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Its time for that cat-about-town, Midnight Louie, to dip his paw into a new campaign against the forces of evil.

First, however, he must contend with the presence of another male in his lady Temple Barrs life. In Mystifying Max, a former magician and sometime secret agent, Louis has definitely met his match. But he doesnt have to make it easy for this human interloper

Murder, however, is no respecter of mood and appears most foully in a deserted parking lot adjacent to the bar in which Lieutenant Carmen Molina secretly moonlights as a jazz singer. For the very private Molina, the killing suggests a personal threat, especially after a second murder implies that a serial killer is on the loose.

Although Molina cannot bring herself to involve Temple Barr directly, she does reluctantly ask former priest Matt Devine for help. Little does she know that it will be Midnight Louie and his companion detective, Midnight Louise, who will provide the means to catch a vicious murderer.

Ms. Douglas exquisitely crafts a clever puzzler in style noir with striking characterization and rare clarity of vision. And in the irresistibly witty Louie, she creates a legendary sleuth who ranks right up with the greatsTravis McGee in fur! (Nov., 384 pp. $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer