Absinthe without Leave A Midnight Louie Café Noir Mystery By Carole Nelson Douglas

Mar 2, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Absinthe without Leave, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

From A to Z readers have faithfully followed Midnight Louie, the detective cat with attitude, through his adventures in Las Vegas. The romantic and extremely suspenseful fates of his frequent human companions were finally resolved in Cat in an Alphabet Endgame, with Public Relations whiz Temple Barr, late night radio host Matt Devine, and Mystifying Max magician Max Kinsella all finding variations of their own Happily Ever After. So it’s appropriate that this new series takes a delightedly unexpected twist by introducing into their world the heroine of Carole Nelson Douglas’s paranormal series, Delilah Street. On the run from a werewolf biker gang, a car crash explicably sends Delilah and her massive canine companion Quicksilver hurtling from her mythical-creature-filled world into the still insane but “normal” mundane Las Vegas. mystery

Accustomed to literal bloodsuckers and other magical creatures, it takes the reporter-turned-paranormal investigator a moment to adjust to this new Vegas that so closely mirrors her own. Landing in the middle of a magic act certainly doesn’t help, nor does the discovery of the Green Fairy assistant lying in a stage tunnel. Unsure of whom to trust, Delilah – discreetly assuming the name Lilah Lane – finds an unlikely ally in the amnesiac magician Max Kinsella. The feline CEO of Midnight Investigations, Inc. and periodic narrator Midnight Louie of course contributes his own undercover skills to track down the mysterious killer hiding within the magic act of Spellbinder and his Six Deadly Sins at the Hellfire Hotel. Stagehands all interchangeably dressed to work behind the state, the Deadly Sins are as much a part of the entertainment illusions as Absinthe beverages, trained Big Cats, and sky-high dancers.

A tidy introduction quickly updates and summarizes past events and characters from the Midnight Louie mystery series, allowing readers the time to focus on the intriguing escapades of Delilah Street. After a short period of understandable confusion, she quickly adjusts to her new reality that exchanges real magic for the sleight-of-hand tricks practiced by masters of illusion. The biggest mystery Delilah focuses on is that of the fate of her protective Quicksilver, whose place has been taken by her equally ferocious, but previously cremated, Lhasa Apso. This extraordinarily unique mystery blends together the best of both of Douglas’s mystery series, with favorite characters appearing to both exasperate and assist the two-legged and four-pawed investigators. While Matt, Temple, and the Fontana Brothers utilize their Las Vegas knowledge to solve the mysteries of missing and deceased stage assistants, Max, Delilah, and Midnight Louise are the true stars of this innovative novel. Full of snappy noir banter and clever dialogue, this start of a new series will leave readers anticipating which Vegas they will be taken to next.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Absinthe without Leave, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “leave,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 9, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on iTunes and Google Play.

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Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I have not read the Midnight Louie series but they sounds fascinating. This book sounds like a fun paranormal with lots of twist and turns. The cast of side characters sounds like a bag full if fun.

    • There are 28 earlier mystery books of Midnight Louie and his friends human and feline, starting with Cat in an Alphabet Soup and Cat in an Aqua Storm, Cat on a Blue Monday etc. to Cat in an Alphabet Endgame. But this book brings the heroine of an urban fantasy series set in a paranormal version of Louie’s Vegas onto Louie’s turn. Things aren’t heavily paranormal yet . . . but with black cats and magic acts and murder, something’s cooking. . .

  2. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  3. Thanks for the review.

  4. Sounds like an interesting book. Looking forward to reading.

  5. I love Midnight Louie. I’ll have to watch my library for this one.

    • Thanks, Lee! The library print edition is coming out later than the e-book. Check with your local library down the road. Louie is pleased to hear you are a fan! Purrs!

  6. Both of Carole’s series are spectacular. This new combination of them promises to delight and intrigue just as much.

    • Thanks for the terrific endorsement! I’m so glad Louie’s new nine lives (or however) are so welcome!

  7. We have a winner!


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