Lively debut of a mystery series by the author of Take Five (1982), etc. Once known for his off-putting and dense verbal energy, Mano has slimmed down to a racing-car sentence that still packs high- powered inventiveness. Tony Wilson, the brother of Father Mike Wilson, an Episcopal priest in Nebraska, has disappeared in Queens. Will Mike come east and run Tony's topless bar for his wife Ethel and their four daughters until Tony resurfaces? Mike leaves his librarian fiancÇe Kay behind, finds himself hiring and firing topless dancers at the Smoking Car (Mano handles all this flesh marvelously, does a knockout documentary on topless dancers as professionals), and ends up knee-deep in money, hoods, drug sales, dancers, and then blood as in succession four of his dancers are murdered, three of them on the stage itself (one is beheaded). Will Kay understand when she comes east and finds a naked dancer waiting on the couch? And when the papers shout PRIEST RAN TOPLESS MURDER BAR, will the church understand? Stylish first bow of the defrocked priest hero.