It's been five years since the last appearance of Lt. Sigrid Harald, NYPD Homicide (Past Imperfect, etc.), and although they've been good years for her creator--whose second series featuring Judge Deborah Knott (Shooting at Loons, 1994, etc.) has received the kind of acclaim the older series never did--they haven't been kind to Sigrid. Left grieving and potentially wealthy by the accidental death of her lover, painter Oscar Nauman, Sigrid has taken a leave from the force while the vultures circle around the collection Nauman left her, waiting with ill-disguised impatience for her to start selling it off. Shortly after a brace of gallery owners--chatty Hal DiPietro, war-hero scion Victor Germondi, businesslike Hester Kohn, and dazzled newcomer Arnold Callahan--decide to collaborate on a big- scale show of every Nauman canvas they can rustle up, DiPietro climaxes an inexplicable run of bad luck at his gallery by getting himself killed in Nauman's Manhattan apartment. Sigrid, back on the job but still pretty numb, hands off the case to her squad; and they're also the ones who'll solve the unrelated shooting of an abusive husband the day after somebody tried to kill his third wife with the same gun. Conscientious but synthetic, and no threat to Deborah Knott's popularity. While Sigrid's been away, she's lost her place on the first team.