A third adventure for ad-agency exec Ev Franklin (Murder on Madison Avenue) as he heads first for Iowa, then the snows of New Hampshire, working for the campaign of Iowa's John McGrath for the presidential nomination. The candidate's plan is to wind up second to front-runner Dick Havemeyer, with an eye to the race four years hence. But even this modest aim seems endangered when a smear campaign involving McGrath's alcoholic ex-wife, ultra-feminist daughter Eileen, and nerdy, decadent son George begins to surface. Then a harmless but noisy shooting incident, set off by daffy would-be starlet Della De Graaf, and the obviously pre-planned eviction of George from a local bar, start Ev looking for the nimble brain behind it all. He finds it in French-Canadian baddie Pierre LeGrand, headquartered in Boston. He also finds a feeble motive and an inside traitor. Meanwhile, the scenario behind the death of a young campaign worker is given short shrift. Orenstein's style remains breezy and easy to take; the political background, with satirical asides, is well done. But too many dull patches and a general air of tempest-in-a-teapot make this the author's weakest to date. Ev works best closer to Madison Avenue.