CAT IN A CRIMSON HAZE by Carole Nelson Douglas


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 Yet another chapter in the frenetic life of footwear-obsessed p.r. woman Temple Barr (Cat on a Blue Monday, 1994, etc.) and her all-knowing, self-obsessed cat Midnight Louie. No sooner has Temple been hired to develop a family-oriented attraction for Las Vegas's Crystal Phoenix Hotel than ominous happenings begin--a deliberately loosened stair rail; the body of a murdered man dropping through the ceiling onto a gaming table. Meanwhile, there are echoes of a similar incident some time before at the neighboring Goliath Hotel. Police Lieutenant Carmen Molina is certain the body in that case (still unidentified) had some connection to Temple's vanished lover, the Irish magician Max Kinsella. Max is soon to be replaced in Temple's love life, however, by handsome, neurotic ex-priest Matt Devine. His obsession is endless soul-searching and hatred for a long-unseen stepfather who may or may not be the recent gaming- table corpse. Then there's the annual Gridiron dinner show-- scripted by Temple's old enemy Crawford Buchanon, and choreographed by darling Danny Dove. Temple, assigned to create a smashing finale for the show, discovers a world of secret tunnels under the basement of the hotel, whose site was once the property of long- dead gangster Jersey Joe Jackson. There's more--much more--all of it going nowhere, in a welter of trendy chatter, leaden whimsy, dangling plotlines, and upscale clothes, none of them more overdecorated than the author's fancy prose. A clunker, except perhaps to the cat-obsessed.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-85901-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995


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