Poor Jesse Cooper got more than he bargained for when he and a prep-school chum went carousing one night: they witnessed a murder--and the finger on the trigger belonged to Jesse's dad's business partner, who may also have spotted them. So Jesse high- tails it to his grandfather's house in Maine, where p.i. Lil Ritchie comes looking for him. She settles grandpa and teenager in with some friends of hers, then goes digging for the reasons a supposedly prosperous, legitimate businessman would turn to murder. Drugs pop up. So does blackmail. Not to mention double-dealing people who want their money back now. Still, plucky Lil saves the day--with a little help from a strategically placed waterfall. Not very likely--either in the behavior of 17-year-old Jesse, the alcoholic-turned-earnest grandfather, or the business partners from Vietnam. As for former country-singer Ritchie: she's not funky enough, tough enough, or interesting enough to hang a whole book on.