cover image Death of the Blue Mountain Cat

Death of the Blue Mountain Cat

Michael Allen Dymmoch. Minotaur Books, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-312-13962-9

Fans of Dymmoch's debut, The Man Who Understood Cats, will applaud the return of Chicago psychiatrist Jack Caleb and police detective John Thinnes, but the uncommon sleuthing duo are at a disadvantage in this protracted and often plodding case. The ultra-refined Caleb is at the opening of an art exhibit by Native American artist Blue Mountain Cat when the artist, a former patient of Caleb's, is fatally stabbed. The dead man's works, which used sacred objects to decry the exploitation of Indian land and peoples, offended both the exploiters and Native Americans; his material success and his recent marriage to a wealthy socialite earned him the enmity of others. Other, less prominent Native Americans are killed as Caleb and Thinnes pursue the murderer, confronting a high-powered developer, the artist's scheming agent, a nasty critic and the manufacturers of art reproductions. Meanwhile Thinnes copes with a hostile, ineffectual superior while Caleb, whose male lover died five years earlier, attempts a relationship with a handsome young reporter. Dymmoch's intriguing characters are ill-served by this formulaic plot. (Apr.)