In Hip Deep in Alligators and The 600-Pound Gorilla, Chicago's Jimmy Flannery-sewer-inspector, Democratic Party functionary, amateur sleuth--conducted truly quirky investigations, with real alligators and gorillas figuring prominently. This time, however, ""turkey herd"" is a metaphor--for the city's scores of aspiring fashion-models--and the mystery is, by Flannery standards, rather mundane. Beautiful, young Joyce Lombardi--a model who was about to set up house with lesbian alderman Janet Canarias--has disappeared. So, as a favor to pal Janet, Jimmy goes prowling around the funky loft building where Joyce lived. . .and eventually finds her corpse (strangled with a hair-dryer) in the apartment of a salesman-neighbor. Suspect #1: the salesman, of course, who apparently was a sort-of-pimp for Joyce's sort-of-prostitution (arranged dates with rich out-of-towners). But what about the politician who was Joyce's secret sugar-daddy? Or the faintly kinky photographer with a studio on the loft's ground floor? Or the building's giant, oafish super? The detection here is uncharacteristically ho-hum, with a droopy windup. Jimmy's shambling, blue-collar narration is also a bit under-par, less naturally amusing than usual. But, with help from a terrific little subplot (the tribulations of holistic exterminator Willy Dink, who uses a snake and a ferret instead of pesticides), Jimmy and his Chicago connections again provide fast, lean, offbeat entertainment.