When Clyde Bumpus, rich and unloved member of an old Kentucky family, is found shot dead on his boat, the Humber Fails Homicide department--homburg-ed aristocrat Capt. Homer Clay (who drives a red MG and reads James Branch Cabell) and Ernest Manion, his hard-working, good-ole-boy sergeant--goes into action. The suspects, include: Clyde's gorgeous widow Shirley (a Northerner who was promptly rechristened Shirley Anne); his buxom, embittered ex-secretary/companion Testy Jackson; Terry's replacement, Samuetta Barnes (""one of those long, la-de-dah blondes""); and wheeler-dealer Joseph Meyers, who coveted a parcel of valuable land which Clyde had optioned. But the case gets more complicated when another body surfaces--that of Corey Furlong, who managed Studio One, a local nightclub in which Clyde had an interest. Capt. Clay's sleuthing is more workmanlike than inspired, and the plotting is only so-so. But Lauben's quirky-folksy style, just this side of cutesy, features an impeccable ear for Southern twangs and lots of needles at local/national foibles. For not-very-demanding mystery fans who prefer small-town-America settings, then: good, cheerful fun.