The Stainless Steel Rat Joins The Circus, by Harry Harrison, hardback science fiction novel
“Slippery Jim DiGriz. The galaxy’s greatest thief and con artist: the Stainless Steel Rat. For novel upon novel, Jim DiGriz has outfoxed the forces of conventionality, cutting a stylish swathe through dozens of star systems.
Now, Slippery Jim and his beautiful wife Angelina find themselves becalmed on a painfully boring backwater planet, with nothing to do but practice their skills at computer crime.
Then they meet a billionaire who claims to be 40,000 years old–who offers them millions of credits to investigate a string of unsolved interstellar bank robberies. Robberies which, it turns out, always happen when the circus is nearby. . . .
In a sense, The Stainless Steel Rat has always been a high-wire performer. Now, as he infiltrates the world of the galactic big top, he’s taking the role to extremes . . . and drawing the attention of more dangerous ringmasters and strongmen than he ever expected.
Will this be his final show? Has Slippery Jim finally leapt for his last trapeze? Naaah.”