Cat in a Sapphire Slipper: A Midnight Louie Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Jun 30 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
The fur-flying 20th entry in Douglas's cat whodunit series (Cat in a Red Hot Rage, etc.) reveals that magician Mystifying Max Kinsella, Temple Barr's former sweetie, has been secretly whisked away to a European hospital, where he suffers from amnesia and is attracted to his sexy doctor. Meanwhile, Temple, who believes Max is dead, has become engaged to Matt Devine, former priest turned radio self-help guru, Mr. Midnight. Temple is also helping her romance novelist aunt, Kit Carlson, prepare to wed, but when a bachelor party prank goes awry, Matt and various members of the groom's family wind up at the Sapphire Slipper, the finest and classiest little licensed brothel in Nye County, Nev., where Matt stumbles on a murdered prostitute. Midnight Louie, feline sleuth, offers his considerable expertise in solving crimes of passion. Douglas explores the campy, lighter side of chickenranches at the same time she exposes their seamier aspects. (Sept.)
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"* "Wacky, extremely fast-paced, and funny. If a detective cat is your thing, Douglas does it best." Romantic Times * "Fast, moving and lively.... Sure to be a hit with Midnight Louie's large and dedicated audience." Booklist"See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are a lot of things to like about this one, though. The action had me hooked and the team Louie and Louise put together was hilarious. There's a certain four tail point that made me laugh out loud. I've always been one to love the cat side of these stories, though.
As for the human side of the story, I enjoyed Temple and Matt and their adventure, but I was most intrigued by the glimpses of Max and Molina. In a way, they're in parallel circumstances. He's recovering in some distant (Swiss?) hospital and she's recovering from her stab wound at home. He doesn't know who he can trust, and neither does she, really. He has something to hide and so does she. I'm also grateful Max is still alive. He was too good a character to lose, though I wouldn't be surprised if he does find that heroic death at some point. As for the lady psychiatrist, she was an interesting addition. Interesting too that she disappeared after he proved he was still capable of thinking quickly and surviving. On the Molina side, it was nice to see her coming to some terms with Rafi--and that he isn't quite the bad guy we were once led to imagine. I can't help wondering how Mariah will take the news, if and when it comes out. As always with these books, I'm left wondering what will happen and looking forward to reading the next.
However, Temple is unaware that Max is alive given the name Mr. Randolph by the hospital staff as he suffers from amnesia while healing near the Alps after taking a severe fall in Nepal. Temple's romance novelist Aunt Kit Carlson is getting married, but the bachelor party is going to be for the men including Matt at the renowned legal brothel Sapphire Slipper chicken ranch in Nye County, Nevada. To his chagrin, Matt ends up with a dead hooker. Midnight Louie believes the murder was one of passion so must decide who loved the prostitute enough to kill her.
The amazing thing about this Midnight Louie cat crime caper is that the feline is on his third life of books, but the writing magician Carole Nelson Douglas shows her skills by keeping the frolic fresh, funny and fun. The amusing look at the Nevada chicken farm industry enhances a strong whodunit while Max struggles in Europe to figure out his name. Fans of the series will appreciate this engaging lighthearted romp as Louie visits the Sapphire Slipper.
But too much time I felt was spent on impressing that each of the legal prostitutes must have had horrible scarred pasts, and how they are all damaged and dreadfully unhappy with their current employment. Temple Barr outright insults & disrespects them & you can clearly tell this is how the author feels about brothels and prostitution.
The girlfriends of the sort-of-gangsters are all depicted as vapid and treated with contempt & rudeness, & also clearly deserve to be punished for what frankly seems a hilarious prank.
I'm certainly not conservative or uptight but the tone in this book marred it for me. All the women are treated as sex objects and I guess I'd like something more from a female author.
Well, it isn't much of a mystery; bloodless, to be sure, and on the thin and flat side. Of course, I've noticed several series that present a mixture of cats and detection, though I don't think I've ever read any of those books. And I must say, although I absolutely love cats, have had an adopted pair - currently Divo and Fiona --for more years than most people on this earth have been alive, I don't really care for at least this book, in which a cat supposedly does most of the detection, and also narrates. Particularly since the cat narrates in a voice obviously modeled on the dialog invented by Damon Runyon (1880-1946) who wrote many short stories and sketches - some would be used to create the play "Guys and Dolls," and the movie based on it(Guys and Dolls). At any rate, Runyon was writing about Prohibition Broadway characters, horse players, gamblers, chorus girls, petty criminals, the demi-monde. The language he developed is defined as in a "distinctive vernacular style: a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions." If Douglas's cat must talk and narrate, can't she devise her own language for him?
Furthermore, I felt the author trivialized those women working as prostitutes at the ranch; and, to add insult to injury, she then turned around and began calling them courtesans. Now, historically courtesans have quite a different reputation: they aren't prostitutes. They tend to be beautiful and talented women, capable of singing or throwing a great party; they create social circles, and stay with lovers a long time -- perhaps a lifetime. Some great and mighty women have begun their careers as courtesans. However, Douglas loves cats; the book is dedicated to Alley Cat Allies and Feral Friends, and mentions the new program of Trap, Neuter and Release that aims to help feral felines, and I can't argue with that. I note the author also does a series of Irene Adler adventures, Irene Adler being the only woman who ever bested Sherlock Holmes in a game of wits. Perhaps I'd get on better with those, but I'm afraid the Adler books might be narrated by Irene's budgerigar.