cover image Pussyfoot


Carole Nelson Douglas. Tor Books, $19.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85218-4

Following their debut in Catnap, feline sleuth Midnight Louis and his ``doting roommate and a freelance public relations specialist,'' Miss Temple Barr, return for another breezy collaboration. After the publicist for a Las Vegas stripper competition has a heart attack while being questioned about the murder of a contestant--found hung by a G-string in a dressing room--Barr reluctantly takes over the PR chores. He snoops as well, much to the displeasure of female Homicide Lt. C. R. Molina, who believes the investigation should be left to the professionals. Louis finds himself at the murder scene during his pursuit of silver-furred Divine Yvette, who is owned by one of the judges. When three more strippers are killed, including the gilded-all-over Gold Dust Twins, the contest falls into chaos. As Barr learns more about the strippers, many of whom are abused women seeking control over men, she is assaulted by thugs hunting her former lover and finds herself on the verge of a new relationship. Douglas, author of the Irene Adler mysteries, draws a reasonably modern and liberated female in Barr, while the Runyonesque Midnight Louis remains an unregenerate macho tomcat. (Apr . )