cover image The Classic Car Killer

The Classic Car Killer

Richard A. Lupoff. Crimeline, $4.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-29607-5

Lupoff ( The Comic Book Killer ) cleverly builds this second adventure of mild-mannered insurance adjuster Hobart Lindsey around several cases of ``anachronistic mimesis,'' otherwise known as imitation of other eras. We meet an eccentric club that pretends it's 1929; Lindsey's mother, who has mentally blocked out all years since 1953, when her husband died; and unrepentant Nazis who decorate their outwardly normal homes with WW II memorabilia. During a ``1929 gala,'' a 1928 SJ Duesenberg convertible Phaeton valued at $425,000 vanishes from Oakland, Calif.'s Kleiner mansion. Lindsey rushes to the scene to question the revelers; the only witness was too drunk to accurately determine when the car drove off. Soon, rumors that the Kleiner mansion's bankrupt former owner has a fortune stashed away are linked to the car's theft; the stakes go up when the unlovable Kleiner heir is found dead, homicide detectives join the fracas and Lindsey is hit by a bullet. This multidimensional mystery is on the bland side, and the way Lindsey discovers the villain's hidden identity is undeniably contrived. However, Lindsey's rekindled interracial romance and subsequent teamwork with Marvia Plum, a female cop, is handled with sensitivity. (Apr.)