|Toby is plagued by his hard-of-hearing boardinghouse landlady, Mrs. Plaut, who calls him Mr. Peelers, and by an office mate, Sheldon Minck, a totally incompetent and cleanliness-challenged dentist. In fact, it is Sheldon’s ending up in jail for murdering his wife, Mildred, with a crossbow, that brings Toby into contact with Joan Crawford - the witness who can prove Sheldon’s innocence. Her adventure is (naturally) entitled, Mildred Pierced.
All the titles are puns relating to the main characters. In Never Cross a Vampire, Bela Lugosi (no doubt you’re all too young to recall that he was the iconic movie Dracula) needs Toby’s help in getting rid of a stalker. In Tomorrow Is Another Day (the last line in the film, Gone With the Wind), Toby helps Clark Gable who has been receiving anonymous death threats written in poetry. In You Bet Your Life (the title of a 1950s game show starring Groucho Marx), Toby has to save Groucho’s brother, Chico Marx, from a mob hit, and he gets help from Al Capone and Ian Fleming! Other celebrities who need Toby’s help include John Wayne (The Man Who Shot Lewis Vance), Cary Grant (To Catch a Spy), and Eleanor Roosevelt (The Fala Factor), as well as Fred Astaire, W. C. Fields, Albert Einstein, Errol Flynn and many more.
These novels are easy-going, entertaining adventures filled with lots and lots of 30s and 40s nostalgia. Toby drives a Crosley, although his mechanic - No Neck Arnie - can also repair a Nash or Studebaker. Toby’s idea of comedy is Henry Aldrich on the radio, and his musical tastes include Harry James and his big band. Film Noir fans might enjoy the many scenes of bygone L.A. where movie studios ruled and the flatfoot always saved the dame. If you like black and white movies, get some popcorn, a Baby Ruth bar, and settle down with a Toby Peters novel. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!”
If you are interested in this book or would like to learn more, contact me at info@bouldercity magazine.com.