In MOWBRAY & THE SHARKS (2nd edition), the Midwest bank-robber Tommy-Gun Watson is trying to out-do Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde as he robs his way toward New York City in 1936. He complains that newspapers ignore his exploits and only give attention to the would-be heir Tommy Watson and his alleged misdeeds. Tommy is competing with his cousin Conrad Blocker for an inheritance of $137 million from his Uncle Sinclair Watson. Neither cousin knows that the "contest" of good behavior is rigged so that the fortune will go to a Nazi front so it can promote American pacifism on the eve of World War II. Conrad's pranks cause Tommy to be embarrassed by Bubbles LaBonza, the Boom Boom Girl from Paducah. She's also the girl friend of mobster Bugsy Rittoria, who is convinced that the Watson kid is the gangster threatening to take over New York. While Tommy pines after his beloved Ellen, Bugsy goes in with rival gang leader Ratsky Fluegel to hire a feared hitman, Luigi Goldberg O'Brien of Chicago. Mowbray has one talent that may be helpful as the story races toward wedding bells or funeral bells: He has been able to see ghosts since an experiment went wrong when he was a boy. The story evokes Oscar Wilde's "Canterville Ghost," Thorne Smith's "Topper" stories, P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, and Damon Runyon's colorful bad guys. Mowbray's ghostly universe has these restrictions: First, it's generally not healthy being a ghost; not everyone who dies becomes a ghost; some ghosts can't see other ghosts; no one talks to them so they are apt to become neurotic.
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