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The Busy Body

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  202 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A mob boss’s right-hand man must track down a missing cache of heroin 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 ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Road (first published 1966)
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Another delightful Westlake story blending humor and bad guys together in a frolic of inappropriate assumptions and cross-purposes. This was a wonderful listen as a well-respected member of the local mob organization is asked to dig up a body to retrieve a suit the dead mobster has been buried in; it contained a lot of heroin sewn into the lining. Problem is the coffin is empty and he gets accused of selling out his boss. Soon he's running from everyone including a Deputy Inspector Callahan, a d ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Perfectly acceptable crime from Westlake. Not brilliant, but a good afternoon. Body, body, who's got the body? Had to read the ending twice. Ahhhhh, that was pretty awesome, I get it...
Sean Brennan
Loved this book by Westlake, under the Psedenym Richard stark he wrote many classic, violent gangster stories. This is lot less brutal and thouroghly enjoyable.
Panu Mäkinen
Koko kirja on pelkkää dilogia ja tapahtumien luettelua. Henkilöhahmot jäävät todella ohuiksi. Lukijalla ei ole verrattoman hauskaa, vaikka takakannessa niin luvataan. Dialogi toki yrittää olla hilpeää mutta laihoin tuloksin. Tapahtumat etenevät turhan vauhdikkaasti, eikä lukijalle jää aikaa pohtia mysteerin ratkaisua. Absurdit tilanteet eivät oikein luo jännitystäkään. Taisin pari kertaa naurahtaa jossakin hauskassa kohdalla, mutta kirjan huumori ei ole erityisen nokkelaa – viihdyttävämpiäkin de ...more
John W.

I have read every Westlake novel that I can get my hands on. I haven't read one that I didn't enjoy. Many of his books were made into movies. Some of them are so good that you will find yourself reading them to anyone that will listen. The first one that I read was called "The Busy Body" about a mafia individual that got killed. After he was buried they learned that he was buried in the suit with the loot (diamonds I think) sewn into the lining. The body gets dug up and then disappears, again an
Westlake is a hidden treasure in the crime fiction genre.
I probably shouldn't list Donald Westlake books that I reread; if I didn't like them in the first place, I wouldn't be rereading them. This book, like "The Spy In The Ointment," looks to have been written in 1966 which seems to have been a prolific time for the author. Which reminds me of something I read in one of Kurt Vonnegut's non-fiction pastiches: he talks about how a comedy writer needs hundreds of ideas for one book while a really serious writer could stretch one idea into a trilogy.
Charming and somewhat antic novel starring a middle-ranking mobster charged with digging up the grave of his recently deceased compatriot, who was buried in a suit that had a quarter million dollars of uncut heroin sewn into the lining. The characters are mostly dumb in a credible and likable manner, and the plot twists admirably. An entertaining read.
Great premise, with a few nice surprises. I did feel like I was one step ahead of the main character, though. It got frustrating having to wait for him to figure out what was going on. Dialogue veers into pure exposition by the end, which left a bad taste in my mouth.
An early Westlake, but all the caper elements slot together nicely. A young mobster gets sent to dig up a dead body and recover the diamonds buried with it. But the body is missing, and he ends up on the run from the mob and the police simultaneously.
Denise M.
Sep 14, 2009 Denise M. marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
AKA: Alan Marshall, Alan Marsh, James Blue, Ben Christopher, Edwin West, John B. Allan, Curt Clark, Tucker Coe, P.N. Castor, Timothy J. Culver, J. Morgan Cunningham, Samuel Holt, Judson Jack Carmichael, Richard Stark, Donald E. Westlake
This book is literally about a dead body that gets buried, unburied, reburied, moved... all centered around a poor hapless mobster that is given this funny assignment. Not your typical Goodfellas or Godfather type of mobster.
Compared to the half a dozen other Westlake books I've read, this one simply was not as funny or quite as well written. It was an enjoyable read, but not a particularly memorable one.
Barbara Messenger
Loved this. Original and such a well constructed story. You can tell Westlake can write. Laughed out loud in one part - so clever.
Good for my rainy day read. Disappointed James has been pulled back into story was pulling for Charles.
Margaret Dee
Fun Christmas Book. Perfect for the holidays!
Chad marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2014
Pamela marked it as to-read
Oct 28, 2014
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Sep 24, 2014
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Sep 13, 2014
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Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) was one of the most prolific and talented authors of American crime fiction. He began his career in the late 1950's, churning out novels for pulp houses—often writing as many as four novels a year under various pseudonyms such as Richard Stark—but soon began publishing under his own name. His most well-known characters were John Dortmunder, an unlucky thief, and a ru ...more
More about Donald E. Westlake...
The Hot Rock (Dortmunder, #1) Bank Shot (Dortmunder, #2) The Ax What's The Worst That Could Happen? (Dortmunder, #9) What's So Funny? (Dortmunder, #14)

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