Add one more smart-alecky private eye, California-based and quirkily encumbered (with two partners: the Chief, a gargantuan Seminole; and Michele, a former Ohio cop, booted off the force for posing starkers for Playboy) to the romantic-tough guy brigade. Here, Jeremiah St. John's debut case centers on the question of who shot crooked lawyer Rick Silverman, emptied his safe, yet left over half a million stuffed in a garbage bag at his feet. Maybe it was St. John's client, Silverman's cigar-chomping, ne'er-do-well partner Sam Fan, who was about to be ditched from the firm? Or much cheated-on, lusty, busty wife Rita or 14-year-old son Richard? Or the nude curie who's painted life-size in Rick's private apartment, and who escorts gentlemen from bars for the pleasure of their money? Or possibly Gomez, the Colombian drug-dealer and dissatisfied Silverman client? St. John's investigation turns up a sting operation mishandled by inveterate foul-up Big Mac McCurdy; a secretarial spy using an alias; a Deputy District Attorney who lost virtually every case he tried against Silverman, yet was Perry Mason-perfect after his death; an honest judge with vigilante nerves; blackmail tapes revealing satin sheets, voluptuous curves, and leading members of the Bar Association; and love in the office, which has nothing to do with the case but boosts St. John's morale. Breezy, readable, typical genre fare.