Yet another of Baxt's fictional takes on the glamour queens of film history (The Greta Garbo Murder Case, etc.). This time it's Marlene Dietrich, whose celebrity-stuffed New Year's Eve party is interrupted by the poison murder of astrologer-seer Mai-Mai Chu. Dietrich and Mai-Mai's friend Anna May Wong lend their energies and insider clout to Police Inspector Herb Villon, as the case intensifies with the fatal stabbing of waiter Morton Duncan. Mai- Mai's secret astrological charts pinpoint a clutch of recent Hollywood visitors, all party guests--among others, Dong See, a renown violinist; munitions-king Ivartensha; Mussolini admirer Countess Dorothy di Frasso; Hitler confidante/onetime opera-star Brunhilde Messer--all of them engaged in a global conspiracy for power and influence. It takes a third murder to inspire the trap that ends it all, with Dietrich in at the kill. Baxt's predictable mix--a parade of well-researched bygone celebs and resurrected gossip; scads of nasty, banal chitchat, laced with painful puns--but this time with a plot that's livelier and more imaginative than the author's norm: his fans will love it.