on August 21, 2013
The points I especially enjoyed in this were:
*The return of Karma.
*Glimpses of the old, angsty Matt.
*Some renewed tension between Max and Matt. Although I like both characters, it makes things more interesting to have one or the other a bit ruffled or suspicious.
*Louie and family. If anything, I'd always enjoy more of Louie's POV.
*Temple's talk with her mother. As a newly middle-aged Midwesterner myself, it's always a kick to see how the author imagines the type.
*Rens was fun--nice to see a photo, too.
*Surprisingly, reading a shocking revelation in this story, which I won't spoil by mentioning. I am wondering what really happened to him, though. Can we believe anything that particular character says?
*Also surprisingly, a couple of scenes that left me dry-mouthed due to the tension. After all this time, who'd have thought?
When I picked up the first in this series, I believe I was 29, so just about Temple's age. Now, I'm fifty. How time does fly for me, but not for Temple and crew. Lucky them. :-)
I was reflecting, with this latest, how well the author keeps track of the details. As another reviewer mentioned, it's a continuing story. Grab the first, or at the latest, "Cat on a Blue Monday," if you've never read a Midnight Louie story. Personally, I find these very re-readable, so I don't have trouble keeping up when a new book comes out.
To those who don't know, yes, Midnight Louie is a cat, and there are several animal characters. If you don't have the sense of humor and imagination to enjoy cats (and occasionally dogs) acting as detectives, it's not going to be the series for you.
These stories still put a smile on my face, and that's a great value in life. I hate to think of the series ever ending, although of course it must be resolved one day. It's been fun, though. I'll always feel as if I knew Louie and the rest.
on November 29, 2013
CAT IN AN ALIX-RAY
By Carole Nelson Douglas
Midnight Louie is Back! In this, his 25th adventure in the current series (there was a prequel series 4 books in length), many of your favorites are front and center: Midnight Louie (of course), Temple, Matt and Max, Lt. Molina, Aunt Kit, the Fontana crew, Midnight Louise, Karma and Ma Barker’s feral cat clowder.
In this adventure, Temple is approached to do PR work for an new Vegas hotel and club that is as fancy an illusion as anything the Mystifying Max could think up : a building that is not visible, a UFO that is not so unidentified, and a developer who is more ringmaster than businessman. When two very visible and very dead bodies show up on the property, PR for the new business goes south in a hurry.
Add to this the recent surfacing of the thought-to-be-dead Kathleen O’Connor and her manipulations, and Temple, Matt and Max have to put their heads together to figure out how to delve deeper into the mystery related to the Synth while managing to stay alive. Of course, Midnight Louie and his accomplices are there to whisker out the truth and to lend a paw when the going gets rough.
I’ll admit that I’m firmly in the Team Kinsella camp. Not saying that I don’t like the character Matt Devine – I do. I just don’t like his relationship with Temple. Every novel since Max’s abrupt disappearance and near-death experience, I keep hoping for Matt’s exit and Max’s re-entry in Temple’s life. Will it happen or not? Only Carole Nelson Douglas knows for sure. All I know is that if it doesn’t, it will put a very big damper on my feelings for the romantic part of the series, although my delight in all things Midnight Louie will survive.
As for my usual likes/dislikes: grammar, punctuation, word usage, spelling – proof reading and editing in general – these passed muster. I saw only two errors (and that broke my heart as I don’t remember finding errors in former books).
The first is a who’s on first problem. On page 29 of the novel (yeah, right off the bat) Karen Barr, Temple’s mother, is speaking. The POV in this section is first-person Temple, but, when Temple tells her mother she is engaged, this is Karen’s response:
“So it’s not that magician?” I suggested cautiously.
I re-read the pages before and after several times and the “I” should have been a “She.” Maybe it could have just been left out. I don’t think there were other dialogue modifiers for her in the multi-page conversation.
The only other mistake I saw, and again re-read several times to be sure I wasn’t missing something, occurs near the end of the novel, on page 290. Here, it’s a simple omitted word.
“The Black Spot was note delivered to pirates, warning they were marked for death,
not geographical markings.” Matt said.
I’m assuming it should have read …Spot was a note delivered to pirates,…
Otherwise, the plotting was okay, although there seemed to be more of a disconnect between the secondary story of Temple’s sort of PR job and the action that endangers the main characters than I have seen in other entries in the series. With the exception of Kathleen O’Connor’s possible connection to one of the bodies found at the invisible/alien visitation hotel/casino site, there didn’t seem to be much of a thread tying that storyline to the goings on which involved Matt, Max and Temple, and by association, Midnight Louie.
However, the most interesting part of the novel, to me, was the regaining of bits and pieces of Max Kinsella’s memory. Certainly, his memories of Temple are more than he is willing to admit. Also of interest is his suspicion of the current woman in his life, Revienne Schneider. With only two more novels prior to the predicted series end, these two things may play a big part in tying up all the extremely raveled threads of the continuing storyline.
