Don't get your hopes up--three of the four victims in mountainous Angleton, Calif., are Bart O'Neil's dogs, shot by Bart's neighbor Alf Ritchie after one of them kills Alf's dog. The fourth is Alf, with whose murder Bart is charged. Investigator Tod Hanson, who tells how his wily father and employer Bomber Hanson gets Bart off in the face of overwhelming evidence, stutters uncontrollably, but the laconic paragraphs that author Champion (The Snatch, 1994, not reviewed) has written for him achieve an agreeably goofy charm in this first of the Bomber Hanson series. A grudge, a murder, an investigation, a trial, a surprise ending, all in 161 pages? Yes, indeed. Think of those quaintly efficient Perry Mason TV shows, before they got swollen to monstrous two-hour telemovies.