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Cat in a White Tie and Tails
by Carole Nelson Douglas
Tor Forge, $24.99, 368pp
Release Date: August 7, 2012

This is the latest in a looong series about a black cat named Midnight Louie. Ms Douglas has been writing about Louie since her first book Catnap back in 1992. Just so’s you know, I read the first few and then lost track. Don’t recall why exactly; I always enjoyed her Louie character and voice. So when I saw this latest one I thought “Why not? Just dive back in.” The trouble is, this story has a longer arc than I expected. I think one needs to read at least the one previous title (maybe more) to be in sync with this story. The previous title is “Cat in a Vegas Gold Vendetta.”

That said, this was a fun story. The charming hook to these books is that Douglas always uses two or more alternating viewpoints and one of them is Louie. Midnight Louie is a really remarkable cat and by this time, his partner (owner) has come to recognize and rely on his extraordinary abilities.

Louie’s partner, Temple Barr , has a new fiancé but her old one has resurfaced sans most of his memories. There is a very convoluted plot involving magicians in Las Vegas and lots and lots of unsolved murders. Temple ’s old flame, Max, an accomplished stage magician and espionage agent, is trying to stay one step ahead of the murders while recovering his missing memories. Louie has some very interesting adventures while being cat-napped in Chicago . And the dialogue between Louie and his business partner Miss Midnight Louise is just plain fun.

One really needs to have read the earlier part of this story arc before embarking on this book. I stuck with it to the end but I know I was missing some key references. And not all the loose ends were tied up so I know this story will continue. And it’s a good story so I think it would be worth the time. I intend to go back one book and see what I missed so I’m ready for the next one. ~~ Catherine Book

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