Andrus, a Hollywood scriptwriter, turns his talents to the mystery genre with mixed results. Using a sort of "Beverly Hillbillies meet Murder She Wrote" script, Andrus introduces the Tracer family: former high-powered executive and now unemployed patriarch John; Chris, his wife currently working as a "temp sec"; cute but disdainful teenage daughter Shorty; and her annoying younger brother, Brad. John's big dream--after the reality of unemployment hits--is to become a self-employed PI. After putting in 6,000 practical hours of pre-PI training, Tracer is ready for his first case: finding a runaway teenager, who, unbeknownst to Tracer, is being held by a dangerous ex-con and pursued by the Mexican version of the mafia. Fortunately for the runaway, Tracer's energy and enthusiasm--plus some unwitting interference from Chris, Shorty, and Brad--overcome his naivete and lack of experience. While the story is not without humor and even originality, it's reliance on sitcomlike cuteness will strike many readers as unbearably cloying. But so was the ridiculously popular "Beverly Hillbillies". Buy carefully.