Death in the Fifth Position

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
In Death in the Fifth Position, dashing P.R. man Peter Sargent is hired by a ballet company on the eve of a major upcoming performance.   Handling the press seems to be no problem, but when a rising star in the company is killed during the performance—dropped from thirty feet above the stage, crashing to her death in a perfect fifth position—Sargent has a real case on his hands.  As he ingratiates himself with the players behind the scenes (especially one lovely young ballerina), he finds that this seemingly graceful ballet company is performing their most dramatic acts behind the curtain.  There are sharp rivalries, sordid affairs, and shady characters.  Sargent, though, has no trouble staying on point and proving that the ballerina killer is no match for his keen eye and raffish charm.

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CHAPTER ONE

1

"You see," said Mr. Washburn. "We've been having trouble."

I nodded. "What sort of trouble?"

He looked vaguely out the window. "Oh, one thing and the other."

"That's not much to go on, is it?" I said gently; it never does to be stern with a client before one...
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PRAISE FOR

“Classic. . . . The forerunner of the mod-and-sex mystery. . . Presented with perception and verisimilitude.” —Dorothy B. Hughes, Los Angeles Times

“The case of the missing author is over.  Gore Vidal has emerged from behind the facade of Edgar Box.” —The New Republic

“Terse and lively. . . . Balletomanes will relish the book.” —The New York Times