“Exceedingly funny . . . this one’s good for what ails you.”—The New York Times
Reluctant P.I. to the perfidious, Junior Bender, may be L.A.’s smoothest operator but when he breaks one of the cardinal rules of burglary (don’t take scores that you’re being paid way too much for) he finds himself once again on the wrong side of, well, the wrong side.
Los Angeles burglar Junior Bender has a rule about never taking a job that pays too well: in the criminal underworld, if you’re offered more money than a job is worth, someone is going to end up dead. But he’s bending his rule this one time because he and his girlfriend, Ronnie, are in desperate need of cash to hire a kidnapper to snatch Ronnie’s two-year-old son back from her ex. The whole thing is pretty complicated and has Junior on edge.
The parameters of the job do nothing to calm his nerves. A nameless woman in an orange wig has offered Junior fifty grand—twenty-five up front—to break into the abandoned house of a recently deceased 97-year-old recluse, Daisy Horton, and steal a doll from her collection. Junior knows no doll is worth 50K, so he figures there must be something hidden inside the doll that can get him in a heap of trouble. It doesn’t take long for Junior to realize he’s not the only one looking for the doll. When an old friend ends up murdered, Junior decides he will stop at nothing to figure out who the woman in the orange wig is, and why she wants the doll badly enough to leave a trail of bodies in her wake.
“Burglar Junior Bender may just be our favorite literary P.I.”—Entertainment Weekly
It’s three days until Christmas and Junior Bender, Hollywood’s fasttalking fixer for the felonious, is up to his ears in shopping mall Santas, Russian mobsters, desperate holiday shoppers, and (’tis the season) murder.
The halls are decked, the deck is stacked, and here comes that jolly old elf. Junior Bender, divorced father of one and burglar extraordinaire, finds himself stuck inside the Edgerton Mall, and not just as a last-minute shopper (though he is that too). Edgerton isn’t exactly the epicenter of holiday cheer, despite its two Santas, canned Christmas music, chintzy bows, and festive lights. The mall is a fossil of an industry in decline; many of its stores are closed, and to make matters worse, there is a rampant shoplifting problem.
The murderous Russian mobster who owns the place has decided it takes a thief to catch a thief and hires Junior—under threat—to solve the shoplifting problem for him. But Junior’s surveillance operation doesn’t go well: as Christmas Eve approaches, two people are dead and it’s obvious that shoplifting is the least of the mall’s problems. To prevent further deaths, possibly including his own, Junior must confront his dread of Christmas—both present and past.
Hollywood burgler Junior Bender finds himself caught in a revenge plot epic enough for the silver screen.
Los Angeles’s most talented burglar, Junior Bender, is in the middle of stealing one of the world’s rarest stamps from a professional killer when his luck suddenly turns sour. It takes an unexpected assist to get him out alive, but his escape sets off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime. By the time Junior is forced to commit his third burglary of the week—in the impregnable fortress that’s home to the ruthless studio mogul called King Maybe—he’s beginning to wish he’d just let the killer take a crack at him.
Junior Bender, the clown prince of crime fiction, returns in his most hardboiled adventure yet—a tale that will take Junior Bender deep into a murderous conspiracy in present day Los Angeles and uncover an increasingly confusing legacy of his burglar-mentor, Herbie Mott, who until very recently was always one-step-ahead of just about everybody.
It’s everyday business when Wattles, the San Fernando Valley’s top “executive crook,” sets up a hit. He establishes a chain of criminals to pass along the instructions and the money, ensuring that the hitter doesn’t know who hired him. But one day Wattles finds his office safe open and a single item missing: the piece of paper on which he has written the names of the crooks in the chain. When people associated with the chain begin to pop up dead, the only person Wattles can approach to solve his problem is Junior Bender, professional burglar and begrudging private eye for crooks.
But Junior already knows exactly who took Wattles’s list: the signature is too obvious. It was Herbie Mott, Junior’s burglar mentor—and when Junior seeks him out to discuss the missing list, he finds Herbie very unpleasantly murdered. Junior follows the links in the chain back toward the killer, and as he does, he learns disturbing secrets from Herbie’s hidden past.
Hollywood burglar-turned-detective Junior Bender has a knotty new case to solve—a 60-year-old Tinseltown mystery
There are not many people brave enough to say no to Irwin Dressler, Hollywood’s infamous mob boss-turned-movie king. Even though Dressler is ninety-three years old, Junior Bender is quaking in his boots when Dressler’s henchmen haul him in for a meeting. Dressler wants Junior to solve a “crime” he believes was committed more than seventy years ago, when an old friend of his, once-famous starlet Dolores La Marr, had her career destroyed after compromising photos were taken of her at a Las Vegas party. Dressler wants justice for Dolores and the shining career she never had.
Junior can’t help but think the whole thing is a little crazy. After all, it’s been sixty years. Even if someone did set up Dolores for a fall from grace back then, they’re probably long dead. But he can’t say no to Irwin Dressler (no one can, really). So he starts digging. And what he finds is that some vendettas never die—they only get more dangerous.
JUNIOR BENDER UNTANGLES ONE OF THE WEIRDEST MYSTERIES IN TINSELTOWN
LA burglar Junior Bender has (unfortunately) developed a reputation as a competent private investigator for crooks. The unfortunate part about this is that regardless of whether he solves the crime or not, someone dangerous is going to be unhappy with him, either his suspect or his employer.
Now Junior is being bullied into proving aging music industry mogul Vinnie DiGaudio is innocent of the murder of a nasty tabloid journalist he’d threatened to kill a couple times. It doesn’t help that the dead journalist’s widow is one pretty lady, and she’s trying to get Junior to mix pleasure with business. Just as the investigation is spiraling out of control, Junior’s hard-drinking landlady begs him to solve the disappearance of her daughter, who got involved with a very questionable character. And, worst news of all, both Junior’s ex-wife and his thirteen-year-old daughter, Rina, seem to have new boyfriends. What a mess.
Quick-talking burglar Junior Bender gets blackmailed into starting a new career as a private investigator for crooks in this hilarious Hollywood mystery
Junior Bender, a burglar with a magic touch, is being blackmailed into taking on a new freelance job. One of LA’s biggest crime bosses is producing a porn movie that someone keeps sabotaging; Junior’s job is to figure out who’s responsible and keep the movie on track.
The trouble is, he’s not sure he can go through with the job, blackmail or no blackmail. The actress lined up to star in the film, Thistle Downing, is an ex-child star who now lives alone in a drug-induced stupor, destitute and uninsurable. This movie would be scandalous fodder for tabloids around the country. Junior knows what he should do—get Thistle out and find her some help—but doing the right thing will land him on the wrong side of some scary people.