Somebody Owes Me Money (Hard Case Crime #44)

Somebody Owes Me Money Hard Case Crime 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 c

  • Title: Somebody Owes Me Money (Hard Case Crime #44)
  • Author: Donald E. Westlake
  • ISBN: 9780843959628
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • 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 twoCab 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
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      Posted by:Donald E. Westlake
      Published :2019-02-24T02:46:52+00:00

    833 Comment

    • David says:

      Lightweight, pleasant for a while, tedious in the end--and the author knows it. Near the end of the novel, one of our heroes asks, "Do you know this is ridiculous?" And then later she complains, "You wouldn't get away with that in a mystery story." This is not cutesy metafictional commentary; this is an author who feels compelled to apologize. But Donald E. Westlake is author enough to know that in his line of writing, you don't revise a failure. If want to keep the money coming in, you type THE [...]

    • Dan Schwent says:

      Chet Conway, a cab driver, gets a tip on a horse instead of money from a customer. The horse is a longshot but Chet puts 35 bucks on him. The horse winds up winning but when Chet goes to collect, his bookie is dead and everyone seems to think he did it. He goes on the run with the dead bookie's sister, searching for the bookie's killer and trying to get his damn money, with two gangs and a detective on his trail. Will he ever get his money?This was a light-hearted tale with a lot of twists and t [...]

    • Jim says:

      This was OK & kind of funny. Round & round the poor cabbie goes trying to figure out what's going on. There were a couple of good twists. All in all, it was a good read, but I doubt I'll remember it in 6 months.As a friend pointed out, Westlake writing under his own name has a completely different style than when writing as Richard Stark. I like the latter better, but this was a nice dessert.This edition is incorrect. I read it as one of the original HCC books, back when they still did p [...]

    • Harold says:

      Apparently I find myself still binging Westlake! What can I say's just totally entertaining.

    • James says:

      While I suppose the cognoscenti among us may agree that this is decidedly minor Westlake, even minor Westlake has its "broad" appeal. Shall we say.One opens the book and begins with a situation a lot of us can relate to, and then, rather quickly, and yet inexorably, we find ourselves, along with the protagonist, being drawn into a larger, darker, criminal world. Good thing the murdered man's sister is an appealing blonde!Despite the alarming number of details that "date" this book, the verve and [...]

    • DeAnna Knippling says:

      I think I'll just put Westlake into that categories of writers I have no objectivity about. Cabbie gets a tip from a customer to put his money on a horse. He's cheesed about the "tip," but decides to do it anyway -- and makes a tidy sum. The only problem is collecting the money: the bookie's dead, the mob won't pay, a woman is after him claiming that he killed her brotherHijinks ensue. Bliss.

    • Still says:

      A cabbie -part-time leisure gambler- gets a tip on a horse race.Follows through but fails to collect.Action ensues.This is a fun page-turner with brilliant dialogue.I'd guess you haven't read this one yet.You probably haven't even read 361.What's wrong with you?Read more Westlake.Trust me.Stark is the greatest and Coe is sublime but Westlake is a genius.Notes previously posted:02/25 page 85 "How hard is it for an author to write such effortless narrativedialogue as contained in this novel?How [...]

    • Kemper says:

      I bought this book the day before Donald Westlake died, and I left it sitting on the shelf for months. It was a reminder that he won't be writing more, and that I better appreciate any of his that I hadn't read.One of the things that I always admired about Westlake was that he could write great serious crime novels like his Parker series, but he could also write these really funny lighter crime novels like Dortmunder.Somebody Owes Me Money is more in the Dortmunder style, and it's really interes [...]

    • Philip says:

      Read a lot of Westlake in my early 20's, and as I remember it was all pretty funny stuff, especially the Dortmunder books. Don't remember a thing about this one, and didn't even remember the title - but I have long remembered one snatch of dialogue from one of his books that struck me as classic Westlake, and in Googling the phrase "love your chapeau" something called (new to me) not only identified it as coming from this book, but actually provided the whole exchange:I went over to [...]

    • Mike (the Paladin) says:

      Okay so I tend to like Westlake. I just finished a really good novel by him (his last). I've enjoyed his Parker books.Well I guess every game can't be a no hitteror maybe this is the no hitter but Westlake is the one at bat rather than pitching???So our protagonist a ne'er do well cab driver who likes to gamble and has gotten himself in a situation wherewell where things could get a little unpleasant if he goes any farther in the hole. The someone gives Conway (our "hero") a tip on a sure winner [...]

    • Craig Childs says:

      Donald Westlake wrote over 100 books, most of them under either his real name (Westlake) or his more-famous pen name (Richard Stark). The Stark novels were hardboiled and violent and included the now-famous Parker series. The Westlake books, with a few early exceptions, tended to be lighter, funnier, and probably best described as comic capers.The comic crime caper is hard to pull off. For one thing, murder is not usually considered a funny subject in and of itself. In trying to make it funny, i [...]

    • Brenda Mengeling says:

      Very enjoyable mystery set in late 1960s New York city. Chet Conway is a cabdriver who likes to play poker and bet on horseracing. When a customer gives him a tip on a horse, Chet calls his bookie. When the horse wins, Chet stops by his bookie's apartment to collect, and he finds the bookie murdered. It's not a good thing to find a murdered bookie. Of course the bookie had mob ties, in fact he had ties to two opposing factions, both of whom think Chester knows a lot about the murder. Things aren [...]

    • Matt says:

      Had a great time with this fast paced tale from Hard Case Crime (a great book series, by the way, I haven't come across a stinker yet). Donald Westlake is a true master of the mystery and crime fiction genres with a flair for humor in many of his works and Somebody Owes Me Money definitely falls into this category. It is a tightly paced story of a very regular guy who makes a bet, wins, and then winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time when trying to collect. Needless to say he runs afoul o [...]

