After Alien Research’s dark tone and tragic losses, the inimitable Koch returns to her blend of complex, intertwining plot threads, outlandish action and irreverent humor. Kitty Katt-Martini’s uncanny ability to transform enemies into, well, at least frenemies, if not full-blown allies, is part of what makes this series such an irresistible hoot!
Kitty Katt-Martini is frustrated: The evil “Mastermind” is still out there, and she and husband Jeff are no closer to figuring out the identity of their wicked nemesis. When a cryptic warning from Kitty’s adoptive “uncles” (a pair of international assassins) urges them to evacuate the Centaurion Embassy before a deadly gas attack, Kitty realizes a new plot is afoot. The reason for the renewed attacks is that Jeff, a house representative for New Mexico, has just been selected as a vice presidential candidate. Circumstances being what they are, Jeff has little choice but to accept, which means that Kitty must get her head in the game if she hopes to protect her friends and loved ones. As if that is not enough to worry about, a powerful new entity shows up and plans to pass judgment on the human race. (DAW, May, 520 pp., $7.99)