DeMaio, Harry, The Case of the Spotted Band: Octavius Bear, Vol 2
Sorry, Holmes fans, not a snake in the entire book. The Spotted Band is a rock group of jungle cats: an Ocelot, Jaguar, Himalayan Snow Leopard and the irrepressible Cheetah, Chita. (She left Arch Villain Imperius Drake in a hurry in Book One.) The story begins in Reno, Nevada where Imperius and Bigg Baboon (recovering from their near misses with death in Book One) are searching for a replacement for Chita. They think they may have found him in an absolutely terrible magician appearing in, or being fired from, the show lounges in Reno casinos. Hairy Otter, soon to be renamed Otto the Magnificent becomes a pawn in the claws of Imperius but Otto turns out to be much more than Imperius can handle with some special talents all his own. Meanwhile, in Rio attending Carnaval for some well deserved R&R, Maury, Inspector Wallaroo and Howard Watt encounter the Spotted Band in a Brazilian bistro and the story further unfolds. They end up battling Pontius Puma, a gangster who controls all entertainment in Brazil and does substantial trading in stolen military and industrial secrets. They destroy his vast computer network with the help of L.Condor, a cyber net genius with a 12 foot wingspan and no voice. Back in the States, Imperius plans to use Otto as his Weapon of Bear Destruction. But Otto escapes and through a series of deucedly clever twists, ends up along with Chita, assisting Octavius in his simultaneous defense against Imperius and an enraged Pontius Puma who has come to Cincinnati to avenge the destruction of his empire of crime. The Puma and Bigg are arrested. Imperius Drake is believed killed in a mid-air collision with the Condor over the Ohio River. Wanna Bet?