STANLEY ELLIN – The Luxembourg Run. Random House, hardcover, 1977. Ballantine, paperback, 1979.

   When a mystery writer takes the extra time to fill in the background of his characters, the result is too often uninteresting or turns out to be of little or no use to the plot. Not so when a storyteller like Stanley Ellin. The life of of David Hanna Shaw, a college dropout who becomes Amsterdam’s :King of the Hippies: before tuning to a trans-European career of currency smuggling, is fascinating from beginning to end.

   In The Luxembourg Run his turnabout task of avenging the death of his girl friend Anneke at the hands of hijackers who forcefully relieve him of a million dollar consignment is nearly a foregone conclusion — how could it be otherwise after he inherits ten million dollars of his own from a wealthy grandfather? Still it’s not all roses, not at all, and just as Ellin obviously believes in his characters, so will the reader.

–Somewhat revised from its first appearance in The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 2, No. 3, May 1978.