John Putnam Thatcher at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid--where a favored French skier has just been shot mid-jump. . . and where the special Olympics branch of Thatcher's Sloan Guaranty Trust has just been bilked out of a few hundred thousand bucks via phony traveler's checks. It soon appears that the dead Frenchman was indeed a part of the check-fraud scheme, so Thatcher's sleuthing concentrates on figuring out who among the international athletes (or coaches) is the likely ringleader. And this only moderately engaging detection is further complicated by a blizzard and by the scandal surrounding the disqualification of Swiss skier Tilly Lowengard (on drug-abuse charges). There's a ski-lift-car hostage crisis (Tilly's friends' protest), a clutch of sweet and not-so-sweet romances, the exposure of some petty Olympics-catering graft--and all ends as Thatcher and friends race to save Tilly (now un-disqualified) from being shot by the killer during her big final. Fairly satisfying solution, and the Olympics milieu is done with snowbound conviction--but, as in other recent Lathens, Thatcher is the blandest of sleuths; and only the occasional touches of wry humor (satirizing the Olympics officials and JPT's colleagues) save an un-compellingly financial plotline from near-tedium.