A competent debut, set in the London publishing world, begins with the murder of Gilman Press editorial director Adrian Lynch, whose body is discovered by newly hired editor Aphra Colquhoun, who then becomes the CID's chief suspect--largely because she'd once been convicted of murder (committed in self-defense, actually, and she lost an eye in the fight). Desperate to prove herself innocent, Aphra asks for help from her flatmates and a journalist friend (whose ``interview'' notes pop up regularly--the author's way, it seems, of presenting information). Soon, they're all awash in an insider-trading scam, rival publishers courting an American author, and the pain of unwed-motherhood. Furthermore, someone is sending Aphra scary letters; her publisher clearly wants to fire her; and she winds up in the hospital after her bike is tinkered with. One more will die before Aphra and chums can sort out the murderers from the blackmailers from the mischief-makers. Well-placed clues, but uneven character development--and Adams relies too heavily on those journalist ``notes.'' Still, a respectable first effort.