“Mystery” meets “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in this debut novel modelled on musician Peter Duchin, here thinly disguised as bandleader Phillip Damon. Reading this book is like looking at a painting of San Francisco’s high society circa 1963. There is an abundance of name-dropping, lists of songs, events, and descriptions of landmarks, but one never gets access to what lies behind the glitzy surface. The plot, centering on the stabbing of a prominent rich man on the dance floor of a posh hotel and its link to the death of Damon’s wife, is clever enough but predictable. The introduction of a black police inspector adds an interesting albeit improbable dimension to what remains mainly amateur sleuthing. The best moments are the descriptions of the workings of a band and the inherent pleasure music brings to the soul. Here at last the emotions are real and transferred to the reader. If you’re in the mood for a light, snobbish, glitter-filled story, or are nostalgic for that place and era, this one is for you.