Temple Barr and her housemate, noir feline detective Midnight Louie, dance with second-string stars.
P.R. flack Temple Barr has persuaded her fiancé, ex-priest radio advice show host Matt Devine, to raise money for charity by entering a Dancing with the Stars copycat whose junior division Temple is emceeing in her persona as wild teen queen Zoe Chloe Ozone. What looks like fun turns dangerous when the celeb dancers start having accidents. Temple has long had a rocky relationship with hard-boiled homicide cop Carmine “C.R.” Molina, who thinks Temple’s lover Max Kinsella, presumed dead, is not only alive but a killer. But Molina prods Temple to pitch in when her star-struck daughter Mariah vanishes. In on the hunt is Rafi Nadir, Mariah’s father and security chief at the site of the dance contest, the Oasis Hotel. When Mariah is found managing a friend’s attempts to get into the contest, a seething Molina agrees to let her accompany her friend for the week the show will be televised. Interspersed chapters follow Max’s struggles with amnesia as he tries to escape unknown killers in the Alps and Louie’s romance with the Oasis’s femme fatale, a topaz-wearing cat. Despite ever-tightening security, the nasty pranks progress to near-death experiences before Temple and Louie can nail a killer.
Though Louie’s latest alphabetical caper (Cat in a Sapphire Slipper, 2008, etc.) is longwinded and not especially mysterious, fans and feline fanciers will no doubt curl up and purr.