It's time for that old black magic, Midnight Louie by name, to dazzle his loyal fans once more, this time with a nifty foray into the occult which readers will not be surprised to learn ends in a mysterious death.

It's Halloween, a night when all the kooks come out to play in the glitzy byways of Las Vegas, and Miss Temple Barr is on her way to a seance, but it's all part of her job as publicist extraordinaire to the Crystal Phoenix Casino and Hotel. After all, if she's going to design an attraction around the hotel's resident ghost, she should learn something about spirits that go bump in the night.

It seems almost anti-climactic when one of the guest participants keels over dead at her feet. But when the deceased is revealed to be a friend and colleague of Temple's own personal dilemma, the Mystifying Max, it behooves her to discover just who and what is behind this sudden demise.

Her trusty companion Midnight Louie has his own mission to complete, one in which he receives a shocking warning from beyond and a stunning revelation of an unknown heritage.

Once again Ms. Douglas comes up trumps with another splendid mystery, an outstanding puzzler chock-full of scintillating wit and clever sleuthing. Another bravura performance! (Oct., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer