Who killed celebrity biographer Jordan Walker and tossed his New York apartment just before he could deliver the final installment of his latest project, a bio of Hollywood legend Graham Farrar? Walker's Nero Wolfean publisher Nicholas Barlow, concerned about losing the lead title from bis fall list, turns detective with the help of his attractive ex-wife Margo, his brainy wheelchair-bound brother Tim, a homicide detective looking to turn novelist, and a foot-high stack of lovable tics from sybaritic tastes in food and drink to a conversational style compounded from Bartlett's. Not much real wit or ingenuity here, but some outstanding meals. Literately nasty vignettes of the publishing racket, plus one of the moat insufferable fictional detectives since Philo Vance. A series is bound to follow.