CAT IN A DIAMOND DAZZLE by Carole Nelson Douglas


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 This romance and mystery veteran adds a fifth to her series in the cute-cat category (Cat in a Crimson Haze, 1995, etc.) starring Las Vegas p.r.-expert Temple Barr and her pet Midnight Louie. This time out, Temple is torn between two lovers--a martial-arts instructor ex-priest and a suddenly reappearing magician with an Interpol record--so a neighbor invites her to forget her troubles at a romance writers' convention at the Crystal Phoenix Hotel. There, authors of all stripes tout their wares and flaunt their tulle, and Temple discovers a hip, long-lost aunt with a pseudonym. Subplots involve: Midnight Louie's reunion with his inamorata, the Divine Yvette, during a cat food commercial; Temple's search for a prize pair of pumps coated with Austrian crystals; an unknown amateur contributing chapters of a steamy pastiche; the murder of two cover hunks who are traced, thanks to Midnight Louie, to a money-laundering scam. Finally, the adequate mystery is adequately resolved with the help of macha Lt. Carmen Molina, who moonlights- -we're not surprised--as a torch singer. Douglas's grandmotherly-like grip on her material is weakened by an intensely coy style that is to true wit as Austrian crystals are to diamonds. The convention send-up has a ``been there'' authenticity and works well, but cat, romance, and shoe fanciers are most likely to enjoy this silly celebration of conventional enthusiasms. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-312-86085-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996


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