Nineteen new stories commemorating not just the December holidays but a veritable calendar of cats, from New Year's (Barbara Paul) to Martin Luther King Day (Jon L. Breen), Valentine's Day (Jeremiah Healy), Presidents' Day (Peter Crowther and Stewart von Allmen), St. Patrick's Day (John Lutz, J.N. Williamson), Easter (Bill Crider), Mother's Day (Christine Matthews and Robert J. Randisi), Memorial Day (Marlys Millhiser), Father's Day (Richard T. Chizmar), Independence Day (Jan Grape), Halloween (Carole Nelson Douglas), Veterans' Day (Tracy Knight, Gary A. Braunbeck), Thanksgiving (Barbara Collins), Hanukkah (Morris Hershman), Christmas (Graham Masterton), and even Boxing Day (Nick Hassam); Nancy Pickard's cute old-time anecdote isn't tied to any special day. Sadly, linking cats to unexpected holidays taxes most contributors' ingenuity to the limit. Lutz's and Chizmar's and Crider's stories are mere sketches; Braunbeck's and Healy's and Millhiser's feature predictably avenging felines. Except for Masterton's neatly compressed whodunit, even stories that begin promisingly (e.g., Hassam's tale of a drug-courier cat tied up in quarantine) are woefully undeveloped. As in earlier entries in this long-running series (Cat Crimes Takes a Vacation, 1995, etc.), love of cats shines through a lot more clearly than love of mystery or suspense.
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