Andy Blake’s idea of a pleasant evening was to stretch out in a deck chair, wriggle his feet into a pair of old slippers, and sip an old-fashioned. For this recipe he had, unfortunately, one too many ingredients: his wife, Arab.
Arab’s idea of fun and games was to be shot out of cannons, to participate in mob massacres, or to explore haunted houses. Any menace lurking within ten miles of Arab didn’t stand a chance of getting along without her.
It was therefore inevitable that the Blakes should go out for an evening stroll in their quiet Washington suburb, and wind up a couple days later securely tied to a bedpost in a burning building.
In the interval they are shot at, stabbed at, garroted at, and made uncomfortable in a variety of rather unusual ways. They find a priceless Renaissance pendant, a young man who is a genius at both silver-smithing and murder, and a foreigner who does nothing all day but converse with a phonograph.
In other words, Shoot If You Must displays the Blakes at top form—with Arab, as usual, sticking her nose into other people’s business (and a very nasty business it is!), and Andy preventing it from being shot off her face by the greatest exhibition of reluctant bravery on record. As Andy says: “The gun hasn’t been made that can hit me. I shake so much nobody can figure where to aim.”
Readers shake too, at the most wonderful combination of wit and wickedness since they last met Arab and Andy in Don’t Catch Me, All Over But the Shooting, and Lay That Pistol Down.
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