The Cold War's boiling over. Global tensions are near the breaking point. So what's the perfect assignment for a super-spy who hasn't slept since the Korean conflict? A fun-filled trip to the Montreal World's Fair!
The adorable little girl he's escorting—who, under different circumstances, would be sitting on the Lithuanian throne—can hardly contain her excitement, but it isn't all playtime for Evan Tanner. Some mysterious disappearances, apparently linked to the fair's Cuban exhibition, need to be looked into.
Keeping his mind on business, however, won't be easy after an insatiable lovely in a tiger skin falls into Tanner's arms, and a mother lode of dangerous drugs falls into his lap. But the biggest, deadliest suprise is the terrorist plot Tanner's tumbling into, and he'll have to think and act quickly to prevent the visiting queen of England from being blown to smithereens.
About the Author
Lawrence Block is one of the most widely recognized names in the mystery genre. He has been named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and is a four-time winner of the prestigious Edgar and Shamus Awards, as well as a recipient of prizes in France, Germany, and Japan. He received the Diamond Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association—only the third American to be given this award. He is a prolific author, having written more than fifty books and numerous short stories, and is a devoted New Yorker and an enthusiastic global traveler.
Read an Excerpt
Our flight left Kennedy at 8:25 on an unusually unpleasant Tuesday night in a generally horrible August. For the past two weeks the people who are supposed to know about such things had been forecasting rain to be followed by a break in the heat. The rain had held off and the heat had prevailed until the weather people appeared to be participants in some sort of meteorological martingale system, resolutely doubling their bets on the Rain and Cooler line while Hot and Clear turned up day after dismal day. If they didn't hit soon, they would run out of chips. Meanwhile, we were running out of New York.
Not literally running, of course. Flying. Although, after we boarded the big 727 and fastened our seat belts and listened to the little illustrated sermon about proper use of oxygen masks, it appeared as though we were neither running nor flying from New York to Montreal. Instead, it looked as if we were going to drive there.
The plane taxied to and fro, to and fro. The pilot put many miles on the aircraft without yet leaving the ground. Minna squeezed my hand. I looked down at her and she pouted up at me.
"You promised we would fly," she said.
"We will. Be patient."
"Is this really an airplane?"
"It does not behave like one."
Minna had flown once before, on a Russian experimental jet fighter-bomber that we had hijacked from a missile base in Estonia. That time we had taken off vertically, and I could understand how our little promenade on the runway might be a letdown for her. I assured her that the 727 was really a plane andthat it would soon behave in a planelike manner. I don't think she believed me.
After another fifteen minutes of driving, the pilot introduced himself apologetically over the intercom. I thought he was going to tell us that there was a bomb on the plane or that Montreal had been closed for the season. He explained, anticlimactically, I thought, that there were still six planes ahead of us, that we would get assigned to a runway sooner or later, and that he thanked us for our patience.
Minna said something unforgivable in Lithuanian.
"Watch it," I said.
"But no one can understand me, Evan."
"That's the point." I patted her little hand. "Don't speak anything but English until we get into Canada. Remember, you're an American citizen, you were born in New York, your name is Minna Tanner, and you speak only English."
"All right. The pilot is a—"
She is not an American citizen, she was not born in New York, her name is not Minna Tanner, and I'm not entirely certain how many languages she speaks. She is fluent in Lithuanian, Lettish, English, and Puerto Rican Spanish, and has accumulated bits and pieces of many other languages from the books and records and occasional guests in my apartment, where I live and she reigns. She is the sole surviving descendant of Mindaugas, who in his turn was the sole king of independent Lithuania some seven centuries ago.
When I first met her, she was living in a cheerless basement room in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, tended by a pair of addled old maids who awaited the day when she could be installed as Lithuania's queen. I took her away from all that, and now she plays queen in my somewhat less cheerless apartment on West 107th Street. From time to time I threaten to send her to school or to have her adopted by some happy little couple with a happy little house out in a happy little suburb. She and I both know that this will never happenshe's too much fun to have around. Ever since Kitty Bazerian's grandmother taught her how to make Armenian coffee, she has become utterly indispensable.
"How long will we be on this plane, Evan?"
"The flight takes an hour. If we ever get off the ground."
"And then we will be in Montreal?"
"Yes. And our luggage will be in Buenos Aires."
"I never trust airlines. I'm joking. We'll be in Montreal when the plane lands, yes."
"Can we go to Expo tonight?"
"It'll be too late."
"I'm not tired, Evan."
"You'll be tired by the time we get to the hotel."
"I won't. I'm hardly ever tired, Evan. Like you, I need very little sleep. Hardly any sleep at all."
I looked at her. Minna averages ten hours of sleep in twenty-four, which is a fairly healthy average. I sleep not at all, having lost the habit forever when a shard of North Korean shrapnel performed random brain surgery and knocked out something called the sleep center. I have been awake ever since. My disability pay is $112 per month, and I don't have to spend a cent of it on pajamas.
"If we went to Expo tonight," Minna said carefully, "I could sleep late tomorrow. I wouldn't want you to have to postpone your visit to Expo just because of me. I would be willing to stay up late tonight and sleep tomorrow."
"That's very thoughtful of you."
"Last Saturday you were equally selfless. You volunteered to accompany Sonya to the children's zoo."
"She wanted to see it, Evan. And adults are not permitted unless they are accompanied by children. I thought to do her a favor."
She has worked the children's zoo con on every woman I've ever brought to the apartment. "If you want," I said, "we'll go to Expo tonight."
"I only wish to be fair with you. Oh, I think it is an airplane after all!"
And so it was. We had clearance at last, and the big jet roared down the runway and took off. I sat back in my seat while Minna pressed her face to the window, watching the ground fall away from us.Tanner's Tiger. Copyright © by Lawrence Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Is this where the wedding is p.s. i cant see headlines - sam
Took a picture
Go to sweet 16 birthday res1-4 for lots of fun
Hey wat up
RESEPTION AT YEAH RES 4
Congradulations! The after party has started! I gtg! Ttyl! (congrats Hidy!!)
*starts making out but stops* lets wait til the after party *winks*
Tanner's Tiger is the fifth book in Lawrence Block's Evan Tanner series. According to the author, it was written in late '67 or early '68. It centers on the '67 Montreal Expo. It is not necessary to have read any other Tanner book to fully enjoy this one. Having lived through the 60's as an idealistic teenager, I found this book's tongue-in-cheek humor quite funny. It is full of political incorrectness, which of course, wasn't at the time--giving it an added satirical twist. The main character, Evan Tanner is a humorous mix between patriot and inept spy. He's like James Bond performed by Mel Brooks. The book is short and easy to read. It's the kind of book that you'll want to search what other books the author has written. I only buy books that I would highly recommend to my family and friends. I bought this book immediately after reading the library's copy.