So, not my favorite book in the series, but it does move the overall picture along (even if it doesn’t always seem to be moving in the direction I’d like to see it go). At this point in the series, that is a huge point in its favor. So, I’m giving it 4 stars. ½ star off for what seemed a plotting problem to me, and ½ a star off because I’m ready to see Max more as he used to be. I also missed some of the regulars in this episode. No Raffi, no Mariah, no Circle Ritz colorful landlady, too little Fontana action. Lord help me, too little C.R. Molina.
Easy, fun, light summer reading.
Looking forward to the Y (assuming it might be Yellow?) episode and seeing how things begin to resolve themselves.
on August 12, 2013
Being a major Midnight Louie fan, I love all the books in the series. Full of the usual odd characters, this one is fun and suitably confusing. Louie's dialogue is always the best part of the book. I wouldn't miss any of the books in the series though I have some favorites like Q, S, and W. A must for all Midnight Louie fans.
on September 22, 2013
I always look forward to Carole Nelson Douglas's Midnight Louie series. Cat in an Alien X-Ray carries on the ongoing saga of my favorite Las Vegas gumshoe and his assorted companions as they seek to unravel the various crimes that have taken place during the pendency of this alphabetical mystery. Unfortunately, since this book is the "X" edition, I know there are only two remaining to look forward to. What will I do then without Louie's in-depth narratives and insights into human nature and his solutions to the various murders surrounding the Mysterious Max, the dashing Matt Devine, and the always enchanting Temple Barr? Miss Douglas has a fresh, snappy method of writing that is entertaining and can be comedic at the same time. Of course, you have to read the series from the beginning in order to capture the complete nuance of the continuing storyline, but that's half the fun. Can't wait to see how this all unravels, but at the same time I don't want it to end.
on August 30, 2013
This 22nd entry to the 25 book series starring Midnight Louie, cat P.I., can be read independent of the rest of the series and still be enchanting and interesting.
Douglas has, in previous books, left many stories dangling at the end. However, as we get nearer the end of the projected "Alphabetically Titled" series, she is pulling together the loose ends, and putting a pretty bow on each unsolved mystery, several to a book.
This book does the same, but in a way that one does not have to read the previous stories to understand what has happened before and where things stand now.
However, this is the first book in the series that did not teach something interesting about an esoteric subject found in the various conventions Temple does P.R. for, such as cat shows, The Red Hat Society, Elvis, "Chick-Lit", etc. as each of the other stories have. Instead, personalities of all the main characters are enriched and investigated.
Although all main the characters in previous books are given a cameo, the action centers on Temple Barr, her fiance`, Matt Divine, her former fiance`, Max, as well as "Kittie the Cutter" and Louie's antics.
The Title is titulary, but isn't explained until the last sentence Louie pronounces. Well worth waiting for.
I am sorry it will be a year before the next book and another year before the last in the series. A long wait for these enchanting outings.
on September 29, 2013
The Midnight Louie Mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas are among my favorites. They can get a little complicated with all of the plot twists and the multitude of characters, so I recommend that you read the books in the series in order. This book will keep you guessing, and it's a lot of fun to see how Midnight Louie and his fellow felines save the day and help solve the mystery. Throughout the book, Midnight Louie gives a running commentary on the action, which is LOL funny. Fans of mysteries and cat lovers will enjoy reading this book, but since it makes reference to events and characters in previous books, again I recommend you read the earlier books first.
on August 24, 2013
Once again Midnight Louie and his band of humans romp through Las Vegas trying to solve what must be the longest running series of crimes in the history of fiction. The mystery of who has been killing the magicians has been solved, but there are other unsolved murders connected to them which have not been. Kitty the Cutter surfaces once again. Matt and Max eye each other warily and end up on the same hospital room. Miss Temple Barr informs her parents of her upcoming nuptuals, but who will end up with whom is still up for grabs. Recommended for all who have been following the adventures of Midnight Louie through the alphabet. It is getting close to the end, folks.
on October 26, 2014
I love Midnight Louie and his gang of investigators. He is the best p.i. ever. I have evey book in the series. I hope it stays fun and interesting. Max is my least favorite character. I wasn't happy he is still around, but, I guess we have to have someone to aggravate us. looking forward to more of Ms. Douglas's books.
on August 23, 2013
I started reading the Midnight Louie mysteries in the early 90's. The ongoing story has been great, although it would have been easier to follow if I had been able to read more than one book a year! I enjoy the characters immensely; especially Louie, who is not a cute, cuddly, schlock cat, but more of a Sam Spade cat-dude about town. CND is certainly a talented, intelligent writer who provides reading that reflects the issues of our lives in a humorous and thoughtful way. This book is not a stand-alone, so start with the first book. I'm looking forward to the wrap of the story.
