Finally, a more marginal hero than Lewin's small-beer shamus Albert Samson: Jan Moro (nÇ Clarence Starch, Jr.), a self-described small businessman who lives on the Indianapolis streets. By day Jan is hustling to promote his idea for a time-release deodorant applied directly to clothes to glad-handing entrepreneur Billy Cigar; by night he's sleeping in a shack on the fairgrounds when some nearby yelping puts him on the trail of, yes, a case of puppy abuse traceable right to Billy Cigar. The police are suspiciously receptive to Jan's offer to turn paid informant on the puppy rap; before the case against Billy is closed, Jan will have gotten in the cross-fire with every cop, pharmaceuticals security chief, and freelance bounty hunter in town. As deftly plotted as the Samson series. But the real find here is the homeless hero, with his little-man dignity and his endless store of anecdotes: ``I like it when people tell me stories. Sometimes it seems that's about all there is.''