If the last four Spenser mysteries have all been disappointing, at least they've been disappointing ha different ways: the terrorism clichés of The Judas Goat, the talky sexual politics of Looking for Rachel Wallace, the macho sentimentality of Early Autumn, and now the just-plain-dullness of this Hollywood/Mob case. Spenser's client here is L.A. TV-news reporter Candy Sloan, whose inquiry into movie payoffs to "the Mob" has elicited threats, harassment, and (on the night of Spenser's arrival) a beating. So, with Spenser as bodyguard, Candy continues to probe--enraging a studio head and then the studio's tycoon owner: Candy's boyfriend is killed, ditto a movie type about to squeal; Candy's taken off the story. But, determined to get the goods on the Mob/conglomerate link, Candy seduces the tycoon--with fatal results--before the totally unsurprising details of the crooked dealings are explained. Along the way, there are two or three nice Spenser-on-Hollywood remarks, some solid rough stuff, and lots of talk about sex-roles and autonomy--talk which, for Parker regulars, has become tiresome beyond belief. (Candy wants to be independent but ends up using "feminine wiles"; Spenser sleeps with Candy, dubiously explaining why he isn't really cheating on true-love Susan.) Never less than readable, of course--but with little mystery, no deduction, few laughs, and a plot that seems like a Rockford Files discard, the best this will do is fill some time while waiting for the prime-Spenser comeback that's surely just around the corner.