Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress

A Peter Macklin Mystery

Peter Macklin Novels (Volume 5)

Loren D. Estleman

Forge Books





Multiple Shamus Award winner Loren D. Estleman is "a superb stylist as well as a deft storyteller [who] paints his people and his city with acerbic wit and wry affection" (San Diego Union-Tribune). In Little Black Dress, Peter Macklin was a hit man for a long time but he has taken steps to distance himself from his tattooed past, like quitting the mob, moving away from Detroit, and marrying the gorgeous, intelligent Laurie. But retirement isn't easy for an ex-hit man.

Now the man accustomed to killing people in cold blood must adjust to a sadistic ritual of early marriage... he must spend time with his eccentric mother-in-law. This event takes an unexpected turn when Macklin discovers mom-in-law's boyfriend Benjamin Grinnell is a spotter for a gang of armed robbers. Unfortunately, Grinnell made a big mistake: he failed to spot a shotgun-toting shop-owner, whom the gang had to turn into red mist. Now Grinnell's life is threatened, and Grinnell's jeopardy endangers his sweetie... and Laurie.

Macklin, driven by his professional curiosity and his desire to protect his family, can't help but get involved. As Macklin investigates Grinnell's dark affairs, he inevitably gets tangled up with Grinnell's enemies, including the Ohio mob... and the law. All parties converge in a deadly shootout, with the lives of Macklin's loved ones and the fate of his marriage precariously hanging in the balance.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.


Chapter One

It was always a mistake to generalize; but, dear God, security guards were dumb.

Grinnell spotted him two steps inside the door, browsing the Japanese Animation racks in a Hawaiian shirt with the tail out over his...


Praise for Little Black Dress

“Loren D. Estleman is a master. He is one of my heroes.” —Harlan Coben

“It has more strength, energy and crunchy dialogue than 90 percent of the books surrounding it in stores. Reading an Estleman mystery is like watching really great veteran hitters at bat, seeing how they bring everything they've learned over the years to each turn at bat.” —Chicago Tribune on Poison Blonde

“Macklin is a creation of surprising depth and intelligence, and he and Laurie make a good match.” —Wes Lukowsky, Booklist on Something Borrowed, Something Black

“The story vibrates with letter-perfect details, and the plot, with changing locations and changing points of view, is deftly handled. Each character, major or minor, is fresh and real, and this creates a terrific energy throughout the book, demonstrating once again why Estleman has won so many awards.” —Publishers Weekly on Something Borrowed, Something Black

“Spell-binding. Just about anything Estleman writes is worth reading.” —Reviewing the Evidence on Something Borrowed, Something Black

“A truly entertaining read and well worth picking up. Loren D. Estleman is, as usual, on the top of his game. I just wish he could write faster!” —Books N Bytes on Something Borrowed, Something Black

“A hit man as the hero of a whodunit series?...only Estleman would have the chutzpah to try.” —Chicago Sun-Times on Kill Zone

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Loren D. Estleman

Loren D. Estleman, the author of more than fifty books, is admired for both his novels of the West and his crime novels. His many books include the Amos Walker series, the Valentino Mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula. A nominee for the National Book Award, he has won five Spur Awards. Estleman lives in Michigan with his wife, author Deborah Morgan.

Loren D. Estleman

Deborah Morgan



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