Sardonic London gumshoe Jimmy Jenner (Dead Birds; The Moody Man) retrieves yet another set of indiscreet letters for posh, homosexual architect George Tiller, meets some publishing people, and is soon asked to babysit noted actor/author Charles Wallace, a drunk, during his book tour. He does, and Charlie later hires him to find his daughter Eleanor, lost somewhere in France. Jenner's search turns up a dead boyfriend (who becomes the chief murder suspect); suspiciously deceased Italian politicians; a father-son drug connection; a cocaine-laden car; explosives wrapped in his own car's undercarriage; a near-miss for Charlie; an unsavory new lover for Jenner's former girlfriend Leila; and Eleanor in the wrong place with the wrong folks--before she steps into the wrong car. A nasty tale (of Italian crime and politics) punctuated by a droll one (the lecherous letter-writer and his billets-doux); with the Francophobic Jimmy in fine fettle throughout. A better-than-usual outing: tart, sporadically cruel, and a puckish change of pace for inveterate American p.i. fans.