Double Feature by Donald E. Westlake features the novella A Travesty and a short story titled Ordo. Double Feature was originally published in 1977 as Enough. A Travesty was adapted into the TV movie A Slight Case of Murder with William H. Macy. Both the novella and the short Story feature non PC language so caveat emptor. This is published by Hard Case Crime

A Travesty, the novella in Double Feature is Donald E. Westlake having fun with a solid story, a great main character, and the reader. Film critic Carey Thorpe accidentally kills Laura Penney, one of his two girlfriends. A private detective named Edgarson blackmails him for an incriminating photo and his testimony. Thorpe pays off the private detective but gets even almost immediately.

One of the two detectives on the Laura Penney case befriends Thorpe. Somehow, Thorpe gets invited to their next murder scene and solves the crime. This makes Thorpe the detectives’ lucky charm and he gets invited to more crime scenes to solve more improbable crimes for the cops.

Meanwhile, Thorpe has to keep the detectives and his second girlfriend in the dark as to his killing Laura Penney.

In the end there are 6 dead bodies before the rather fun and clever finale. The novella in Double Feature aka Enough is Donald E. Westlake, of Dortmunder fame, at his cleverest and funniest.

Ordo is a short story about a sailor who discovers his first wife is now a famous movie star. It is Donald E Westlake musing on the notion of identity: how one person can become a totally different one while a second person can stay the exact same. It is a quite interesting and fun read.

Double Feature
Donald E. Westlake
Hard Case Crime 2020

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