Despite a dinky, creaky little plot, Katz makes an agreeable, promising mystery-comedy debut--thanks to a genial sleuth-hero, an amusingly crass Watson, and a bright, breezy Chicago/sports milieu. Radio-sportscaster Andy Sussman, play-by-play man for basketball's Chicago Flames, loses his cool a bit when his colleague Lester Beldon--a fat, inept, veteran ""color commentator""--is shot in the dark during a Flames game broadcast. (""Jesus Christ. Lester, you're dead!"" Sussman cries out over the airwaves.) Suspended from his job, considered a top suspect by the police, Sussman is desperate to figure out whodunit--desperate enough, in fact, to team up with his old pal Murray Glick, a sleazy nouveau private-eye with a shopping-mall office. And eventually they figure out that the dead man was involved in drug-dealing (ho-hum)--and was probably murdered by one of his confederates. Along the way to this routine conclusion, however, Sussman has modestly engaging interviews with surly players, raucous bar-and-grill hangers-on, even the team's feverish mascot, Senor Flame. Better yet, sidekick Murray provides a steady supply of foully entertaining asides, especially when urging Sussman to make a stronger play for their mutual friend, lawyer Susie Ettenger (who loathes Murray without reservation). Atmospheric fun, then, if short on real mystery or suspense.