A low-key debut for public-relations woman Liz Wareham, whose 7:30 a.m. client meeting finds the client--King Carter, CEO of an executive search firm--skewered to his desk with an antique Chinese dagger. Withholding evidence (an earring) from Homicide Lieutenant Ike O'Hanlon, her new boyfriend, Liz dabbles in the investigation herself and discovers that one of King's partners may have been romancing his wife, another had family ties to a Jersey Mafioso, and another was an incompetent about to be squeezed out of the firm. Furthermore, a British detective investigating King's company is soon murdered, as is King's executive assistant, and his ever- hustling employee Charlie has established a secret network of industrial spies--or has he? Sorting through alibis, wardrobes, and hairdos, Liz wraps up the case--but needs a karate chop from a friend and a last-second rescue from O'Hanlon to save her own life. Amiable, middle-aged Liz, feisty O'Hanlon, and clever business and plot shenanigans make for a readable, likable first effort.