You might think failing TV comic Jerry Corbin, tossed back to his hometown of Lowell, Mass., to emcee The New Gong Show, couldn't sink much lower, but you'd be wrong: He's now getting threatening notes from somebody who either wants to gong him or puzzle him to death (``Back in the boneyard you'll hear the Gong of Doom . . .''). Naturally, Jerry has his people call in Alex Rasmussen (The Heaven Stone, 1994), Lowell's answer to Philip Marlowe. Rasmussen, after stumbling on the not-quite-dead body of Jerry's old classmate Florence Ryan Murphy, has the wit to trace Jerry's troubles back to a TV competition that his UMass/Lowell team won against Harvard. For the rest of it...well, you wouldn't believe how vindictive those Crimson alums can be. Rasmussen's cut back on his ham-handed dialogue, but unless you count the hit-or-miss plotting, this still isn't much of a memorial to Chandler.