Wind-Up

Neville Steed, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (222p) ISBN 978-0-312-05998-9
A nude beach on England's south coast, a tiny antique toy shop and a cavernous military tank museum are some of the locales in Steed's ( Clockwork ) fifth Peter Marklin mystery. Marklin, amateur sleuth and proprietor of the Toy Emporium, is truthful, kind and decent--an appealing hero despite his penchant for silly chatter. He walks his Siamese cat on a leash; refuses to cheat his customers; is faithful to his live-in lady, the ravishing Arabella; and doggedly pursues his detective work. Here he investigates the murder of a dour chap whose attic contained half a million pounds' worth of vintage toys. Though this should make for an absorbing tale, the effect is otherwise. The toy lore may be fascinating, but most of the characters are not well realized, the settings are colorless and the plot winds down like a toy tank with a broken spring. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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