LARGE PRINT EDITION
In the latest of Kaminsky's popular crime capers recreating lost times and glamorous figures, PI Toby Peters gets an assignment from Leopold Stokowski. The maestro's rehearsals for Madame Butterfly in 1942 incite anti-Japanese protests at the crumbling San Francisco Opera House while "Erik," this opera's phantom, kills performers inside. Although Toby's loyal if outlandish buddies arrive to help, Eric eludes them and the murders continue. The detective himself barely escapes death and arrest for killing while he investigates likely suspects: the fake evangelist leading the pickets damning the debasement of noble Lt. Pinkerton; the opera house's eccentric caretaker; a once-hopeful singer with a failing voice.
"Kaminsky has perfected his light touch - he proceeds effortlessly and in high good humor." according to the Chicago Tribune.
The place is San Francisco, the time is 1942, shortly after America's entry into WWII. And the San Francisco Metropolitan Opera, in concert with superstar conductor Leopold Stokowski, has decided to re-open its long closed doors with a new production of Puccini's Madame Butterfly. Local anti-Japanese sentiment - orchestrated by the REverend Adam Souvine of the Church of the Enlightened Patriots - threatens the opening of the opera. When a workman falls (or was he pushed?) from a high scaffold and a series of notes containing mysterious death threats starts to appear, Stokowski cues battered LA private eye Toby Peters to see to it that the show will go on. Peters is willing to search for the Opera's persecutor and make him sing a different tune. With the help of massive ex-wrestler Jeremy Butler, diminutative intellectual Gunther Wherthman, and bumbling dentist Sheldon Minck, Peters stalks a modern-day Phantom of the Opera and falls for a beautiful soprano slated for death.