When her prostitute mother Lorene is found murdered, Amy Matson comes home from college to Tulsa and asks freelance writer Taggart Roper, who sometimes takes on odd jobs, to find out just what Lorene meant by the ``insurance policy'' that would keep money coming in if anything happened to her. It isn't long before Tag's discovered that Amy's father is Rev. Jack Redfield, who took time off from his ministry at the World Faith Tabernacle to sire her and has been sending Lorene money ever since. As soon as Tag turns over his information to the police, they immediately place Redfield at the crime scene, and he promptly hangs himself, leaving a grieving widow who hires Tag to clear his name--and a dragonish mother who's determined to stop him from meddling. Not many surprises in this hardcover debut, but Tag talks a nice case, and manages to make fun of most of the medium-boiled clichÇs he strolls through.