Although the title may suggest a Western setting, Coyote brings back to familiar Boston territory six-foot-tall, flame-haired sleuth Carlotta Carlyle. This time the ex-cop and sometime cab-driver prowls overcrowded apartments where illegal aliens rest--and sometimes find their final resting places--after their ill-paid labors. Carlotta's latest case is neatly tied in with her sensitively depicted relationship with Paolina, a child she has befriended through the Big Sister program who has led a troubled alien, Manuela Estafan, to Carlotta. But when Manuela disappears and her I.D. is found on the mutilated body of a murder victim, Carlotta's investigations--running parallel to work done by her cop-friend Mooney--reveal the work of a "coyote"--one who exploits illegal aliens.