Title: Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme (Midnight Louie Mystery #22)
Author: Carole Nelson Douglas
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: 3rd August 2010
Hardback: 365 pages
Source: Review Copy
Temple Barr, publicist extraordinaire, is itching to bring off her most dangerous and exciting assignment, helping to launch an endeavor that many a Vegas showmen have dreamed of; a Las Vegas mob museum/casino. While city powers-that-be hem and haw over doing an official project on the subject, the Family Fontana plans to; connect two hotels with a; “Chunnel of Crime” featuring an underground speakeasy; a fast “ride” through Vegas crime history by Gangsters custom limo service, and other fun attractions.
Temple’s grand scheme to do a live “opening Bugsy Siegel’s vault” media event built around a huge safe found buried underground produces a two-day-old body wearing white tie and tails. With Temple’s magician-counterterrorist ex-lover, Max, gone missing and her new fiance, radio shrink Matt Devine, in Chicago for week-long media gig, Temple must depend on “the Vegas Strip Irregulars,” a posse of cats, to solve murders old and new that smack of mobs vintage and all too contemporary. Success, or failure, could cost Temple her life, and all nine of Louie’s. (Goodreads)
“Cat in an Ultramarine Scheme” is the twenty second title in the Midnight Louie series by Carole Nelson Douglas.
As an animal lover I was really looking forward to reading a book where the main character is a cat detective. The character of Midnight Louie is central to the plot and entire series. Midnight Louie and his sometime sidekick are cats who communicate with each other, with dogs and even help to solve murders. I found it quite funny that these cats seem to get frustrated with the humans in the book at points!
The plot is divided up into the activities of the three main characters with short alternate chapters on each one; Max who is visiting Ireland in an attempt to remember his past, Temple Barr in her quest to create a Las Vegas mob museum and casino and Midnight Louie himself. I really liked the structure of this book, as it kept me wanting to read more. There are also some fabulous Vegas style name sin this book such as the ‘Glory Hole Gang’ bringing up all types of images of gangster style characters.
Temple Barr, a Las Vegas publicist is engaged to Matt Devine. Matt is in Chicago on business for a large part of the book and we only hear of him through phone calls. Instead, Max Kinsella, an ex-fiance of Temple is more prominent in his quest (in Ireland) to re-discover his memory. Temple is a great protagonist for the novel, she is strong willed, determined and undeniably glamorous and fits right in with Vegas life.
The setting, being Las Vegas, is full of details of the casinos and parties. However, it is the Vegas underworld and mobster background that comes to light in this book, providing the perfect place for a mystery novel to be set. Temple sets up a publicity stunt when a hidden vault is found hoping to get some publicity for the Crystal Phoenix Hotel and Casino. However, no one expects a body in full white tie and tails to be found in there and it becomes up to Midnight Louie and his feline friends to help solve the mystery.
If you are looking for a get away from it all read then this could be the book for you. It is light hearted and easy to follow with lots of Las Vegas glitz and glamour thrown in. I will definitely be putting some other books in this series on my ‘to read’ list. My only disappointment with the novel is that the ending seems to leave lots of issues unsolved – I was left wanting to find out what happens next!