Hollywood, 1947. When Jim St. Clair, L.A.'s first TV newscaster is shot, Jim's junior colleague Paris Chandler, gossip- mongering Etta Rice's assistant on the L.A. Examiner, has a special reason to dig into the crime: She knows--as the police only suspect--that the attractive blond seen leaving Jim's house 20 minutes before he was shot was her. Before Paris and a telltale negligee can get hauled in by starstruck Chief Harry Gladstone, who dreams of his own TV show, she's got to: find Jim's records of an ingenious real-estate scam involving the right-of-way for the new freeway; foil the killers who keep kidnapping her, as well as Ursula Martens, a treacherous blond who happens to be Paris's double; continue to dish the dirt on Hollywood notables (``FLASH! Cary Grant Fires His Housekeeper''); and catfight Ursula for the embraces of Etta's other assistant, Nick. Chauffeured, Schiaparelli'd working-stiff Paris (the paperback As Crime Goes By, 1990) is only half as cute as she thinks, and here she overstays her welcome, the twists of Shah's promising plot, and the fey period cameos by a hundred pages or so.