Its December 1941, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, is visiting on Oahu. There is tension in the air because of rumors of a possible Japanese attack.

Pearl Harada, a Hawaiian singer of Japanese descent, approaches Burroughs. She would like him to intercede on her behalf in an affair of the heart. She has become an engaged to the son of an American military officer and she knows that his father will not approve. Ed tells her theres nothing he can do.

Later that evening, Ed spots Pearls broken body on the beachits clear shes been murdered. Rumors fly that she may have been a spy. There are Germans on the island and hints that she may have been involved with Nazis run rampant. Then again, it could have been a racially motivated killing.

Ed, always up for adventure, decides to turn his hand to crime solving, not realizing that within two days, one murder really wont matter compared to the carnage of Pearl Harbor.

Although Pearl Harada never existed, much of THE PEARL HARBOR MURDERS is historically accurate, including the presence of Edgar Rice Burroughs on Oahu. Collins brilliantly describes the tensions of the era and the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. (May, 272 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg