SPADE: She killed Miles. Oh, and I've got some exhibits: the boy's gun, one of Cairo's, a thousand' dollar bill I was supposed to be bribed with. And this black statuette here that all the fuss was about. COP: It's heavy. What is it? SPADE: The, er, stuff that dreams are made of.--In private investigations by Irwin Blye, however, cases never end this neatly. Often enough, they don't really end--they dissipate. Or Blye is hired to ferret out info without knowledge of guilt or innocence; and sometimes he never learns what happened in court. He only has a piece of the case, a corner. Now in business over 20 years, he remains purposefully bland, anonymous, masked with good manners. No secretary, or even a desk. His wife types his reports at home. He works on a card table in his office, conducts business by way of an answering service. Daily he snips away at three to twelve cases. Pileggi follows Blye through a representative day while the eye tries to get a 300-pound alleged rapist off the hook, tracks down a financial assessment in a divorce action, hunts some backup details for a claim against the city in which an old lady was scalded by a leaky pipe. Some of this material appeared as a New York magazine cover story. It takes its tone from Blye, who is soft-spoken and unusually charming--but not like Nick Charles! A commendable corrective.