on November 27, 2013
As you know, I've always been a lover of mystery novels and Carole Nelson Douglas is one of my household's favorite authors. Given that we did a spotlight post on her a while back, I guess that would be pretty obvious. So when Angelique, one of the lovely publicists at Tor & Forge Books contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in reading and reviewing Douglas's newest novel in her fabulous Midnight Louie series, well let me just say that there was more than one set of dancing paws (and feet) to be found in the house. And so before I get to my review, I'd like to thank Angelique, the folks at Tor & Forge books, and the wonderful Carole Nelson Douglas for gifting me a copy of this title! Now, on to the review itself. =^.^=
Let me first start off by saying that the one thing I have always loved about this series is that it takes place in modern-day Las Vegas (even though the timeline of events have only spanned roughly two years since those in the first book). So as hotels come and go, technology changes, and the thrill and excitement of Vegas grows and wanes, Douglas does a wonderful job of blending today's Vegas landmarks with her fictional ones. Her off the cuff pop culture references, both in the story and the chapter names, are also fun to see scattered amongst the pages. My personal favorite this time around was her heading for chapter 33, Synth You've Been Gone. Yeah it resulted in my having the original song stuck in my head the rest of the evening, but it was worth it and it made me chuckle the first time I saw it. Heehee
Now for those readers who are new to this series, and for those who started reading but decided to wait until the series comes to a close (I know of some folks who fit into this category), I wouldn't recommend making this your first foray into the series. If you want to do the books justice, start with the first book, Catnap, and work your way up the chain of events. Trust me, you'll be glad you did! That being said, Douglas does a great job of providing just the right amount of backstory to remind long time readers of what has gone on in the previous novels. I actually greatly appreciated this because while I recently reread the series, there were connections that I forgot or completely didn't catch originally on the recent read through.
Douglas's characters still continue to delight me just as much now as they always have, though it's no secret that Midnight Louie is my favorite out of all them, with Midnight Louise and Ma Barker and her clowder coming in closely behind him. I only wish there were more chapters devoted to him and his ilk. All hail to the real solver of all of Las Vegas's crimes, Midnight Louie! May I offer purrs and tail waves in your honor. He's one feline I wouldn't mind curling up next to on a cool Vegas evening. ~purrs~
And of course it would be remiss of me not to give some attention to Douglas's human characters, so permit me to say that my appreciation of Temple has pretty much held steady throughout the series. I don't think there is really anything that she could do that would ever make me not like her. The same with Detective Molina, though it has been nice to watch her lighten up as the series has progressed. The lunch scene between her and Temple, and the initial phone call that preceded it, made me smirk several times because as much as they both don't want to admit it, Molina and Temple really would make great girlfriends. The ladies aside, Matt was sadly a bit hit and miss with me this time around, mostly because I didn't like that he wasn't upfront with Temple about what he was really doing after his show ended for the night. Yes, I get that he didn't tell her because he didn't want her to worry, etc., but it still didn't mean I liked it. There was something else that kept bugging me about him as I was, but I'm finding it hard to pin point exactly what it was. It's odd though because when he first appeared in the series I thought he was perfect and instantly loved him, but the more I've seen of him and learned, the more on the fence I've become towards him. In contrast my views on Max have continued to grow with the recent books to the point where I can comfortably say that I quite like him now. I guess it took him losing his memory for me to really start to appreciate his character.
As for secondary characters: Silas T. Farnum...okay, if you don't think of P.T. Barnum upon being introduced to this guy, there's something wrong with you. The minute he showed up in the book all I could think of was "There is a sucker born every minute." I shared Temple's frustration where he was concerned and actually cringed every time he showed up in the book. The man is just beyond exasperating to say the least. And as for Kathleen O'Connor, aka Kitty the Cutter, well I'm sure she'd hate me for saying this, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for her the entire book. This may sound strange, but I kind of want her to redeem herself before the series ends. Yeah she's killed folks, yes there's no question that she should be punished for the crimes she committed, but as screwed up as this character is, I'm hoping that Douglas will allow her one moment of happiness before she takes her final curtain call.
Since this is the 25th book in the series, you might think that at this point the storyline would be getting stale and the books less captivating, but I tell you this is not the case. Douglas's Midnight Louie series is still going strong! Right from the start I found I couldn't put the book down...there was just too much going on that as soon as I finished one chapter, something would happen that made me want to read the next one and the next and the next. Yes, this is definitely a page turner novel. Don't believe me? Get a copy of the book and find out for yourself, you won't be disappointed.
So as I bring this review to a close, let me simply say that I greatly enjoyed returning to the world that Douglas has created with these books and I'm greatly looking forward to the next installment of the series. Though at the same time it's been rather bittersweet as well because since I first heard that Douglas was going to be taking each title of her series and basing it on a letter in the alphabet, I knew eventually there would come a time when the alphabet would end and thus the series with it. And with this being book number 25 and representing the letter X in the alphabet, I do have to wonder just how many more books remain in the series. But as long as there are Midnight Louie novels being written, I can say with certainty this feline will be reading them. =^.^=