When Phil Moony’s dad died, Phil got Phul, the cat, an inheritance he believes he could have done without. It’s a view he shares with his wife Frankie, the beautiful, smart, ex-ace reporter and currently successful mystery writer, whose dislike for Phul transcends even Phil’s. Phul’so named as a kind of family joke at Phil’s expense—is a Maine coon, which makes him more valuable than the average cat, but he has uncouth habits. Because these are of a particular nature, Phil and Frankie choose to have him neutered at the Purr & Bark Veterinary Hospital and Kennel, an establishment owned by the dubious Dr. Edwin Nelson. When Phil returns the next day, he discovers that security measures at the Purr & Bark have been less than Phul-proof, and the animal is gone, stolen, catnapped. Only the most diehard ailurophobes will be startled when Phil decides that issues of principle are at stake (after all, a legacy is a legacy), and, aided by Frankie, sets out to recover Phul. Before long he’s investigating a more serious crime: the murder of Dr. Nelson. And soon thereafter the ante is upped again when Phil’s longtime enemies in the Chicago police force (The Man with My Name, 1995) seem eager to frame him for the homicide. So: who took Phil’s cat, who hates Phil’s guts, and who would have thought a book this short could seem so long? Strictly for people who love the cats that earn their hate.