From my Amazon review:
I have read and enjoyed most (if not all) of the Toby Peters mysteries, and this was one of the better ones. Toby represents both Bela Lugosi and William Faulkner at the same time -- Lugosi is being stalked, Faulkner is accused of murder -- and the cases quickly become entwined, with Toby not knowing where one case ends and the other begins. One of the differences to this book (that I don't remember in any other) is that it doesn't begin with the "bad guy" chasing or confronting Toby. There *is* some flashback, but it is expository. As usual, the era references are interesting, and in the re-printed version (that came out in October 2000) there is an good afterword by Kaminsky about the Peters novels and about Bela Lugosi.
Very original mystery tale set in 1940's Los Angeles. Sam Spade meets Dracula! The author has all the era's details dead-on.
"The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor, Nazi Germany is marching through Russia, and two Hollywood lights are watching their stars dim. It's January, 1942, Bela Lugosi, the Hungarian actor who, years before, had chillingly introduced millions of Americans to the noble Count Dracula and is now struggling hard for a comeback, has just received his latest death threat - a hat box containing a small bat with a tiny stake impaled through the heart. Private eye Toby Peters, with no client on the books and stomach that cries out for tacos and the occasional beer, agrees to give the job a try. His business doubles in sound and fury when William Faulkner, the nation's most distinguished author gone Hollywood, is accused of firing three fatal bullets into the chest of a movie agent he hardly knew. If a connection exists between these wildly dissimilar cases, Peters will find it. The questions is - will it be in time?" The New York Times review said "Kaminsky has a such a good time writing, and he so loves the period, that the reader is swept along."