Fans of the offbeat will doubtless enjoy this quirky, engaging, Chandleresque detective story set in 1950s London. Tony Gérard has never quite settled down to civilian life after returning from WWII. He mostly does odd jobs for Les Jackson, head of Hoxton Films. So when Les asks Tony to help find attractive starlet Beverly Beaumont’s missing brother, Jon, Tony agrees. But from the minute he starts searching, he realizes there’s something odd about the case. For one thing, when he manages to find Jon, the kid hands him a package for Beverly—a package of diamonds. Then, when a beautiful Frenchwoman whom Tony knows from the war turns up in the investigation, along with her husband, a man with dubious, possibly criminal, connections, Tony realizes the Beaumont case may be a lot more complex than he thought. Car chases, a mysterious Cambridge don, a gang of European thugs, and a climactic shoot-out keep the action hot and heavy. The likably lackadaisical hero (Tony is surprised when he solves the case) and the vividly rendered ’50s setting make this an engaging and unusual read.