Midnight Louie boldly goes where no cat has gone before as he seeks out new villains to foil with the help of his trusty human Temple Barr. Finding the body in the rafters of the New Millennium hotel is a cinch for the fearless feline, but theres only one way our daring sleuth can bring the matter to the attention of the proper authorities

The falling corpse does indeed set Las Vegas on its ear, and homicide detective Carmen Molina is immediately suspicious of just about everyone, particularly Mystifying Max, Temples mysterious fianci, who is determined to discover who murdered his mentor, Gandolph.

Molina, however, has her own secrets and asks Temple and her friend Matt to take her daughter to a Sci-Fi conventionbut why do they feel more like bodyguards?

And Midnight Louie? Hes hot on the trail of the evil Shangri-La and her feline companion Hyacinth with the help of the Kiwi Collective

A keen observer of human foibles, Ms. Douglas deftly fans the flames of our curiosity in this elegantly choreographed tale in which nothing is as it appears and mystery is the name of of her most excellent game. (May, 416 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer