September 28, 1981 12:00 PM

by E.V. Cunningham

Back before World War II, a detective of Japanese descent named Mr. Moto was created by the late John P. Marquand. Mr. Moto, popular in novels and films (where he was played by Peter Lorre), was a casualty of Pearl Harbor. Excuse, please, but we have just discovered an American-born Japanese, Masao Masuto, who is a police detective in Beverly Hills. Lovers of crime fiction should make his acquaintance. In this fourth Masuto mystery, the bones of a murder victim turn up 30 years after his death when heavy rains cause the swimming pool of a TV writer and his actress wife to slide down a Beverly hill. Every time Masuto gets on the trail of a possible informant, the totally ruthless (and very durable) murderer kills again. Our detective, though, is dogged as well as brilliant. Mr. Moto’s inscrutable style lives again! (Delacorte, $10.95)

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