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Former Weird Tales editor Scithers launches a planned series of cross-genre cat anthologies with a vow to avoid the clichéd talking feline. Although the few reprints-by Lovecraft, Leiber and Baudelaire-are classics, the original stories are the real reason to buy this volume. Standouts include K.D. Wentworth's "Cat Call," a charming cat's-eye-view mystery, and Geoffrey Maloney's "Not Another Black Cat Story," featuring a novel deal with the Devil, as well as darker tales, like "The Eye of Ra" by Jim Hines, a story of murder and revenge set in ancient Egypt, and Mary Turzillo's short but effective science fiction story, "Scout." Despite a few sour notes (most disappointingly in Nancy Springer's by-the-numbers mystery "American Curls") and twee moments, Scithers commendably unearths solid new material in a theme that has been milked extensively for decades. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.