A typically small-scale British whodunit from first-timer Puckett, a scientist at Oxford's blood-transfusion center, who here writes about what he knows best--blood processing. Tom Jones, a health-service investigator, in response to an anonymous letter suggesting blood is being siphoned from Devon's Blood Transfusion Centre for illegal profit, appears on the Centre's doorsteps just after its night orderly has disappeared and one of its lab scientists has been fatally coshed in the blood-freezer room. The staff is, in turn, sulky, petty, jealous, gossipy, tentatively amorous, helpful, and deucedly cantankerous; the police are barely polite. Still, Tom perseveres and--after several mysterious phone calls, late-night thrashings in the Centre by unseen assailants, threats from #1 suspect Adrian, another murder, and coming to grips with his own hemophobia--the beleaguered Tom finally uncovers not one blood, swindling scheme but two; and when he confronts the guilty, there are yet two more deaths, one of them a convenient and improbable suicide. Much fascinating stuff about blood--from typing, storing, separating, and worldwide black-marketing--plus a rousing condemnation of Britain's importing AIDS/hepatitis-tainted American plasma. There's also a touching subplot concerning Tom's hemophiliac brother, an AIDS-by-transfusion victim. In sum: interesting topic and locale; serviceable though undistinguished prose.