Who would have thought that this bulky one with the black hat low over stern little eyes, rushing suddenly tippy-toe with knees-up action and bum stuck out for the concealment afforded by the side of a pub porch, was a serious policeman. . .?"" That's a description of gorilla-ish Inspector Alfred Stanley Rosher, of course (An Uprush of Mayhem, The Local Lads, etc.); and, even more than in previous Roshers, the emphasis here is on sardonic, whimsical farce and black-comic subplots. Certainly the murder-mystery is entirely incidental this time: the body of young layabout John O'Hara is found in a burnt-out warehouse in the Irish section of town--and Rosher will eventually discover how O'Hara died (a ho-hum matter). Meanwhile, however, foul old Rosher becomes obsessed with exposing a local network of smugglers--including slimy businessmen, a pathetic tavern-keeper, and a pair of campy homosexuals. (Rosher ""hated poofters."") Meanwhile, too, he trades sneers with police-force rivals, impassively observes the breakdown of his alcoholic boss (a Wambaugh-like portrait), and recoils from the amorous advances of busty widow Mavourneen. (""She carried unaided the great weight of those enormous knockers--nay, say wangers, rather--right up that hill."") Totally unsatisfying as mystery or suspense, then--but those readers who've acquired a taste for Scott-style comedy (nasty, dour, droll) will find considerable amusement here.