Free-lance journalist Judith Hayes, who made a not-quite-successful debut in Hidden Agenda, here plods her way through murder, anti-Semitism, teen-age bickering, ex-husband affronts, and the wealthier citizenry of Toronto, New York, Paris and Bermuda--all with the advice and support of her lover, cop David Parr. Judith's assignment--to interview titan-of-industry Paul Zimmerman--ends abruptly when at his dinner party for 16 (Judith included) to announce a ""Big Event,"" he keels over after sipping poisoned ginger ale. Whodunit? His omnipresent lawyer, Philip Masters, who was about to abandon him for another corporation? His second wife, beautiful Brenda? His first wife, eccentric Eva, living in splendor in Paris? Mediocre business-associate Charles Griffith? Griffith's wife (and Paul's latest fling) Martha? Super-efficient secretary Deidre? Soon Judith is tying Paul's death to one of David's cases: a shoeless corpse who turns out to be, like Zimmerman, originally from Eger, Hungary. Judith traipses to Paris, to Bermuda, to Eger--and by the time Paul's Big Event/Secret is revealed, it's no longer news to the reader, who knew it many chapters back. Judith seems animated only when she's with her kids or thinking about them; then she's most appealing. Otherwise: a forced effort, with not much to recommend it.