James N. Frey. Came a Dead Cat (1991) 234 pp.
Odyssey Gallagher, a 35-year old private investigator in San Francisco with a Ph.D. in English Literature, is hired by wealthy Aletha Holmcroft to find her husband’s mistress, Rachel Collins. Mrs. Holmcroft is convinced that Rachel is dangerous and deranged—Rachel threatened her husband in a nasty confrontation at their club and then a cat with a slit throat appeared on their doorstep. Odyssey, who has a brown belt in aikido, drives a souped-up, banana yellow Camaro, and has a somewhat annoying habit of quoting literary authors, takes the case but soon comes to believe that Rachel is not the threat that Mrs. Holmcroft has made her out to be. The case gets complicated when Charlie Gore, an unscrupulous P.I. with whom Odyssey once had a romantic fling—and to whom she is still inexplicably attracted—shows up. He has been hired by Mr. Holmcroft to do the exact same thing as Odyssey—find Rachel Collins—and wants to renew their relationship and work together. Then the bodies start piling up and Odyssey needs to find the killer before she becomes a victim herself.
Setting: San Francisco