The Flanders Panel

by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Harcourt Brace,. 304 pages $21.95.
A murder mystery worked out in terms of the chess game depicted in an antique painting is an intriguing conception, but its implementation proves to be somewhat verbose in style and its solution is prematurely predictable to any devotee of the genre. Probably Mr. Pérez-Reverte’s ideal reader is a chess player with little previous experience of murder mysteries.
by Phoebe-Lou Adams