Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Midnight Louie's First Adventure!

Alphabet SoupToday let's talk about the very first adventure of Midnight Louie's!

This book was previously published as Previously published as CATNAP) 

This book introduces us to an extraordinary sleuthing duo: Ms. Temple Barr, a 29-year-old Public Relations freelancer in Las Vegas, and the eighteen-pound jet-black tomcat called Midnight Louie who tells his own side of the story.

Temple is pursuing a cat in the exhibit hall at the Las Vegas ABA as fast as her spike heels will carry her–only to stumble over a dead publisher–and soon learns that the founder of Pennyroyal Press, a paperback house specializing in medical thrillers, had as many enemies as there are attendees at the ABA–and that’s 24,000.

But that’s not all. Baker & Taylor’s corporate mascots, the genial short-eared cats known and Baker and Taylor, have been snatched from their ABA booth and must be found before they’re done in. And first Temple needs to convince tall, stern, female lieutenant Molina of the Las Vegas Police that Temple herself is not up to no good. The lieutenant has all too many questions about the disappearance of Mystifying Max, the handsome stage magician who vanished from Temple’s life six months ago. Molina won’t believe that Temple knows nothing of his whereabouts . . .

What with Lieutenant Molina, Murder One and feline felony, it’s a wonder that Temple has time to notice the riveting Matt Devine, who’s just rented a condo from Temple’s landlady, in the circular building behind the Lover’s Knot Wedding chapel. But she does. . .

Catnap is narrated in part by Midnight Louie, the sleuthing tomcat who led Temple to the corpse. (You thought it was an accident?) Louie’s investigations are aided by his conversations with Ingram the bookstore cat and other felines, yet hampered by his resolve never to speak to humans. But Midnight Louie is one hardboiled, hairy-chested big dude. He always finds a way to bring the perpetrator to justice!

This book is fabulous! Carole Nelson Douglas weaves an intricate plot, and the way Louie is introduced to "His Human" Temple is nothing short of fantastic! Temple and Louie forge an undeniable bond in this book, which also introduces us to other characters that quickly become near and dear to our hearts.

ROCCO's rating: Five paws!!!!!!! You will LOVE this book! Thank you, Carole Nelson Douglas, for re-inventing Louie for a new generation of readers!!!!!!!


Friday, October 12, 2018

October is Midnight Louie Month!

This month, we pay tribute to one of ROCCO's idols and my mentor:

Simply put, Midnight Louie is OUR kind of detective.

In his own words, he’s short, dark and unobtrusive.  He talks like a detective out of a 40s pulp novel.  Plus, he’s remarkably light on his feet and he can shimmy into places Columbo would never dare to tread.
And why not?  Louie is a cat.

A 20 pound, jet black tomcat with all of his – um- assets intact (well for the most part.  He has had a vasectomy – yeah, you heard me right) Louie is the first furpurrson of mystery, or as he puts it, the star of his own multivolume mystery series. And make no mistake about it, Louis is THE star, even though at times he finds himself sharing center stage with some very interesting humans.

A good deal of the charm for me in this series is Carole Nelson Douglas’
well fleshed out characters, both feline and human. Eighteen pound plus tomcat Louie shares the stage in his books with four human characters, two men, two women; two amateur sleuths, two pros. Crime-solving Temple Barr, PR woman and burgeoning sleuth, is Louie’s roommate. (No one “owns” Louie.) He’s Temple’s protector and “muscle.” Hard-boiled female homicide lieutenant C.R. Molina has to put up with the pair of them. Max Kinsella is Temple’s ex, a magician and counter-terrorist operative on the run. Matt Devine is an ex-priest radio advice counselor who’s become Temple’s fiancĂ©e.  And this is not to mention the feline characters, which include his alleged daughter, Midnight Louise (who loves ragging on dear old pops), Ma Barker, his mom who still oftentimes refers to him by his given  name, Grasshopper, a bomb and drug sniffing Maltese, Nose E, several assorted cats, big and little…oh! And let’s not forget those glamour pusses, cats of the female persuasion that set Louie’s tail to thumping:  Shaded silver and gold Persians Yvette and Solange, between whose affections Louie bounces like a furry black ball; the deadly Hyacinth, a seal point Siamese whose claws are dipped nightly (supposedly) in Curare; and Satin, a comely black chick with a fluffy tail, one of Louie’s first amours and the maybe-momma of Midnight Louise.

Douglas writes the series as if it were a daytime soap, interweaving plot points and characters throughout.  Like any loyal soap follower, we hung on what would happen next (which we found out, in the last of the "ALPHABET" Midnight Louie mysteries, CAT IN AN ALPHABET ENDGAME.

Now, oh, happy day, Carole Nelson Douglas is re-issuing the earlier Midnight Louie volumes!  Here's hoping that Louie gains a whole new network of fans!  The books can be found at amazon and barnes and noble!

