While admiring the vintage Packard to be auctioned by Desmond Grangier (``the only man in the world who could make John Gielgud sound dead common''), antique toy-car dealer Peter Marklin (Wind- Up, etc.) opens its trunk--and discovers the body of teenage paperboy Elvis Stover. Grangier, not keen on entrusting his alibi to the police or the press (a furtive homosexual one-nighter with a sailor), asks Marklin for help. Soon, then, Peter, along with his curmudgeonly pal Gus and his love, Arabella (now a TV reporter for a true-crime series), discovers that the hard-working teen may have been blackmailing a former employer, dallying with the sotted wife of another, and may have had information of a porn ring managed by yet another. But who among them not only wanted Elvis dead but Grangier framed for it? With quips and savoir-fair intact, Marklin sorts through an obvious red herring or two and solves the case. Often witty--and though the clues are a tad strained and the Yard's reliance on Marklin a bit implausible, they're wrapped in much English charm.