John Dortmunder and company are hired by an U.N. African Ambassador to steal the famed Balabomo Emerald from the hands of a rival African country. But their daring and clever burglarly goes awry, and the emerald slips through their fingers. Undaunted, Dortmunder chases the gem by plane, train and automobile in hot pursuit of the hot rock.
©1970 Donald E. Westlake (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
The Byzantine Fire is much more than a flawless ninety-carat ruby. As a stone, it's worth over a million dollars, a value vastly increased by its pure gold band - but its history is what makes it priceless. A ring that has been fought for with sword and pen and passed from nation to nation by all manner of theft and trickery, has finally made its way to the United States. The US agrees to return it to Turkey, but it's about to be stolen twice more. A gang of Greeks armed with Sten guns burst into the security room at JFK Airport and escape with the priceless stone, which they deposit in the safe at a small jeweler's shop in Queens. A few hours later, unlucky thief John Dortmunder, expecting a routine robbery, steals it again. Having unsuspectingly lifted the hottest gem in town, John Dortmunder becomes the prey of the FBI, the New York City police, terrorist groups from three nations, and all of New York's petty and not-so-petty crooks. Much blood has been shed for this little ruby, and Dortmunder's could very well be next.
©1983 Donald E. Westlake (P)2013 HighBridge Company
All it takes is a few underhanded moves by a tough ex-cop named Eppick to pull thief John Dortmunder into a game he never wanted to play. With no choice, he musters his always-game gang and they set out on a perilous treasure hunt for a long-lost gold and jewel-studded chess set once intended as a birthday gift for the last Romanov czar. From the moment Dortmunder reaches for his first pawn, he faces insurmountable odds. The purloined past of this precious set is destined to confound any strategy he finds on the board. Success is not inevitable with Dortmunder leading the attack, but he's nothing if not persistent, and some gambit or other might just stumble into a winning move.
©2006 Donald E. Westlake (P)2004 BBC Audio
Hapless criminal John Dortmunder returns in another rollicking tale of disorganized crime from Grand Master of Mystery Donald E. Westlake. It's the score of a lifetime: easy access to a lavish New York City apartment, hordes of valuables, and an absentee owner avoiding the lawyers of his unhappy ex-wives. But before they pull the job, Dortmunder's crew is startled to find their beloved gin joint, the OJ, in the clutches of the Mafia - who consider it perfect for a little fraud, courtesy of a nice big fire. For tactical and highly superstitious reasons, the fate of the OJ is even more important to the crew than the enormous score. Now, Dortmunder and his gang are determined to split their time, fighting the mob, and robbing the rich simultaneously.
©2005 Donald E. Westlake (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks
What would it take to lure a serious young newswoman from a respectable New England paper to the most notorious supermarket tabloid in America? The call of journalistic adventure? How about a promise of a salary that's triple what she's making? En route to her new job at the Weekly Galaxy, Sara Joslyn stumbles across a bloody corpse in a Buick Riviera. A big story? Not at this paper. The problem is compounded when the dead man vanishes, Buick and all.
©1991 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 Phoenix
John Dortmunder and his merry band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles that would leave the Sultan of Brunei blushing. The mark is Monroe Hall, corrupt CEO of a now defunct conglomerate, who spent more of his company's money on himself than the boys at Enron and WorldCom combined. Having escaped prosecution, Hall is holed up on his massive Pennsylvania farm, and Dortmunder, as usual, has his eyes on the big prize: Hall's vintage wheels.
©2004 Donald E. Westlake (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks America
Mavis St. Paul had been a rich man's mistress. Now she was a corpse. And every cop in New York City was hunting for the two-bit punk accused of putting a knife in her. But the punk was innocent. He'd been set up to take the fall by some cutie who was too clever by half. My job? Find that cutie - before the cutie found me.
©1960 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 BBC Audio
Al Engel had worked his way up to being Nick Rovitos right-hand man, near the top of the syndicate. And this was a delicate job that Rovito had given him: retrieving a very important jacket, loaded with heroin, from the fresh grave of the drug mule who was accidentally buried wearing it. Rovito ordered Engel to go to the grave in the early hours of the morning, dig up the coffin, and get back the suit - plus kill two birds with one stone (so to speak) and whack the guy who would help with the digging. There was just one problem (at least - just one to begin with): It turned out the grave was empty. Suddenly Engel was the one finding himself in deep. Busy Body is early Westlake, as he was mastering the genre he would become known for: the comic caper.
©1966 Original material © 1966 Donald E. Westlake. Recorded by arrangement with The Mysterious Press.com, LLC. (P)2012 (p) 2012 HighBridge Company
Cab driver Chet Conway was hoping for a good tip from his latest fare, the sort he could spend. But what he got was a tip on a horse race; which might have turned out okay, except that when he went to collect his winnings, Chet found his bookie lying dead on the living room floor. Chet knows he had nothing to do with it - but just try explaining that to the cops, to the two rival criminal gangs who each think Chet's working for the other, and to the dead man's beautiful sister, who has flown in from Las Vegas to avenge her brother's murder.
©1969 Donald E. Westlake (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
The critically acclaimed, best-selling author of The Ax and The Hook is back in rare form as he introduces Meehan, a character who keeps the lid from blowing off Washington politics. Meehan, a career thief staring at life without parole, is awaiting sentencing at the Manhattan Correctional Center when he is called to a meeting by someone masquerading as his lawyer. The man, it turns out, represents the presidential reelection campaign committee now finding itself in need of a little professional help. So they outsource Meehan in return for a walk from all pending criminal charges. All he has to do is steal a compromising videotape before the other side springs an October Surprise on the president. A shrewd burglar, Meehan bites - and shows just how easy Watergate would have been had they left it to the professionals.
