The hapless Dortmunder and his gang (Drowned Hopes, 1990, etc.) are hired to burgle the emerging nation of Votskojek's US embassy, ensconced in a boat on the East River, to redeem a sacred relic--the thighbone of the cannibalized 13th-century saint Ferghana--and bring it to the emerging nation of Tsergovia's embassy, a lower Second Avenue storefront, thus insuring the latter's induction into the UN. Naturally, things quickly go awry: the bone is impounded by the DEA; a mad scientist inoculates Dortmunder; the Votskojek bigwigs stage an elaborate hoax at a Vermont chateau; and a subsidiary Dortmunder caper--to hijack a six-million-dollar art collection--goes belly-up when the cops tow away the van housing the paintings. A twist or two later, the Tsergovians are accepted into the UN--though clearly they'd be more comfortable in a Rudolf Friml operetta. Westlake's compilation of very funny slapstick vignettes--Ö la a series of Saturday Night Live sketches--can wear a bit thin as a novel, but they're a most effective antidepressant.