Right after the war, Tangier was the craziest town in North Africa. Everything was for sale and the price was cheap. The perverts came for the flesh. The addicts came for the drugs. A whole army of hustlers and grifters came for the loose laws and free flow of cash and contraband. So why was I here?
Because it was the only place that would have me. Besides, it was a great place to be a detective. You got cases like in no other place I’d ever been, and I’d been all over.
Cases you couldn’t believe ever happened. Like when I had to track down the guy who stole the bank. No, he didn’t rob the bank, he stole it. Here’s how it happened . . .
Back in the days when Tangier was an International Zone, the city was full of refugees. People fleeing Stalin. People fleeing Franco.
People fleeing the Nuremberg Trials. Tangier offered a safe haven from the chaos of Europe.
The International Council had to keep a delicate balance, tolerating everything from anti-capitalist agitators to Germans with murky pasts. It was the only way to keep the peace, and it worked.
Until an anarchist was found dead with a fascist dagger in his chest.
And I got stuck with the case just when I had to smuggle a couple of Party operatives out of town.
Only in Tangier could a literary event turn into a murder scene.
I’m “Shorty” MacAllister, private detective. I’ve investigated all sorts of crazy cases in this lawless town, tracking down con men and Nazi fugitives, anarchists and bank robbers, all the while running my own secret angle.
But I never thought that when I went to hear my friend Jane Bowles read her latest story I’d end with a murdered man in my lap, and an old war buddy getting pinned with the crime.
After that, things got a whole lot more complicated.