Catherine ``Cat'' Deean, part-owner of an L.A. catering enterprise, returns from vacation to find that a neighbor has been strangled--and that her own apartment has been used as a love nest by the murderer. Then strange men begin phoning her with lewd propositions, and another neighbor, the unfriendly and mother- nagged Angela, disappears. Meanwhile, Cat meets charming Bob Crosswaithe, personal assistant to a movie director, who offers to bartend for her in order to pick up spare cash (but it that all he wants?); then a homicide cop and a p.i. inform her that Bob's a con artist involved with the elusive Angela, who not only killed her boss but absconded with bearer bonds worth $300,000. Moreover, all of Bob's ladyloves are coming to bad ends--a fatal beating, etc.- -and Cat may be next. Bob will steal a valuable painting, and Cat will meet up with the homicidally jealous Angela, before the cops wrap things up at a benefit dinner for the homeless. Angela's demented musing at the close of each chapter are hokey. And the art theft caper more properly belongs to another novel. A sub-par debut.