The sudden, nonaccidental, fatal descent down a flight of stairs by Sophie Comfort Noble, ancient founder of the Annual Literary Arts Symposium (ALAS), ushers in another round of genteel mayhem in Waggs Neck Harbor, Long Island. The knives come out as realtor/sleuth Wyn Lewis (The Fat Boy Murders, 1993) and the other pillars of ALAS gird for a literary confrontation between pioneering libber Sondra Mercy Confrit and her bàte noire, New Wave feminist pornographer Keny Blue. The cast includes Sophie's ambitious daughter Rhodesia, Rhodie's ambiguous companion (and ALAS executive director designate) Peter Robalinski, Keny's ghostwriter Dickie ffrench, and lesser fauna. Despite some deliciously bitchy preliminary skirmishes, the sparks die down when both of the antagonists are strangled, leaving only a trail of routine family intrigue and an aftertaste of flat champagne. For arched-eyebrow readers who can appreciate Keny's obsequies: ``We can hardly ignore the fact that she died while she was under our auspices.''