David Debin

Murder Live At Five

Debin (The Big O) takes satirical swipes at L.A., self-help cults and TV journalism as his hero, Albie Marx, 1960s survivor and columnist for Up Yours magazine, finds himself a prime suspect in the wedding-day murder of a media tycoon. The man who pulled the trigger implicated Albie on national TV just before dying of colon cancer; $50,000 has appeared in Albie's checking account; and the beautiful woman who is his alibi has disappeared. All of this comes as a gift for Albie's longtime nemesis, a cop named Danno. Naturally, Albie sets out to clear his name, find his missing alibi and expose the murderer. But who could that be? Is it a rival media mogul? Or a New Age guru called Ozzie Baba (aka Jack Schwarzberg) whose mantra for the '90s is, "It's not my job to make you happy"? Or perhaps the victim's widow, inheritor of a considerable estate? The writing is edgy, fresh and appropriately outrageous."

"A tinge of melancholy deepens this manic, layered mystery as funny, fast-talking Albie holds tight to hippie principles in a town where money and position come first.
--Publishers Weekly

Though he's approaching 50, Albie Marx's sixties mind-set, however bruised, remains intact. These days, he makes a living as an investigative reporter for Up Yours, the last of the counterculture rags. While researching Ozzie Baba, a "Me First" spiritualist, Albie finagles an invitation to the wedding of media mogul Bert Holman, Ozzie Baba presiding, of course. At the wedding, Holman is assassinated, and Albie catches the killer. Hero? Not Albie. In fact, police detective Danno, who once tried to pin Janis Joplin's death on Albie, sees the aging hippie as a possible accomplice. Forced to investigate in order to clear his name, Albie immerses himself in Holman's world of megadeals, movie stars, and tabloid television journalism. Author Debin, himself a screenwriter, knows Hollywood and populates his story with a plethora of wealthy, good-looking slimeballs. This third Albie Marx mystery is as entertaining as the first two and perpetuates cynical Albie's belief that there's no gold in those Hollywood Hills, only evil.
--Booklist


Excerpt

At the insistence of my boss, John Shrike, the world’s leading cynic and publisher of Up Yours magazine, I was writing a piercing profile of Jack Schwarzberg, the mystic from New York who first came to prominence as a channel for the spirit of an old Sioux Indian, Chief Ozuma Blackfood.

Then, about five years ago, Schwarzberg (aka Ozuma Blackfoot) “evolved” into the highly visible spiritual teacher and guide known today as Ozzie Baba, the Beverly Hills Guru.

Airing the dirty diapers of a guru to the stars isn’t my idea of being useful to society, but Shrike always reminds me he has to put out a magazine every week ? and we know that some stories are more commercially pungent than others.

Ozzie Baba and the teachings of his Happiness Foundation are now known and revered by thousands of spiritual cognoscenti, particularly in the upper stratas of the Los Angeles and New York show business colonies.

As all Hollywood knew, Ozzie was scheduled to appear at a private Beverly Hills ceremony and reception for Bert Holman and Sheila Peterson: the game show king, his young bride, and five hundred of their most intimate friends. Ozzie was slated to perform the wedding rites, to plaster the opulent gathering with a jumbo hit off is spiritual bong, as it were.

Physically, Ozzie’s a tiny fellow, a shade over five feet tall, of indeterminate age. Aside from intense, gleaming black eyes, he has no memorable features except for a saucer-size bald spot which gives way to a shoulder-length fall of fine flaxen hair.

What propelled this unprepossessing little man into the hearts of the LA elite?

The answer is, his no-nonsense approach to achieving spiritual salvation with the least amount of time and effort. No hours pissed away in non-income-producing meditation. No hand-me-down mantras cooked up by destitute sages from Third World countries. Ozzie Baba gives it to you straight out ? God wants you to be happy. Moods, anxieties, depression, regret- forget ‘em. God doesn’t hold your soul responsible for the happiness of others. When you can’t make yourself happy, how can you make someone else happy? If you have time on your hands and it makes you happy to pray for others, be Ozzie’s guest, but your soul is responsible only for itself. Ozzie’s followers all use the same affirmation, which they repeat silently through the course of their day: “It is not my job to make you happy.

This new and inspiring take on the boring old question of man’s relationship to God has given this particular Beverly Hills crowd a passel of fresh and exciting, spiritually evolved reasons to continue their work on earth: doing to others before others do unto them - plus ten percent.

REVIEWS

"Though he's approaching 50, Albie Marx's sixties mind-set, however bruised, remains intact. These days, he makes a living as an investigative reporter for Up Yours, the last of the counterculture rags. While researching Ozzie Baba, a "Me First" spiritualist, Albie finagles an invitation to the wedding of media mogul Bert Holman, Ozzie Baba presiding, of course. At the wedding, Holman is assassinated, and Albie catches the killer. Hero? Not Albie. In fact, police detective Danno, who once tried to pin Janis Joplin's death on Albie, sees the aging hippie as a possible accomplice. Forced to investigate in order to clear his name, Albie immerses himself in Holman's world of megadeals, movie stars, and tabloid television journalism. Author Lebin, himself a screenwriter, knows Hollywood and populates his story with a plethora of wealthy, good-looking slimeballs. This third Albie Marx mystery is as entertaining as the first two and perpetuates cynical Albie's belief that there's no gold in those Hollywood Hills, only evil."

Booklist


"Debin (The Big O) takes satirical swipes at L.A., self-help cults and TV journalism as his hero, Albie Marx, 1960s survivor and columnist for Up Yours magazine, finds himself a prime suspect in the wedding-day murder of a media tycoon. The man who pulled the trigger implicated Albie on national TV just before dying of colon cancer; $50,000 has appeared in Albie's checking account; and the beautiful woman who is his alibi has disappeared. All of this comes as a gift for Albie's longtime nemesis, a cop named Danno. Naturally, Albie sets out to clear his name, find his missing alibi and expose the murderer. But who could that be? Is it a rival media mogul? Or a New Age guru called Ozzie Baba (aka Jack Schwarzberg) whose mantra for the '90s is, "It's not my job to make you happy"? Or perhaps the victim's widow, inheritor of a considerable estate? The writing is edgy, fresh and appropriately outrageous. A tinge of melancholy deepens this manic, layered mystery as funny, fast-talking Albie holds tight to hippie principles in a town where money and position come first. "

Publishers Weekly

Selected Works

Fiction
“An incredible page turner! Hilarious and exciting!”
--Ron Bass, Academy Award winning writer of “Rainman”
“Debin distills the essence of L.A. looniness in convincing style.”
--Publisher’s Weekly
Albie Marx takes on the most ruthless powerbrokers in Hollywood

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