POOR BUTTERFLY by Stuart M. Kaminsky


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Another 1940's farce-boiled mystery for Toby Peters of L.A.--who now heads up to San Francisco, where Leopold Stokowski is about to conduct a performance of Madama Butterfly. . .unless the production is fatally sabotaged by enigmatic forces. Who's trying to prevent the opera from proceeding? Who pushed a backstage laborer to his death? Who's making threatening phone calls and making threatening appearances in Phantom-of-the-Opera disguise? That's what maestro ""Stokie"" needs Toby to find out--while protecting the cast and crew from further harm. So, with help from his cartoonish pals (genius-midget Gunther, cultivated wrestler Jeremy, dentist Sheldon), he zeroes in on the obvious suspects: a group of fanatics who want Butterfly cancelled because it's too ""pro-Jap."" But after another killing, Toby--now framed for murder himself--follows some silly clues (e.g., references to another Puccini opera lettered onto a dog's skin) to an elaborate solution and a corny opera-house showdown. . .while falling hard for the star soprano. Less irritating than some of Kaminsky's other giddy historicals, with a few solid chuckles from teeth-obsessed Sheldon--but pallid nonsense overall, and opera/music fans won't find enough authentic details to hold their attention.

Pub Date: June 5th, 1990
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine