A derivative, talky but nonetheless likable debut case for 60-year-old Dade Cooley--San Francisco lawyer and executor for the estate of old chum Miriam Welles, an L.A. art-dealer (and second wife of super-rich Jensen Welles) who's just been killed in a freak car accident in her own driveway. But Miriam's stepdaughter Rachel is sure that the death was murder--especially when Dade finds evidence that Miriam was in the process of running off with a (soon-identified) lover. Furthermore, there's much mystery connected to a painting that Miriam had recently bought (from her ailing ex-husband): it's now missing and might be worth $35,000. . . or $5 million. Plus: Rachel's gorgeous Russian lover is a shady character. So--lots of suspects, two of whom die violently before Dade fingers the Least Likely Person. . . who in fact killed Miriam by mistake. Creaky plotting? Very--with echoes of those TV Perry Masons in which all the suspects were somehow at the crime-scene at five-minute intervals. But crusty Dade and wife Ellen are engaging folks, the dialogue is mostly fine, and the Renaissance-art stuff is educational; so un-rigorous mystery fans will probably find this something of a leisurely and pleasant throwback.