cover image The Melting Clock

The Melting Clock

Stuart M. Kaminsky. Mysterious Press, $17.95 (198pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-435-2

Edgar Award winner Kaminsky ( Poor Butterfly ) pairs his 1940s L.A. private investigator Toby Peters with surrealist painter Salvador Dali in the series hero's 16th outrageous escapade. Dali and his wife, Gala, hire Peters to find three paintings and three ornate Russian clocks stolen from their house in Carmel. The only clue is an enigmatic note that, once deciphered with the help of his friend Jeremy Butler, ex-wrestler and poet, leads Peters to a murdered man, one clock and a painting defaced with another coded message. Aided again by Jeremy, Peters discovers another dead man, another clock and another work of art, on which is scrawled the message ``Time is running out. ``Dali confesses planning the theft and the notes as a publicity stunt, but he is horrified by the murders. Peters fears that the painter will be the third victim and enlists the aid of Jeremy and another friend, Gunther, for protection. Once again Kaminsky mixes the real--in this case the surreal--with the fictional for a quick-paced, clever revisionist Hollywood romp. (Dec.)