cover image Cat Crimes for the Holidays

Cat Crimes for the Holidays

. Donald I. Fine Books, $24.95 (310pp) ISBN 978-1-55611-503-5

This latest entry in the Cat Crimes series pegs a collection of original cat tales to holidays large and small, from New Year's to Boxing Day. There is much to purr over in this litter, although Carole Nelson Douglas does her debonair Midnight Louie a particularly bad turn with ""Ia Ia Ia-Ia! Cthulouie!,"" which will please neither Louie's devotees nor followers of H.P. Lovecraft. In John Lutz's delightful ""But Once a Year,"" Jock Leary celebrates St. Patrick's Day a little too exuberantly when a stranger sells him a lucky green cat for the price of a beer. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. solves an Ellery Queen-like puzzle and wins an inheritance for an old friend in Jon L. Breen's ""Longevity Has Its Place."" And Barbara Collins, in her delightfully chilling ""To Grandmother's House We Go,"" cultivates a Shirley Jackson-esque edge as a cat helps a young girl find the sort of grandmother she has always wanted. In Nancy Pickard's ""Dr. Couch Saves a Cat,"" an elderly veterinarian entertains his young granddaughter with a clever tale of a murder whose solution rests on the color of a cat. These small mysteries celebrate the non-quotidian in their subjects and settings. (Nov.)