A small South American republic has decided to capitalize on its national symbol: a prized gold statue of a dancing Aztec priest. The president asks a sculptor to make sixteen copies of it for sale abroad. The sculptor replaces the original with one of his fakes, and ships the real one to New York for an under-the-table sale to a museum. The statues travel to America spread out among five crates, labelled to ensure that delivery goes as planned. But the plan doesn't work -
Donald E. Westlake (1933-2008) wrote over a hundred novels under his own name and pseudonyms, including Richard Stark. Many of his books have been made into movies, including The Hinter, which became the brilliant film noir Point Blank, and the 1999 smash hit Payback. The winner of the three Edgar Award, he was named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society, in 1993.