Rick Ramsey, the mantra-chanting journalist who found a severed hand on the sidewalk in last year's faintly unpleasant A Swell Style of Murder, now finds a female corpse without breasts in his rich aunt's Park Avenue basement. And the ensuing sleuthing for Rick and wife/colleague Rosie takes them into the more than faintly unpleasant world of sadomasochistic sex clubs and child prostitution. The body, beaten as well as mutilated, is that of a teen-age hooker specializing in ""the cuff and whip market""; her pimp has also been murdered. So Rick and Rosie--a smug pair with zilch in the Nick-and-Nora charm department--befriend pathetic Ice, a sex-club performer on the hooking/porno fringe, to learn more about this subculture. Meanwhile, the reader is treated to glimpses of S-M psychos--including the masked ""Leather Man""--in action. And eventually, after more sick-o killing, Ice winds up in the python-wielding clutches of Leather Man, whose true identity is revealed in a ludicrous finale that also features Rick's mystical karate chops. Thickened with tedious chats about Rosie's problematic Italian heritage: a clumsy blend of lurid, chirpy, and trendy--without the black-comic authority that other mystery writers (Robert Campbell, Jerry Oster, et al.) have brought to unappetizing subject-matter.