Alaska is the star of this fresh debut mystery (the first in a series), though poetic, alcoholic, lovelorn, nondriving (he depends on taxis, hitchhiking, and obliging friends) Cecil Younger plays a strong supporting role. Younger's the improbable p.i. who's hired from a nursing home to find out who really killed Tlingit hunting-guide Louis Victor--his mother is convinced it wasn't his hired hand Alvin Hawkes, now doing a long stretch for the murder. And Younger, who takes her money planning to feed her a comforting lie, changes his mind when he notices some telltale marks on the face of the late De De Robins--an apparent suicide days before she was to testify about a fight between Victor and Hawkes. Mostly a series of interviews with the suspects, but sensitive, in-your-face Younger makes each one into a stylish riff, and the Alaska background is refreshingly tangy.