In NOT DEAD YET (Minotaur, $25.99), Peter James smartly captures the giddy insanity that descends on the English seaside resort of Brighton when it’s in vaded by a film company bringing home a local girl, Gala Lafayette, who went off to Hollywood and was transformed into a flamboyant rock star diva. But when Gala returns to Brighton, two scary people are waiting: a disgruntled screenwriter with murder on his mind and an unstable fan who could kill her with love. James really knows how to plot a procedural thriller, and he enjoys a sly joke, like casting Gaia as Mother Teresa in a West End musical called “Sainted!” But his droll wit deserts him when it comes to the Hollywood natives, caricatured in an overblown style that’s wildly at odds with the earnest manner of his series’s sleuth, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Although, come to think of it, Grace is so batty about the prospect of becoming a father that he too seems to have gone off the edge.