    • Joseph says:

      I recall watching an interview with Westlake where he describes how he goes about writing his stories. He says that you start out with "voice"--and that in turn leads to characters, which leads to stories. Hence, "Stark" is not just his pseudonym for the Parker series, but also the voice.It was remarkable to me how much Westlake was able to completely change his storytelling voice for Somebody Owes Me Money. The character Chester is your Average Joe -- the opposite of Parker. And his narration o [...]

    • Ed says:

      This was a bit of a heartbreaker. I liked The Hot Rock so much but was anxious to read a Westlake where I hadn't seen the movie so I'd have a cleaner slate. On the very long list of books that seemed intriguing, this one stuck out. And the first almost half of it lives up to that promise. It's smart, funny, clever and all the stuff you'd want out of this genre. Then chapters and chapters are confined to a single apartment and you can see the life slowly go out of this thing. It becomes chatty an [...]

    • Mike says:

      This is everything I love about genre crime fiction. While it's not a literary classic by any stretch, this quick little tale gets in, gets started, gets fun, gets dangerous, gets resolved, and gets out. Pseudo-novellas like this are like potato chips for the reading brain - there's not a ton of nutrition, but dammit, you just can't stop. In addition, the level of self-awareness in the character of Chet is just fantastic - while he doesn't exactly break the fourth wall, he certainly turns and wi [...]

    • Magnus Stanke says:

      hilarious book - highly recommendedI've read all of Westlake's Richard Stark novels which are anything but funny, albeit fantastically hard boiled.This one is entertaining from the word go and really often laugh-out funny as well as being a neat narrative

    • Andy says:

      Donald Westlake is a cool writer, but this isn't one of his better works. Too wacky to be believable, if you like comedy crime you'll be in stitches by this lame fest.

    • Michael T Bradley says:

      This is KIND OF a comedic retelling of the first Parker novel, The Hunter. It reminded me of it so much, in fact, that I did some research to find out which one came out first, and found out, as I already knew but had forgotten, that Westlake wrote both, just the Parker novels he wrote under a pseudonym.In any case, in this book our protagonist, a cabbie named Chet, wins big on the horses because of a tip from a mysterious but knowledgeable stranger in his cab, and when he goes to collect, his [...]

    • Luke Sims-Jenkins says:

      Can you give a book an extra star, because it has one of the best jokes you've ever read? I did.I've been reading a lot of Westlake lately, mostly his work under the name Richard Stark, and I think i needed a break from that dark world. Well at least for one book anyway. I stuck with the same author though, because I'm still in that Westlake mood and I'm glad I chose Somebody Owes Me Money.The books is part mystery and part comedy of errors. Westlake it seems is playing around with the conventio [...]

    • Nick Anderson says:

      Fun as all hell, and if you're not familiar with the gambling world you'll end up discovering a few new terms to boot. Westlake's dialog is great here, and the overall tone is just madcap enough to leave you inclined to overlook a couple things. Those things (for me anyway) being a last-minute twist in the ending that, if you're not quite as humored by the rest of the book, can feel a little cheap. Obviously, I was able to overlook it and take it as part of the theme of the story. Also, I would' [...]

    • Ward says:

      The author has fun with this detective novel. New York cabbie, Chet Conway, gets a tip on a horse instead of real money. But the tip was good at odds of over 30:1 and life seems good, except collecting from the bookie has a minor glitchbbie finds him dead in his apartment. And now all hell breaks looseeveryone rousting poor cabbiee bookie's sister, two rival gangs, the police detective. Even one of his poker buddies may be involved in the mayhem. A great romp and well-suited solution!

    • Malum says:

      Chet's bookie is murdered, and poor Chets get thrown into the middle of a mob war with mobsters, cops, and dames all thinking he is a major mob player and/or assassin. Really, Chet is just a schmuck that wants his $930!Having just read-and hated-Westlake's Dortmunder, I was a little apprehensive about reading another Westlake crime/humor mash-up. Color me surprised, then, when I ended up really enjoying this one a lot! The mystery is pretty convoluted, but the book is hilarious and moves at a fa [...]

    • Dave says:

      Somebody Owes Me Money by Donald Westlake is a terrific, fun, comedic thriller involving a cab driver, a sexy card dealer from the Vegas strip, and two warring gangs of mobsters. Westlake wrote this in a great voice that is at once easy to follow and humorous. It is not immediately clear what time period this was written in except when you realize that there are no cell phones and no computers and the story is peopled with mobsters with trench coats and heavy-set jowls. In fact, if you didn't kn [...]

    • Jeffrey Myers says:

      It has a lot of Weslake's best qualities of humor and characterization and, of course, facility with and economy of language. In this case, however, the ending seemed somewhat forced and contrived which for me kept it from being among his best.

    • Betsy says:

      Cabbies + bookies + gamblers + cops + mobsters + corpse + one vengeful sister + chases by car and on foot and by boxcar and by rooftops and fire escapes = a whole lot of fun.

    • Paul says:


    • Matt Phillips says:

      Run-of-the-mill pulp novel. Entertaining.

    • Joan Geiger-dow says:

      A fun and witty mystery. I would never have guessed who did it!!

    • Johnny says:

      I can’t believe I picked up two Hard Case Crime novels with cab drivers as protagonists in the same two-week period. To be sure, Somebody Owes Me Money is set in NYC while Nobody’s Angel is set in Chicago, but both are set in earlier times (NYC of the early ‘60s when the Westlake novel was first published and Chicago of the ‘70s or ‘80s just before a lot of clean-up was done of the areas in which the action takes place). Yet, Nobody’s Angel is gritty and realistic while Somebody Owes [...]

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