The celebrated Alice Smythereene, authoress, goddess of romance and real warmhearted woman, is in reality none other than one Arnold Simon, uncelebrated poet and underpaid professor of literature."" That's the briefly amusing premise of this flimsy Manhattan mystery-comedy--which gets underway when miserable Arnold (rich but recently ditched by wife Elaine) receives a mysterious summons from porn-writer Matthew Pendleton. . . only to find Pendleton murdered. Whodunit? Was it the man with the bulbous nose seen by Arnold as he arrived? And why? Is it connected to the disappearance of sexy Sherry Windsor, the woman who poses as Alice Smythereene in public? (The Alice/Arnold secret is known by only three or four people.) Is the man with the bulbous nose now trying to kill Arnold? (His car gets blown up.) What about the Mafia? (Pendleton's real name was Marlo Parente.) And so it goes--until the nasty villains (a motley crew) kidnap estranged-yet-beloved wife Elaine, leading to a slapsticky hostage/rescue finale, filled out with longwinded explanations. Foolish but harmless crime-froth, with a few faint New Yorky chuckles--a hip guru, a black cop who reads the New York Review of Books--along the way.