In his fifth appearance ( The Faberge Egg ) San Francisco private eye Amos McGuffin is in New York City, trying to get his stagestruck ex-wife to bring their equally stagestruck young daughter back home. Then billionaire real estate mogul Victor Belmont offers Amos a hefty commission (and the services of a ruthless divorce lawyer) to investigate a recent attempt on his life. Suspects abound: a Park Avenue lawyer/bag man for the mob, a society bookie, a sadistic ``enforcer,'' a buxom ``chanteuse'' and Belmont's playboy brother. There's murder, arson and nasty wheeling and dealing in real estate (fueled by Belmont's weird vision for Manhattan) before an upstate property clerk gives Amos the missing clue to the puzzle--which will startle few readers. Amos is an agreeable type, if rather too patient with his flibbertigibbet ex-wife, and, except for some talky explications, the book lopes along nicely toward a cynical ending. (Dec.)
In New York to discuss child custody with ex-wife Marilyn, San Francisco PI Amos McGuffin walks into a job investigating the attempted bombing murder of rich developer Victor Belmont. A rival real estate developer, a snooty mob lawyer, a secretive society bookie, and a gambling playboy brother all figure as suspects, so the likable sleuth sniffs rarified--if increasingly stultifying and dangerous--air. Like other McGuffin titles ( The Faberge Egg, LJ 10/1/88; Fade Out, LJ 7/84), this glides along effortlessly and should please series followers.