©2002 Donald E. Westlake (P)2002 AudioGO
It was supposed to be a simple caviar heist. Dortmunder is almost in the building when the alarm sounds, forcing him up the fire escape and onto the roof. He leaps onto the next building, smashing his ankle and landing in the den of the worst kind of creature he can imagine: nuns. Although decades removed from his Catholic orphanage, Dortmunder still trembles before the sisters habits. But these nuns are kinder than the ones he grew up with. They bandage his wound, let him rest, and dont call the cops - for a price. The father of the youngest member of their order, disgusted by their vow of silence, has kidnapped his daughter, locked her in a tightly guarded penthouse apartment, and is attempting to convince her to renounce her faith. The nuns ask Dortmunder to rescue the girl. Its an impossible assignment - but one he cannot refuse.
©1986 Donald E. Westlake (P)2014 HighBridge Company
Eluding the law has always been high on Dortmunder's list. But getting caught red-handed is inevitable in his next caper, when a TV producer convinces this thief and his merry gang to star in a reality show that captures their next score. The producer even guarantees to keep the show from being used as evidence against them. They're dubious at first, but the pay's good, so they sign on. A mock-up of the OJ bar is built in a downtown New York City warehouse. As the gang plans their next move with the cameras rolling, Dortmunder and Kelp sneak onto the roof of their new studio to organize a private enterprise. It will take an ingenious plan to outwit viewers glued to their television sets, but Dortmunder is nothing if not persistent, and he's determined to end this shoot with money in his pockets.
©2009 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America
Arriving home at dawn after another failed burglary, John Dortmunder - the anti-hero of Donald Westlake's popular comic crime series - is shocked to find his apartment occupied by a notorious cellmate everyone had supposed (and hoped) had been jailed for life. Tom Jimson needs Dortmunder's help. Thirty years ago, before his last prison stretch, Tom had pulled a big job up near Albany - a very big job - that left a cool $700,000 in cash buried under a water reservoir in an upstate New York valley. Being the nasty sort of fellow he is, Tom's plan is to blow up the dam, flood the surrounding countryside, and grab the cash. With the fate of 900 small town nobodies hanging in the balance, Dortmunder races against Tom's itchy dynamite finger to formulate an alternative plan for retrieving the loot. Thus begins a convoluted caper, in the Westlake tradition, of misadventure and hilarity.
©1990 Donald E. Westlake (P)2009 Phoenix
Specialist in the scam, the con, and the rip-off, Jerry Manelli is running around New York hot on the trail of a priest: a thousand-year-old, two-foot-tall, ugly, misshapen, dancing Aztec priest made of solid gold, with eyes of pure emeralds, worth a million dollars. Somebody stole it from its museum home in South America and smuggled it through U.S. Customs in a shipment of plastic imitations. But the wrong one got delivered, and the million dollar statue, mixed with the 15 copies, is somewhere in New York. Jerry Manelli is searching for it, as are Wall Street financiers, New Jersey union thugs, Manhattan aristocrats, college professors and PR men, liberated women and unliberated wives, tough guys and conmen, and sharpshooters of every kind. From Harlem to Greenwich Village, from Long Island to Connecticut, the motley group races in and around New York in this comic adventure of the 1970s.
©1976 Original material, Donald E. Westlake. Recorded by arrangement with Mysterious Press, LLC. (P)2011 HighBridge Company
With the help of an unusual set of cronies, bank robber John Dortmunder puts a set of wheels under a trailer that just happens to be the temporary site of the Capitalists' & Immigrants' Trust and hauls it away. But when the safe won't open and the cops get close, Dortmunder realizes he's got to find a place to ditch the "bank".
©1972 Donald E. Westlake (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
John Dortmunder doesn't like manual labor. So when he gets the offer of money to dig up a grave, he balks . . . then he wonders why Fitzroy Guilderpost, criminal mastermind, wants to pull a switcheroo of two 70-years-dead Indians.
©2001 Donald E. Westlake (P)2012 Random House Audio
Intrepid reporter Sara Joslyn, having escaped the clutches of the supermarket tabloid Weekly Galaxy, is finally going to be allowed to practice "clean journalism." Unfortunately, intrepid editor Jack Ingersoll has other plans, assigning her to a gory sex-murder trial in Branson, Missouri, home to more country stars than there are in the heavens. While delving into the muck, rake in hand, Sara runs into her old comrades from the Galaxy - Binx Radwell, Boy Cartwright, and the Down Under Trio among them. At the eye of this journalistic cyclone is country musician Ray Jones; is he guilty of the grisly murder, and what else is he up to, if anything? The lyrics to eleven Ray Jones hits are sprinkled throughout the novel and are an important accompaniment to the proceedings, if only Sara and Jack can keep their fingers out of their ears long enough to hear it....
©1994 Donald E. Westlake (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The men in the tan-and-cream Chrysler came with guns blazing. When Ray Kelly woke up in the hospital, it was a month later, he was missing an eye, and his father was dead. Then things started to get bad. From the mind of the incomparable Donald E. Westlake comes a devastating story of betrayal and revenge, an exploration of the limits of family loyalty and how far a man will go when everything he loves is taken from him.
©1962 Donald E. Westlake (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America