Sun 13 Nov 2011
Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme: A Midnight Louie Mystery
by Carole Nelson Douglas
Hardcover August 2010
Mass Market Paperback October 2011
A Forge Book
Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme is the latest entry in the long-running Midnight Louie series of mysteries. Temple Barr, a petite redhead working as a Public Relations specialist in Las Vegas, seems to fall over dead bodies at the drop of a hat. In this installment, two separate bodies show up (or the pieces thereof) and everyone is struggling to figure out who they are, who killed them and why.
Mingled with the mystery is the ever-more-complicated romantic relationship in Temple’s life, the trials and travails of Mystifying Max, her amnesiac ex-lover currently seeking his memories while traveling in Europe and the comic relief of trying to be the next big time in Vegas, from a PR angle.
The charm of this series from the very beginning lies in the unique points-of-view. The chapters alternate between various viewpoint characters, two of which have remained consistent throughout the series: Temple Barr and Midnight Louie. Louie is a Vegas native (unlike Temple) and helped show her the ropes when she relocated there. He is also something of a sleuth and utterly fearful. And he is solid black, sleek, and about sixteen pounds of domestic shorthaired cat. His chapters are among the most fun to read.
For those who haven’t been following the series, there is a review of The Show So Far, ably explained by Louie, including the current cast of characters and a list of the prior books in the series, as a prologue to the story. So, if you like, you can dive right in.
My recommendation: start at the beginning. It’s worth it. This series starts out fun, featuring a visit from two scottish folds and keeps getting better. Pampered persians, sneaky siamese, a mysterious birman, and a gang of street cats (mostly solid black) all have reoccuring roles through the series, along with a few dogs.
It’s even easy to keep track of. The first book is Catnap, followed by Pussyfoot. With the third book, Cat on a Blue Monday, a pattern emerges. The subsequent book titles are of the form: Cat in a Color Something, where color is the next letter in the alphabet (B for Blue, C for Crimson, etc).
If you’re a cat lover, you’ll enjoy these books. If you don’t believe me, just ask Louie.