Against its manager's wishes, the Beaumont Hotel shelters a killer.
When the Chinese Revolution exploded, General Chang was one of the most vicious military leaders, committing atrocities so savage that even his comrades in the Red Army feared him. Decades later, the aging killer has become a respected diplomat, and is on his way to New York for a United Nations summit. Although the State Department doesn't like it, Chang's status demands the finest treatment. And in New York City, there is no place finer than the Beaumont Hotel.
Providing hospitality for the unhinged general falls to Pierre Chambrun, the Beaumont's unflappable manager. Finding enough rooms for the diplomatic party is a headache, but the more pressing challenge is protecting Chang from Neil Drury, a onetime character actor whose parents were tortured to death by the general. Drury has a new face, a false identity, and possibly a room in the hotel. Chang could have no better bodyguard than Chambrun, for within the Beaumont's walls, the manager is more powerful than Red China itself.
Hugh Pentecost was a penname of mystery author Judson Philips (1903-1989). Born in Massachusetts, Philips came of age during the golden age of pulp magazines, and spent the 1930s writing suspense fiction and sports stories for a number of famous pulps. His first book was Hold 'Em Girls! The Intelligent Women's Guide to Men and Football (1936). In 1939, his crime story Cancelled in Red won the Red Badge prize, launching his career as a novelist. Philips went on to write nearly one hundred books over the next five decades.
His best-known characters were Pierre Chambrun, a sleuthing hotel manager who first appeared in The Cannibal Who Overate (1962), and the one-legged investigative reporter Peter Styles, introduced in Laughter Trap (1964). Although he spent his last years with failing vision and poor health, Philips continued writing daily. His final novel was the posthumously published Pattern for Terror (1989).