It was the summer of 1940, a hot August day in the San Fernando valley, and I had doubts that my '34 Buick would even get to Warner Brothers."" There you have it in the opening line: Philip Marlowe voice, place, and period (call him Toby Peters this time), and, gimmick of gimmicks, a cast of real movie folks-Errol Flynn, Peter Lorre, Bogie, Eddie G. Robinson, apprentice director Don Siegel, and enough famous extras to make E. L. Doctorow seem celebrity-shy. The plot is thin--blackmail and murders involving a faked photo of Flynn committing his usual: statutory rape--with the So. California quotient of hot matrons and nubile teeners. And Peters chugs along the familiar boulevard of booze, fists, and toughguy humor-sentiment in a studied reenactment for only the starriest-eyed of movie (not mystery) fans.