The mystery-solutions are never very startling in Mcinerny's Father Dowling series--so it doesn't matter much that Murderer-and-Method are revealed almost at the beginning this time: Dowling fans can just settle back and enjoy the low-key charms of the Fox River (Illinois) cast of characters--an engaging lot once again. Victim #1 here is athletic, attractive Barbara Kinney, an attorney's wife . . . who spends most nights at a sleazy bar with divorced pal Angie and a number of male admirers. And though Barbara's death looks like suicide (wrists slashed in the bathtub), it's soon followed by the demises of chum Angie, admirer George Linger (a simpleminded country-club employee), and dental-clinic manager Wands Wippel--who worked for another of Barbara's swains: money-grubbing dentist Martin Olsen. So Father Dowling sleuths, as gently as usual--and he nearly becomes victim #5 when confronting the killer, just a step ahead of Police Captain Keegan (his longtime, lonesome friend). As usual with Father D. and Captain K.--always pleasant, never riveting: agreeable suburban suspense of the milder sort.