|Born in Depression-era Chicago, Stuart Melvin Kaminsky has built much of his writing career around the culture of that time period. After receiving a B.S. from the University of Illinois in 1957 and an M.A. in 1959, Kaminsky had a brief stint in the Army and thereafter held jobs at numerous Midwestern universities as a science writer, a medical writer, and a public relations director. In 1972, he received a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where he has since led the Radio/Television/Film Studies department. While Kaminsky has written several texts on film as well as many biographies of such Golden Age stars as Gary Cooper and John Huston, he is most widely known as a mystery writer and creator of the fast-talking sleuth Toby Peters, detective to the stars. His first novel, BULLET FOR A STAR (1977), pits Toby against a group of thugs bent on killing the king of swashbucklers, Errol Flynn. Like BULLET, all of the Toby Peters books take place in the 1930s and 1940s and involve real-life celebrities. Kaminsky has also created four other series heroes: Russian policeman Porfiry Rostnikov, contemporary Chicago police detective Abe Lieberman, Jim Rockford, and middle-aged process server turned amateur sleuth Lew Fonesca. In 1988, he won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery novel. Aside from delving into detective fiction and film and media criticism, Kaminsky enjoys basketball and football and is an active member of the Libertarian political party.