Leaden follow-up to the lighthearted, ebullient The Devereaux File (1990), which introduced Ohio p.i. Lacey Lockington to the adorable, mysterious defecting spy Natasha. Here, Lacey's hired to corral another Russian defector who's come to roost in unlikely Youngstown, only this one is a biggie: General Alexi Fedorovich, author of The Wheels of Treachery, an exposÇ of glasnost/perestroika. Soon the bodies start flying, and so many Russians have infiltrated the Youngstown environs that it's like a Moscow suburb. While Lacey's dodging both them and the feds, Natasha tries to unravel the code on Fedorovich's book cover--but it'll take Lacey's new (mostly unwanted) assistant, Barney Kozlowski, an inveterate reader of derring-do, to find the missing clue to Fedorovich's whereabouts. Five murders, innumerable threats, tails, punches, and one bombing later, Lacey is settin' on the porch with the troublesome general and contemplating life as his son-in-law.... Very strained, but old pro Spencer keeps it all moving with spurts of narrative gusto.