions in this second-rate circus, is next on the hit list.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Loved It

    • By dwhith on 11-19-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 8

    • He Done Her Wrong

    • Toby Peters, Book 8
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 16
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 16

    You can't trust a man who's dressed as Mae West, especially not in Mae West's house. One of Hollywood's earliest sex symbols, the whip-smart blonde's star has fallen since the Hays Code cracked down on the racy repartee that made her famous. Her latest project is a thinly veiled autobiographical novel, whose only copy is stolen just after she finishes her first draft. Tonight she's having a Mae West party, with every guest a man dressed as her. The thief is among those in drag, and P.I. Toby Peters has come to tear off his wig. He's there as a favor to his brother, a brutal cop who had a fling with West when she first moved to Hollywood.

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 9

    • The Fala Factor

    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 11

    If he is surprised to find Eleanor Roosevelt waiting for him in his dingy little office, Toby Peters does not show it. Although this is his first time working for the First Lady of the United States, years of private investigations for the Hollywood elite have left him unfazed by a famous face. The First Lady comes straight to the point. Six months after Pearl Harbor, the only thing that keeps her husband from buckling under the pressures of the presidency is his dog, a sprightly black terrier named Fala.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great new voice for classic series

    • By Scott on 04-14-13

    Regular price: $14.95

  • Book 10

    Down for the Count audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

    There are many reasons why a book might be unavailable.

    Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.

  • Book 11

    • The Man Who Shot Lewis Vance

    • A Toby Peters Mystery, Book 11
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
    • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 9

    Toby Peters wakes up with a headache, a gun in his face, and a body on the hotel-room bed. He is less surprised by the gun than by the man holding it: Marion Morrison, a.k.a John Wayne. Both of them were lured here by the dead man. The next arrival is a prostitute named Olivia, and hot on her heels is the house detective, who's come to check on the commotion in Room 303.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Johnny Heller Made the Difference

    • By M. Miles on 05-23-14

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 12

    • Smart Moves

    • A Toby Peters Mystery, Book 12
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 11

    dentist dangles from the window of a swanky Park Avenue hotel, while Toby Peters, a Los Angeles detective who's very far from home, clutches the man by his jacket, which is tearing slowly, stitch by stitch. Across the room, a dead man lies on the bed, his killer pounding on the hotel room door, which sounds like it's going to give way as quickly as the dentist's jacket. Somehow, this entire mess is Albert Einstein's fault. Two nefarious groups have been threatening the great physicist. One is a ring of blackmailers who claim to have evidence that he has been passing nuclear secrets to Russia.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Not a good surprise from Mr. Kaminsky.

    • By Richard Delman on 09-18-17

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 13

    • Think Fast, Mr. Peters

    • Toby Peters, Book 13
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7

    Hollywood detective Toby Peters is asleep on his floor when the dentist who shares his office calls, wailing that his wife has left him. While on the one hand, Toby is shocked that a woman as unpleasant as Mildred could ever attract a suitor, he's even more surprised by the name of the alleged Lothario: Peter Lorre, the scaly-voiced, bug-eyed Hollywood character actor. Though he can't imagine why the dentist would want her back, Toby agrees to track down his missing wife. He finds Lorre in a greasy spoon near the Warner Brothers' lot, but the actor doesn't know a thing about the missing Mildred....

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 14

    • Buried Caesars

    • Toby Peters, Book 14
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10

    The uniformed man standing before Toby Peters is General Douglas MacArthur, a soldier who considers himself the only man who can defeat the Japanese. But though he may be all-powerful in the South Pacific, today he is in Los Angeles with a problem only a detective can solve. The general has an eye on a postwar promotion to the White House, and an aide has stolen his war chest, his donor list, and a handful of embarrassing private letters. To get them back, Toby may need some help.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great

    • By Ms Peach on 06-19-16

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 15

    • Poor Butterfly

    • A Toby Peters Mystery, Book 15
    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 16
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 14

    The year 1942 is a bad time to stage Madame Butterfly. Although Puccini's masterpiece is a perennial favorite of the San Francisco opera crowd, its sympathetic depiction of a Japanese girl causes tension in the dark months following Pearl Harbor. Newspaper editorialists rage against the production, opera buffs picket the theater, and a note appears nailed to the house door, threatening violence against the cast and crew. When the first workman dies, the maestro calls Toby Peters, a Los Angeles detective who works discreetly for Hollywood's rich and famous.

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 16

    • Melting Clock

    • A Toby Peters Mystery
    • By: Stuart Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
    • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 5

    An ax-wielding monk hacks at the door. Toby Peters is on the other side, running as fast as his recently broken leg will allow. Alongside him is Salvador Dalí, dressed in a rabbit suit, insistently muttering "grasshoppers" as they try to make their escape. Dalí insists on being carried across the lawn, so Peters hobbles along with the surrealist in his arms. They get in the car just as the monk chops down the front door. The car doesn't start, and the monk charges silently, the ax in the air.

    Regular price: $13.21

  • Book 17

    The Devil Met a Lady audiobook cover art
    Not Available on Audible.com

    There are many reasons why a book might be unavailable.

    Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.

  • Book 18

    • Tomorrow Is Another Day

    • By: Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 11

    On December 10, 1938, Atlanta burned again. In the back lot at David O. Selznick’s studio, sets from a dozen old pictures were pushed together and set alight to provide a backdrop for the climax of what Selznick promised to be the movie of the century: Gone with the Wind. Toby Peters, then just a studio security guard, was on hand to help keep the dozens of Confederate extras in line. When the fire was over, he found one of them dead, impaled on his own sword.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 19

    • Dancing in the Dark

    • The Toby Peters Mysteries, Book 18
    • By: Kaminsky Stuart M. Kaminsky
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 15
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 13

    In this installment of a 1940s Hollywood detective series, Fred Astaire hires Toby Peters to help him get rid of an incredibly untalented dance student, whose tutelage he has been forced to undertake by her threatening mafioso boyfriend. Luna has demanded dance lessons from Hollywood’s finest hoofer, and whatever Luna wants, Luna gets. Toby may not be a dancer, but he has no choice but to stay nimble and keep his feet moving.

    Regular price: $19.95

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