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    CAT IN A KIWI CON by Carole Nelson Douglas (see her website)

    Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, May 2000

    Midnight Louie spots a photo of his nemisis Hyacinth and heads for a Science Fiction convention in a local Las Vegas casino. Neither he, nor his 'roommate' Temple, anticipate the con turning into a killing field. Ex-magician Max Kinsella is back in Temple's life. Someone is killing the great magicians of the world. He suspects a murderous organization but the only clue is a ritualistic dagger--used by aliens from one of the Science Fiction shows featured in the con. Temple, Louie, Max, Matt (the ex-priest who is still recovering from Temple's rejection) and Police Lieutenant Carmen Molina all investigate, but can they stay alive long enough to find the killer?

    CAT IN A KIWI CON is a compelling mystery. Carole Nelson Douglas (see other reviews of novels by this author) develops motivation and emotional depth for each of the major (human) characters while simultaneously poking respectful fun at the wacky world of Science Fiction conventions. Her portrail of authors--fixated on whether they are being exploited by the media or the reverse--rings true of authors in any genre. Fans so dedicated to their pretend worlds that they would rather die than admit themselves anything but true aliens ring painfully true.

    CAT IN A KIWI CON must also be seen as part of a larger context. Louie's hunt for Hyacinth is not fully resolved at the end of this book, nor is Max's ongoing quest. For better or worse, the resolution to this mystery leaves larger questions unanswered.

    Three Stars

    Purchase CAT IN A KIWI CON (available in hardback).