When will Jonathan Argyll learn? This time, the budding international art dealer with a nose for trouble volunteers to deliver a minor French painting to its new owner in Rome, only to find on his arrival that (1) the buyer, Arthur Muller, no longer wants it; (2) by the next day Muller's been tortured and killed; and (3) back in France, the canvas has been reported stolen. Even as Argyll's tracing the painting's ties to the ugly betrayal of a Resistance cell in wartime France, his unofficial fiancÇe Flavia di Stefano, of Rome's Art Squad, is getting ready, as usual, to save him from his own impetuosity--and from more of the worst judgment boasted by any fictional detective outside the funny pages. Though the flashback to historical intrigue barely 50 years old is something of a novelty for Pears (The Bernini Bust, 1994, etc.), Argyll and Flavia's fourth is as densely plotted as ever.