Noir cat Midnight Louie (Cat in a Neon Nightmare, 2003, etc.) is involved in yet another Las Vegas–based caper.
PR freelancer Temple Barr is handling publicity for an exhibition of precious Russian artifacts crowned by the jeweled scepter of Czar Alexander. With typical Vegas overkill, the exhibit at the New Millennium Hotel also features the Cloaked Conjuror, his black leopards, his assistant Shangri-La and Hyacinth, her vicious cat. When a body is found hanging over the exhibit, Temple manages to spin the death as an accident, even though White Russians, Red Russians and Chechens are all rumored to be involved. Meantime, Temple balances her private life between her longtime love for master magician/secret agent Max Kinsella and her new romance with ex-priest Matt Devine. When the scepter is stolen in a daring high-wire raid, a masked intruder (Max?) rescues the Cloaked Conjuror from a fatal plunge but fails to save Shangri-La when her cat attacks him. Behind the scenes, Louie, his daughter Miss Midnight Louise and other felines slink around the New Millennium sniffing out clues. Max is so intent on infiltrating the Synth, a group of renegade magicians, that he has little time for Temple, but she manages to solve the case, if not her personal problems.
Devoted fans of this long-running series won’t mind that this installment is less interested in mystery than in showcasing some really cute cats.