cover image Buried Caesars

Buried Caesars

Stuart M. Kaminsky. Mysterious Press, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-374-4

It's September 1942, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur has hired private eye Toby Peters to recover some incriminating papers that might keep the general from going into public life after the war. The papers, and funds that could help MacArthur finance a campaign, have been stolen by a civilian aide, Andrew Lansing. Meanwhile, Peters is offered the services of another detective, former Pinkerton op Dashiell Hammett, who's hiding out from Lillian Hellman while trying to recover his health so he can enlist in the army. The chase leads the two to Angel Springs, Calif., and to the mysterious and eccentric millionaire, Mr. Pintacki, who has his own ideas about keeping America great, which don't include a general as president. After Peters discovers Lansing's body on Pintacki's property, the crazed tycoon and his goons pursue Hammett and Peters; the latter, at the same time, tries to make time with his former wife and runs afoul of his uptight cop brother Phil. This 13th entry in Kaminsky's ( The Man Who Shot Lewis Vance ) immensely popular series about Peters tries too hard and spreads itself too thin: the background and the effort to establish it are just a little too obvious. (Apr.)