The title conjures up tuxedo-clad ambassadors slithering around in black limousines -- and, in fact, Behrens is a Foreign Service wife and hostess who must produce, on short notice, canapes and hors d'oeuvres, dips and desserts -- usually for large numbers of people whose gastronomical habits may be very different from our own. The recipes here collected (from other wives of diplomats as well) have a predictably cosmopolitan flavor -- Japanese sashimi, Nigerian crabs and rice, Afghan chicken pilaw, Dutch pea soup. In between some chic chitchat about garden parties in Stuttgart and fancy receptions in Berlin, there are directions for making cold galantines, iced fruit soups, herring salads, frogs' legs provencale and some truly wonderful tasting drinks: mulled wine, ""overseas"" eggnog, sangria and spiced teas. The recipes are without exception elegant; more surprisingly, many are streamlined and quite simple to prepare. For those occasions when snob appeal is a must.