cover image Cat in a Flamingo Fedora

Cat in a Flamingo Fedora

Carole Nelson Douglas. Forge, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86329-6

Times are exciting in Las Vegas. Conceptual artist Domingo, who once hung a green-and-red spaghetti curtain from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, wants to cover the glitzy burg with 900,000 plastic flamingos. He has hired freelance publicist Temple Barr to help persuade casino operators of his vision. Temple is also playing stage mother to Midnight Louie, the feline detective extraordinaire currently moonlighting in a cat-food commercial with his Persian inamorata, the Divine Yvette. The casino where they're taping is also the location of a movie starring Darren Cooke, a compulsive ladies' man who turns up dead one morning, leaving behind a ""recipe box"" detailing his many conquests, among whom he has listed Temple Barr. Temple is indignant. She had met with him but only to discuss how to find out who was sending him threatening letters. Temple has trouble enough with her on-again-off-again relationship with the disappearing magician, Max Kinsella, and her growing attraction to the former priest Matt Devine. Is Darren's death a suicide or murder? Who was the letter-writer? Will Matt kiss Temple again? Will Las Vegas be covered with Domingo's flamingos? Setting Midnight Louie on the case, Douglas (Cat with an Emerald Eye) leads her readers on a merry chase before neatly drawing these disparate threads together. Midnight Louie's fans will be delighted. (May)