Nothing in the recent climactic southeast hurricanes of Edna Buchanan or Julie Smith will have prepared you for Dunbar's uniquely laid-back approach to natural disaster. Even though it strikes New Orleans only a day before Mardi Gras, Dunbar's storm and the flood that ensues prove mostly a colossal nuisance. But what a nuisance it is to Atlanta vacationing couple Edward Doyle and Wendell Rappold, who get a lot more varied experience of the Big Easy than their travel agent ever promised them; to up-for- anything Marguerite Patino, who'll never feel the same about the snowdrifts back in Chicago; and to Willie LaRue and the motley crew helping him plunder the safe deposit boxes at the First Alluvial Bank. As for layabout attorney Tubby Dubonnet (Trick Question, 1997, etc.), you just know his representation of a hapless time-share scam victim looking to get her money back isn't going to generate all that many billable hours, but only the cleverest readers will predict how the storm changes the holiday plans of Tubby and his daughter Collette--or in what permutations it'll bring together all the other schemers and tourists. Disaster Lite, with just enough nefarious plotting to punch up the drolly understated tableaux till you can't help laughing, and just enough menace to make you feel you aren't really missing anything by picking Tubby over the special-effects spectaculars at the local flick.