The Lucky Stiff

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Categories: Mystery/Crime
Publisher: Wonder Audiobooks, LLC/Wonder eBooks | Date published: 05/31/2010


"Anna Marie St. Claire died in the electric chair at one minute after midnight this morning, with smile on her lips ? " Brooding over his gin in Joe the Angel's City Hall Bar, John J. Malone read those headlines, and the story of how, half an hour too late, a dying gangster's confession had proved Anna Marie innocent. She had been too beautiful to die. Malone knew if he had defended her she wouldn't have had to die. Suddenly he turned white. For there, floating through the swinging doors, came a lovely apparition, curves outlined by a chic gray suit--Anna Marie, dressed just as she had been the day her gangster lover was bumped off. Malone muttered a prayer and fled. Anna Marie followed him ? So begins a giddy Craig Rice manhunt, combining mirth, mixed drinks, murder, and that talented trio, John J. Malone and Helene and Jake Justus. BIO: Craig Rice (pseudonym of Georgiana Ann Craig; 1908--1957) was an American author of mystery novels and short stories, sometimes described as "the Dorothy Parker of detective fiction." She was the first mystery writer to appear on the cover of Time Magazine, on January 28, 1946. Gritty but humorous, Rice's stories uniquely combine the hardboiled detective tradition with no-holds-barred, screwball comedy. Most of her output features a memorable trio of protagonists: Jake Justus, a handsome but none too bright press agent with his heart in the right place; Helene Brand, a rich heiress and hard-drinking party animal par excellence (to become Mrs. Justus in the later novels); and John Joseph Malone, a hard-drinking, small-time lawyer (though both his cryptic conversation and sartorial habits are more reminiscent of such official or private gumshoes as Lieutenant Columbo). -- via: Wikipedia