Only three weeks after making Lieutenant in Midtown South, short-staffed Marian Larch catches a case of her own: the shooting of retired toy-maker Oliver Knowles on a bus full of New York witnesses who didn't see a thing, even though one of them, Zoe Esterhaus, had been paid to follow him. The only beneficiaries seem to be Knowles's son Austin, his attorney Elmore Zook, and David Unger, general manager and heir-apparent of O.K. Toys. But they're not talking, so Larch bides her time worrying about other things- -her actress friend Kelly Ingram being stalked by a mousy but persistent fan; her old partner, Ivan Malecki, wanting her to be best man (best man?) at his wedding; the P.I. whom Esterhaus was working for turning out to be Larch's sometime lover Curt Holland- -till a second shooting on a crowded subway car reveals Knowles's killing as one more job in an impressively detailed murder-for-hire plot. Withdrawn bedmates, sexist underling cops, oblivious witnesses, contract killers, her buddy's pushy mother-in-law- designate--all the usual procedural hassles are no match for the indefatigable Larch (The Apostrophe Thief, 1993, etc.), who doesn't mind leaving a few loose ends for the next round.