. . . there's Benjamin Smoke, McBain's new replacement for Steve Carella, a retired police lieutenant whose one regret is that he's never encountered the perfect crime. He doesn't here either, in a case which begins with the theft of a corpse from a funeral parlor. . . the forcible entry of four other mortuaries. . . a jade pendant inscribed Cleopatra worn by a woman who believes herself to be the reincarnation thereof. . . black magic. . . and a more reasonable explanation than you have been led to expect. All right, but the perfect crime has got to be better and, paradoxically, less rigged.