Another missing daughter in Orange County--how do any of those girls live long enough to have daughters of their own?--in a case that quickly turns nasty when PI Delilah West (Set-Up, 1991, etc.), leaving Benjamin Wylie's upscale home, trips over the corpse of his next-door neighbor, Kate Sannerman. Delilah's fears that Tamra Wylie's involved with the killing leave her impatient with the routine inquiries Wylie's authorized, and next thing you know, she's confiding in her dislikable police academy classmate Gary Hofer--and then getting her walking papers from Wylie. But she's not unemployed for long, since debt-ridden Robb Sannerman, who Hofer thinks killed his wife, hires her to help out in his defense. Back in the saddle again, Delilah is soon standing up to Wylie, bullying lesser suspects, threatening the police, and practicing with her new handgun while she waits for some sign of Tamra and her bad-news boyfriend Lee Gersky, who just may have been supplying Kate with blow. The mystery's too flat and unsurprising to provide serious competition to Kinsey Millhone, but no-nonsense Delilah turns in solid second-tier work.