This time out, in a raucous, new Hollywood thriller, private investigator Toby Peters - who has cracked cases involving such classic movie luminaries as Humphrey Bogart, the Marx Brothers, John Wayne, and Mae West - is gumshoeing for the legendary Charlie Chaplin.
Rudely awakened one midnight by a sinister visitor wielding a very large knife, Chaplin has been threatened with death unless he stops production on his latest project, a film in which a series of wealthy old women are married and then murdered for their money. Toby's discovery that six rich elderly women have recently died in the movie capital strikes him as no mere coincidence. To find the connection and to protect Chaplin as well as a few very vulnerable older women from deadly jeopardy, Toby again enlists the aid of eccentric dentist Sheldon Minck, wrestler-poet Jeremy Butler, and multilingual Swiss midget Gunther Wherthman. The results, as always, are wacky, surprising, and riotous.
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Toby works for the Tramp
I love Toby Peters and I love Charlie Chaplin, so I would recommend this book to anyone. However, I think a background of reading some of the earlier books in the series would help to get full enjoyment out of this.
I loved Charlie Chaplin in this book. I have read several modern novels in which he was a character, and here he is significantly older and more dimensional than he was as a younger man.
Meskimen has captured two voices so well they feel as if you are listening to the real men: Chaplin, with his high-voiced mid Atlantic accent, and in a cameo, Orson Welles (phenomenal). He kept the pace going and I loved his voice for Toby's downtrodden brother.
The last scene in the book made me cry. I cannot reveal why.
A great series of detective novels that deserves a great series of new recordings, by presenters who can do great imitative voice work. It is very difficult to find these books in print unless you haunt used-book websites, and many are only easily available on Audible. Some need to be redone sonically because they are just too old.
- Mark S. Traub