cover image Death Wore Gloves

Death Wore Gloves

Ross H. Spencer. Dutton Books, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55611-056-6

Full of lascivious, compliant women, ribald comedy, high spirits and a tendency to push vulgarity to its limits, this book could have played well at Minsky's. A raid on the author's mind might uncover an intention to burlesque the mystery form itselfone explanation for the amount of high-caliber wit that has been lavished on a mediocre story line. Chicago detective Tut Willow is hired by Sister Rosetta, an aging lush in nun's clothing, to locate her niece, Gladys Hornsby, a beautiful model. Since Gladys was once a prime romance in Tut's life, he is eager to comply. Once found, Gladys confesses that she is now the mistress of a rich voyeur, who may toss her out if certain pornographic photos she once posed for come to light. She asks Tut to find the pictures, which may be in the hands of a blackmailer. While he's searching, a number of dead bodies start to accumulateall of whom were key figures in Glady's checkered past. Have they been murdered by Sister Rosetta, out to avenge the wrongs done her niece, or are she and Tut merely pawns in a deadly game? Though most readers will guess the outcome well before Tut, the humorous story by the author of Kirby's Last Circus will keep them happily engaged. (February 15)