The Riverside Villas Murder

by Kingsley Amis. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, $6.95. A spoof of the polite English murder mystery, as it flourished around 1930. Mr. Amis has done it all according to the formula of the time, including ridiculous motives and methods and the irrelevantly eccentric detective. He has added a sexual explicitness that would have made the book unpublishable in its supposed day. The success of this joke is entirely a matter of the reader’s taste.