It's murder backstage for a cynical Chicago attorney-from "the Dorothy Parker of detective fiction" (William Ruehlmann). It's part casino, part nightclub, and part circus. For its new owners, Jake Justus and his socialite wife, Helene, it's also a gamble. Luckily they have Jay Otto. Next to a bouncy burlesque bit, Otto's high-wire act is the hottest draw in the joint. But the crowd isn't the only thing left breathless. The performer has just been found in his dressing room, doped up, dead, and hanging by eleven silk stockings. The method is fetching. The probable motive? Otto was the nastiest, most hateful, devious, blackmailing little cuss on the circuit. But Jake's friend, attorney John J. Malone, thinks this is more than a case of justifiable homicide-especially when Otto isn't the last on the bill to get all choked up. Now Malone has a lot of secrets to untangle so he can collar the killer, because Jake and Helene's necks could be next on the line. The Big Midget Murders is "expertly timed . . . and frenzied . . . with lavish accompaniment of good wise-cracking. Verdict: Superior" (TheSaturday Review of Literature). "Call it screwball noir, call it hard-boiled farce, call it whatever you want . . . Craig Rice did it with John J. Malone, her ne-er-do-well bibulous attorney" (Thrilling Detective).
by Craig Rice
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