Catto's veteran imagination hasn't been exactly overtaxed lately. To wit: ""Limpie,"" who acquired his nickname from a Vietnam injury but who's doing nicely as a semi-shady lawyer for Americans on the Riviera, is lured to Paris by the aroma of ""something wild and erotically profitable."" It seems that his long-time client-debtor, Hakim Tedescu, is now toast of the town--a boon companion of the Emir of Abu el-Mesa, who intends (if Limpie can smooth out the legalities) to purchase Hakim's nightclub (""a decrepit nest of Napoleonic brick and dry rot in Montmartre"") for two million dollars. The jolly, impotent Emir takes Limpie to lunch, the nightclub's trio of swank strippers takes Limpie to a private showing at Dior, so Limpie is persuaded to confront the Emir's rhinocerine, pursestring-holding stepmother in stifling Abu el-Mesa. And when the Emir's life is supposedly in danger, Limpie drives, drags, and carries him to safety--only to find that he's been everybody's patsy. That's about it: mild and non-nutritious as Perrier water, not even terribly bubbly. But, except for an excessive attachment to such phrases as ""pinkly lit"" and except for sadly dated references to Kissinger and Callas, Catto's drily insouciant tone never goes flat, whether amid the pissoirs of Pigalle or the flies of Abu el-Mesa. Unriveting, to be sure, but in its own low key--nicely in tune.