For all that, the two books about Harry Fannin are more or less conventional private-eye novels, with maybe a few more literary allusions than most. In this one, Fannin finds himself in a classic situation. His ex-wife dies at his doorstep, and there's a lot of missing money that other people are looking for. Fannin and his cop buddy investigate, and the first solution isn't the right one. I remembered the second solution from my first reading, but it was probably obvious even then.
I liked the voice of the book quite a bit, and I liked the writing. I was bothered a little by the gay-bashing, which I probably didn't even notice forty years ago. I remember thinking that Markson must have read Ross Macdonald, though that didn't seem so obvious this time. Macdonald handles some gay issues in The Drowning Pool, and he does so more circumspectly than Markson. But Markson's book was published in 1959, some years after Macdonald's. Some of the dialogue might seem dated to modern ears, but to mine it was still amusing. I'd certainly recommend this novel, and if you run across a copy, give it a try.