cover image Cat in a Crimson Haze

Cat in a Crimson Haze

Carole Nelson Douglas. Forge, $22.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85901-5

Midnight Louie, the coolest feline in Las Vegas, returns from Cat on a Blue Monday to tackle the ``nefarious dudes'' who are plaguing the Crystal Phoenix Hotel. Freelance publicist Miss Temple Barr, Louie's domestic companion, has signed on to redo the hotel's image and is also writing a big production number for the annual Gridiron roast at the hotel. Her finale trots out old rumors about the mob--all in good fun, she thinks, until she's injured during rehearsals. Meanwhile, ex-priest Matt Devine winds up under the suspicious gaze of Lieutenant Molina when the body of his hated stepfather drops out of the ceiling onto a casino gaming table. Louie learns something of his own about family values, as he manages to keep his identity secret from young, sour-faced Midnight Louise until he and his hostile offspring meet up with a third black cat, the formerly seafaring Three O'Clock Louie. This is the best Louie adventure yet, full of intricate plotting and sharp characterization. And Louie? Nine lives wouldn't be nearly enough for this dude. (May)