Actresses must eat, especially if they’re six feet tall, so when it becomes clear that Victoria Bowering isn’t going to be cast as the sixth Spice Girl, she agrees to take a job as the day bartender at Kerry McAleer’s pub. The timing, of course, couldn’t be better. In her first day on the job, Vic gets harassed by McAleer’s heavily Irish clientele, tipped with a baggie of cocaine by an especially appreciative patron, stalked (or so she’s convinced) by a psychopathic theater tech she thought she’d left safely back in Maine at the end of Ovation by Death (1996), and dropped into the middle of another mystery when she discovers the corpse of Dave, her predecessor on the day shift. (The appearance of Dave in McAleer’s walk-in refrigerator is so timely, in fact, that you wonder how Vic could’ve shared the day shift with him if he hadn’t conveniently OD’d.) More troubles await—a war among the local Irish bars will bring a visit from the Board of Health, a stink bomb, and a full-scale riot—but it’s all filtered through Vic’s patter, which presses so hard to be cute and disillusioned that it’s more wearying than funny. Despite all the skullduggery, and a surprisingly ingenious bunch of criminals, Vic’s fourth packs no more punch than a Shirley Temple.