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Leopold Borstinksi Author Interview

Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?

I think you should conjure up a heart for Jake Adkins, my private eye anti-hero of my latest noir novel. This is a guy who would be a much better person if he only had some old-fashioned courage and discovered a backbone.

Tell us more about your #noir #crime novel, The Case.

One Private Eye. One Case. One sackful of trouble.

When Jack agrees to take a package across America, he doesn’t know if he’ll live to tell the tale. If the CIA, the Feds and the British Secret Service don't get him then the mob will. How's a cowardly private dick going to survive in these bloody times?

The Case is a stand-alone pulp noir novel. A wry take on the jaw-dropping violent side of private investigator life by Leopold Borstinski, writer of the six-book Lagotti Family series.


I’d been in Vegas for a couple of days paid break to take photos for Eliza Rothstein, a jealous broad obsessed with the belief that her husband, Aaron, was shtupping a call girl from out of town. I told her not to worry and I’d check things out. Two hundred dollars a day plus expenses. Rothstein was rich and I knew I could get away with it. The thought I was taking Aaron’s dough to break up his marriage didn’t cross my mind. Besides, I knew Aaron wasn’t shtupping a call girl.

He was shtupping Rachel, Eliza’s closest friend, but I wanted a holiday and Aaron had taken Rachel to play the wheels in Vegas. So I came along for the ride. Aaron had set up a cozy apartment on the upper east side for the two of them, overlooking the park. If I hadn’t wanted a holiday so bad, I’d have rented a place on the west side and used a telephoto lens. The case would have been that simple. Aaron was shrewd in business — he owned enough water utilities to drown the nation — but he let his dick do the walking whenever a blonde with big blue eyes and breasts to match came into his line of vision. And anyway, Rachel and Aaron were the worst kept secret in Manhattan. But Eliza was so dumb, she didn’t understand why the guy who collected her trash was called Giuseppe. So I took the greenbacks and headed west.

Ooo, a noir, eh? So tell me, what's your poison? What are some of your favorite film noir movies? 

The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep are the first two that spring to mind. I’m a huge Humphrey Bogart fan and the mix of cracking dialogue and fabulous performances is second to none. There's also The Blue Dahlia, which is more obscure but has a brilliant Chandler script, for memory, and great B-movie acting as well. It’s a psychological noir and features the best 1950s cod therapy explanations which people pay a lot of money to hear nowadays. Then, it was the denouement of a story.

I also love Humphrey Bogart! And now I'm convinced I need to go watch The Blue Dahlia. Thanks for the recommendation! Tell me about the setting of your book, is it modern day? 

The Case is set between the 1940s and 1990s and switches between various cities in America. Why? Because it is tracking the thoughts and memories of the main character, Jake as he walks off a plane. And his mind sure does wander.

What sort of research did you have to do for this story? 

I worked hard to ensure that the language was of its day and that the references to objects, companies etc were timely. There is also an underlying theme related to British Film censorship, which I describe in the afterword that required a lot of my attention as well.

Which one of your characters surprised you? 

Jake. I knew he was a coward as that is how I envisaged him but I didn’t know how craven he was and how low he’d stoop just to earn a buck. Also, the scene when he is watching the apartment block overnight: I had no idea he was such a voyeur.

Intriguing! Who is your favorite (or least favorite) character and why? 

I love Phil McNamara, the Fed, because he has a vocation and even though he knows his organisation is flawed, he keeps on going. That, and the fact that he appears in my crime noir series, The Lagotti Family. My least favourite is Adolf Hitler because of what he did in Germany 1933-45. 

Yeah...I don't know how you could write a book with Hitler and have him NOT be your least favorite. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?  Apart from telling everyone they know about the enjoyable experience they had, leaving a review is a great way to help a writer who is seeking to broaden his audience. That is always appreciated.

You heard it here, Folks! What can we expect from you next? 

Between now and the end of the year, I have just launched a four-book box set of The Lagotti Family series at an incredibly reasonable price. October saw the arrival of a steamy modern day financial crime thriller called The Death and Life of Penny Pitstop. In November the first of seven-book series hits the streets. This is a Jewish gangster saga covering 1910-1979 in the life of Alex Cohen, and book one is called The Bowery Slugger. Alex is back inside the world of traditional crime noir and Pitstop is a dark sexed up tale of twenty first century folk with no moral compass.

Wow! You have a lot going on! Good luck, and thanks for stopping by.

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better, so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child, and no pets.

You can connect with Leopold on Facebook and Twitter.

You can get a copy of The Case on Amazon.

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    D. Lieber has a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

    Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

    Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).

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