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Red chameleon : an Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov mystery /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Scribner's Sons, 1985
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The violent and inexplicable murder of an old man in his bathtub and the theft of a worthless candlestick send Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov on a hunt into the past . . . A ring of car thieves with a taste for expensive vehicles is at large in Moscow's streets . . . High above the gray city, a sniper is taking aim at police officers, and the obsessed detective Emil Karpo takes the assignment to heart . . . "Kaminsky works up plenty of sweaty-palmed suspense of the best sort, built out of equal parts of likeable characters and believable dangers." Washington Post Book World

Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

What is the connection between a psychotic woman carrying a trombone case for most unmusical purposes through the streets of Moscow and the theft of the deputy procurator's much-prized automobile? How does the slaying of a young policeman by a sniper relate to the murder of aged Abraham as he reads Izvestia in the bathtub, by intruders who steal a worthless brass candlestick on their way out? And why is it that Abraham's crippled daughter Sofiya is driven by ambivalent feelings toward her dead father? These are among the conundrums confronting Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov of the Moscow Procurator's Office as he trudges painfully through his rounds (like Sofiya, he has a game leg), teasing humorless underlings, sparring with members of the KGB, squinting jaundice-eyed into the cobwebbed corners of the political establishment, where no light shines. Despite a certain ungainliness in scenes of action, the narrative moves easily to an unhappily credible, ironic conclusion. And Rostnitkov, his hopes of emigration with his Jewish wife dashed, faces yet another professional setback with stoic resignation. Following Black Knight in Red Square, this is the fourth novel in a series featuring the appealing, amiable, sore-beset Inspector. n.b. This book is not to be confused with the Bantam paperback of the same title (Paperback Forecasts, Sept. 27), also to be published in November. November (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Stuart M. Kaminsky is head of the radio/television/film department at Northwestern University in Illinois. He is also a writer of textbooks, screenplays, and mystery novels.

The more popular of his two series of detective novels features Toby Peters. Set in the 1930s and 1940s, the Peters books draw on Kaminsky's knowledge of history and love of film by incorporating characters from the film industry's past in nostalgic mysteries. Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (1978), for example, features Judy Garland while Catch a Falling Clown (1982) stars Emmett Kelley as Peters's client and Alfred Hitchcock as a murder suspect.

His other critically acclaimed series chronicles the cases of Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov. Kaminsky's detailed studies of Russian police procedure combined with aspects of life in Russia have earned the Series an Edgar nomination for Black Knight in Red Square (1984) and the 1989 Edgar Award for A Cold Red Sunrise (1988).

Stuart Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and died in 2009.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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