The Busy Body

The Busy Body Donald Westlake (Estate)
Pub date 1st January 1966
Original publisher Random House
International publishers Editions Payot et Rivages (France), Lindhardt & Ringhof (Sweden)

The corpse isn’t anybody special—a low-level drug courier—but it has been so long since the organization’s last grand funeral that Nick Rovito decides to give the departed a big send-off. He pays for a huge church, a procession of Cadillacs, and an ocean of flowers, and enjoys the affair until he learns the dead man is going to his grave wearing the blue suit. Rovito summons Engel, his right-hand man, and tells him to get a shovel.

Inside the lining of the blue suit jacket is $250,000 worth of uncut heroin, smuggled back from Baltimore the day the courier died. When Engel’s shovel strikes coffin, he braces himself for the encounter with the dead man. But the coffin is empty, the heroin gone, and Engel has no choice but to track down the missing body or face his boss’s wrath.


Praise for The Busy Body

“The book’s insouciance and wit are as exhilarating as they ever were. Narrator Brian Holsopple delivers much of the story in a friendly voice that is just right for the Westlakian hero, Al Engel, an amiably amoral man given to exclaiming ‘Oh ho!’ when uncovering new mischief.”

Washington Post

“Narrator Brian Holsopple tells the story well. Westlake’s tough guys, hapless goofs, and alluring broads all achieve authenticity in his vocalizations.”

 – Addicted to Story Blog

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