TV-network troubleshooter Matt Cobb (Killed in the Ratings, 1978) returns--in a lively but overlong, overknotted case. The background is The Network's upcoming big 50th-anniversary special in N.Y., and violence is rife. Out in L.A. a writer is found dead in the pool belonging to half of The Network's great comedy team--who are reuniting for the special. In N.Y. a nice young researcher is killed when somebody steals some early 1950s kinescopes from The Network's archives. And somebody also steals the famous bowling ball which is the trademark of temperamental superstar Melanie Marliss. Are all these events connected? What's the link with the 1950s HUAC hearings (subject of that murdered writer's book)? And what about a uranium-stock swindle which involved that comedy team? More mayhem ensues: the missing bowling ball nearly crushes Melanie during a rehearsal; one of the comics dies on live TV during their comedy magic act. And Matt, while falling for PR colleague Llona, sleuths like mad--with so-so, somewhat belabored results. Except for an inappropriately serious, Chandler-esque denouement, however, it's generally diverting and occasionally amusing--with fairly colorful media types, smart dialogue, and some solid broadcasting details.