Give me a good old-fashioned hatchet murder any day,"" says detective Steve Carella, the favorite sleuth of the top rated 87th Precinct series. He's griping about the most public poisoning of all time. The nation's No. 1 comic had died before the astonished eyes of his numberless TV fans and the studio was in the 87th's territory. While Carella and his partner work this out, the other big case being solved is that of a good old-fashioned woman beater. The McBain regulars will be well satisfied by the slick and tricky detecting.