Black Cat Crossing

Richard Sala, Author Kitchen Sink Press $10.95 (95p) ISBN 978-0-87816-237-6
Sala's stories combine all the key elements of classic crime fiction--down-at-the-heel detectives, strange murders, mad geniuses, beautiful women, sudden disappearances, psychotic murderers--in tongue-in-cheek yarns more likely to amuse than to disturb. The stories exude a cartoonish aura of menace and amiable dementia. In the first story, nebbish Avery Finch, author of How to Be Polite in an Impolite World , is offered $10,000 to find a kidnapped cat and becomes enmeshed with a murderous cult whose members stalk about in silly cat masks. In another tale, a successful painter and cartoonist is hypnotized and left without memory by an unscrupulous art dealer out to steal the rights to the artist's inane but potentially valuable comic strip. In a third story, a once successful detective tries to reclaim his former stature by tracking down a beautiful woman whose disappearance seems related to the notorious pillow killer, a strange urban menace who goes around suffocating unwary commuters at the bus stops. Sala's stylish black-and-white drawings are a stitch, serving as deft visual send-ups of his comically macabre plots. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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