Sweet-natured, middle-aged Nellie Hand of Greenwich Village works in a dress Shop, does kindnesses by the score, and is the repository for secrets--vile and trivial--of a host of friends. So who'd want to stab her to death? The police say it was an intruder bent on robbery; and that's good enough for most everybody, especially the relatives of Lise--a crotchety dying neighbor who has willed to Nellie a (perhaps mythical) fortune. But Nellie's fond nephew Jeremy is not convinced-and places an ad in the Times designed to flush the killer out. It succeeds, by dint of tortured coincidence, in producing a totally unbelievable culprit; and readers in search of tight, realistic plotting had better turn elsewhere. But sprightly, highly erratic McMullen (The Man with Fifty Complaints, Prudence Be Damned) is at her sprightliest here, with telling observations in her sketches of the Village, its oddball residents, some uptowners, and a love affair between Jeremy and Nellie's fashion-illustrator neighbor. It's all atmospherically alluring enough to make this, despite implausibilities and occasional excesses of flutter, a cozy evening's fun.