In the coming weeks, we'll take a closer look at Louie and some of his memorable adventures. In the meantime, I leave you with this:

As Louie says, he lives in “the city that never sleeps” – and with a crew like that, who could?

More importantly, who would want to?

Check out Louie's books here:Amazon ML Mysteries

Saturday, October 6, 2018


Meow!  Its time for our October cozy reviews!

First my top pick:  the latest Cat in the Stacks, SIX CATS A SLAYIN'

Miranda James
  • Series: Cat in the Stacks Mystery (Book 10)
  • Publisher: Berkley (October 23, 2018)
  • Rating:  Five Paws!!

The tenth entry in this most charming series is set, as the title indicates, during the Christmas season.  As Charlie and his Maine Coon Cat Diesel prepare for the holidays with Charlie's grandchildren, Charlie gets an unwelcome invitation from a new neighbor - Gerry a nosy real estate agent for a holiday party.  Charlie, girlfriend Rose and Stuart all decide to go but they get a distinct shock when the woman is murdered during the party.  Charlie, of course, gets involved in solving the mystery which turns out to have an unusual twist I wont spoil here.  The real star of the show for me, though, was the subplot involving a box of kittens left on Charlie's doorstep.  Diesel is at his very best as caretaker of the kitties, and there just might be a little addition to the Harris family before the adventure reaches its conclusion.  All loose ends are tied up in a neat little package with a bright Christmas bow, leaving us bereft until their next adventure.  Longtime fans of this series will delight in this one, a definite five paws!   

A Scrapbooking Mystery
Laura Childs/Terrie Farley Moran
Berkley Prime Crime hardcover
October 2, 2018
Five Paws!!!!

Fans of this long running series will not be disappointed in the fifteenth entry!  Amidst the glitter and glitz of the Mardi Gras, Carmela Bertrand  of course runs headlong into mystery and murder when an explosion rocks the parade.  Carmela's ex-hubby, Shamus, is astride a float that msyteriously bursts into flames as it passes them, but one of the crewmembers is killed.  with Shamus in the police's eye as a main suspect, can Carmela clear her ex? And jsut what will her fiancee, Detective Edgar Babcock, have to say about her interfering? 

This series is everything a good msytery should be: interesting characters, complex plot, and a page-turner!  an undeniable Five Paws!!!!!

The Ghost and the Bogus Bookseller
Cleo Coyle
Berkley Mass Market Paperback
September 25, 2018
Four and a half Paws!

Cleo Coyle, the author of the fabulously successful Coffee House mysteries, is also the author of the Haunted Bookshop mysteries!  This was my first foray into this series and it won't be the last.  Peneope Thornton McClure owns a bookstore that's haunted by the spirit of Jack Shepard, a 1940's private investigator!  Together they solve mysteries!  (Remember the Ghost and Mrs. Muir???) In this volume, Penelope smells a rat behind the biggest best seller of the year, because folks are turning up dead to read it - literally!  With the fatalities connected to the book, Penelope and Jack team up to solve the cold case before it claims Penelope as its next victim.  Thorougly enjoyable.  Four and a half paws.

A counterfeit lady novel
Berkley Prime Crime Paperback
Victoria Thompson
September 25, 2018
Four Stars

An exciting new historical mystery series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles—from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Every woman plays a part—but some are more dangerous than others…

Like most women, Elizabeth Miles assumes many roles; unlike most, hers have made her a woman on the run. Living on the edge of society, Elizabeth uses her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains. But brutal and greedy entrepreneur Oscar Thornton is out for blood. He’s lost a great deal of money and is not going to forgive a woman for outwitting him. With his thugs hot on her trail, Elizabeth seizes the moment to blend in with a group of women who have an agenda of their own. 

She never expects to like or understand these privileged women, but she soon comes to respect their intentions, forming an unlikely bond with the wealthy matriarch of the group whose son, Gideon, is the rarest of species—an honest man in a dishonest world. Elizabeth knows she’s playing a risky game, and her deception could be revealed at any moment, possibly even by sharp-eyed Gideon. Nor has she been forgotten by Thornton, who’s biding his time, waiting to strike. Elizabeth must draw on her wits and every last ounce of courage she possesses to keep her new life from being cut short by this vicious shadow from her past.

I'm not a fan of historicals, but I did enjoy this. four paws.

Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain, Jon Land
Paperback edition
September 25, 2018
Five Paws!

This is the paperback edition of the hardcover that was reviewed last year.  Jon Land takes over for the late Donald Bain and does a masterful job of injecting new life into this tried and true series!  Jessica is on more of a "thrill ride" now and we couldn't be happier!  Longtime fans never tire of this series, and now Land is making it better than ever! Five Paws!


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