Midnight Louie, alley-cat extraordinaire and Las Vegas's hairiest, hard-boiled PI, finds himself literally walking a tightrope when a fabulous museum opening at one of Sin City's swankiest casinos is marred by a little thing like death.
Louie's loyal roommate, feisty PR freelancer Temple Barr, has snagged the commission of her career: repping the opening exhibition of the Russian Czars' priceless treasures at the New Millennium Hotel, the apex of which is the Czar Alexander Scepter, a priceless jewel-encrusted artifact.
Trouble is, the hotel has booked an aerial magic act right above the exhibition.
Temple works at a breakneck pace to coordinate this logistical nightmare. Tragedy ensues when a performer dies right above where the collection will be displayed and the police threaten to shut everything down. But the word "e;no"e; isn't one heard often in Las Vegas when money is involved and the show (or shows) must go on. Just as things seem to be working perfectly, another performer dies and the scepter vanishes. The culprits could be international art thieves, Russian mafioso, or Chechen rebels out to embarrass the current Russian government.
Or it could be someone else, perhaps someone Temple knows all too well . . . .
Temple and Louie both have enemies in the magic act--evil magician Shangri-La and her curare-nailed performing Siamese cat, Hyacinth--and on the ground--ever-suspicious homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina, who's itching to pin the heist and murders on Temple's significant other, ex-magician and sometimes ex-spy Max Kinsella, now oddly AWOL. Worse, as Temple and Louie's separate investigations bring them both close to the truth, it's clear that someone has decided to hang them out to die too.
Can fancy footwork and detection save our intrepid duo?"e;