Cat in a Yellow Spotlight By Carole Nelson Douglas

Aug 30, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this review on how to win a copy of Cat in a Yellow Spotlight, and a link to purchase this book where a portion goes to help support KRL. Also in this issue a mystery short story written by Carole.

After the events of Cat in an Alien X-Ray, Las Vegas freelance public relations agent Temple Barr is engaged, planning both a possible move and a wedding, and dodging an assassin with the resilience of both Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. Professionally, Temple has an assignment to be a white glove-assistant/babysitter for the recently reunited 80s rock band Black and White. Torn apart by romantic jealousies, three of their members disappeared. Now, after twenty-five years, the two diva singers return for a concert at the Crystal Palace.

African-American “Chocolatte” and her Caucasian counterpart “French Vanilla,” were meant to represent a groundbreaking blend of ethnic races. Their love for fellow band mate Cade “Watchdog” Watson destroyed the group and Cade disappeared. Cade may have left Chocolatte for French Vanilla, but his relationships with the women were more akin to Ike Turner and Tina Turner than Sonny Bono and Cher. When a body plunges from the rafters during a rehearsal, candidates for its identity are pretty obvious to Temple. book

As she deals with shocked band members and French Vanilla who is either on drugs or desperately needs them, reinforcements arrive in the form of Temple’s ever-present ally and roommate Midnight Louie. The feline founder of Midnight Investigations, Inc. hunts for clues behind the scenes as he interrogates Chocolatte’s terriers, Scotch and Soda. Chapters alternate with his first-person (first-cat?) narrative. Along with his assumed but never acknowledged daughter Midnight Louise, their clowder—cat pack of Ma Barker and her feline gangsters aka the Black Ninja Brigade, the clandestine agents sniff out clues and do what they can to point them out to their oblivious human counterparts. Feeling neither guilt nor embarrassment, the felines are more than formidable.

Max Kinsella, famous magician and Temple’s former boyfriend, now is plagued by amnesia as he slowly recovers his life. Never to be forgotten is the presence of Kathleen “Kitty the Cutter” O’Connor, who made her mission in life to destroy Max’s. Part of that includes numerous attacks on the resilient Temple and the divine Matt Devine, a former priest and now her fiancé.

I have loved this series since Midnight Louie’s first appearance in the 1990 romantic suspense novel, Crystal Days. It is not until the end that the reader realizes the Sam Spade-like narrator has a tail and more fur than one would expect on your average hotel detective. The titles have changed in this series of twenty-six novels to better reflect an alphabetical theme (Catnap is now Cat in an Alphabet Soup). For over twenty years readers have grown to love—and hate—so many of the characters that the series end will be heartbreaking no matter how events are resolved.

First published in 1993, only a few years have passed in the world of Midnight Louie. It’s understandable that events from the first books still resonate with the characters. Temple feels the loss of her fiancé Max, Matt reels from the murder of his abusive step-father and Max… Max has his own memory issues, although he remains dedicated to finding his cousin Sean who may be less dead than previously thought.

While illusions have always reigned in Vegas, motherhood is the theme here, whether acknowledged, neglectful, or absent. Cat in a Yellow Spotlight isn’t just a placeholder until the final novel of the series. By now characters who were introduced as nemeses have become sympathetic, weak individuals have grown stronger and two-dimensional personalities have evolved.

With the second to last book in a long-running series, Douglas achieves the difficult task of tying up threads, catching up on past events, and leaving the reader satisfied but still hungry to know more about the future of her characters. This delicate balance of making one anxious to read more while not sacrificing a moment of happiness for her cast, is both brilliant and a joy.

To enter to win a copy of Cat in a Yellow Spotlight, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Cat,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 6, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL!

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).


  1. This sounds great. I’m always looking for something new and this looks like its right up my alley. I may have to visit the store and buy even more books to add to my keeling over nightstand.

  2. Every year I anxiously await the next Midnight Louie book. And I am indeed dreading the end of this magnificent series. In addition to the great books, I appreciate how CND has seamlessly blended current events and technology into the stories instead of leaving them in the 1980s. I really, really, really, really hope I win this book.

  3. ROCCO and I would not miss a volume of Midnight Louie! We would love to add this one to our collection (we have the whole set!) Carole Nelson Douglas is tops, as is Midnight Louie!

  4. Douglas is in my Top 5 fave writers list. Louie in my Top 5 fave cat sleuths list. Those Adler books also feature prominently in my library. Don’t have this one yet, so thanks for the possibility of winning it.

  5. I love Midnight Louie and now I have my very own black cat. I’m sure Louie would approve.

  6. Louie says Hi, and conveys his thanks for your wonderful comments. We are working on Cat in a Zebra Zoot Suit, the penultimate book. (Louie really loves that word “penultimate,” although I’m not sure if he knows it means the one before the last.) The last “alpha: book will be Cat in an Alphabet Endgame, so we have two to go!

    Very Best Fishes,

    Carole and Louie

  7. Hi Carole! I was wondering what Louie would be up to in the penultimate book–love the zoot suit idea! It will be sort of sad to see the series come to an end, but of course, the characters will be alive forever. 🙂 In the meantime, can’t wait to read the new one.

    Louie Eduardo Chukran (and his harm of five girls) sends his love! 😉

    • >>Louie Eduardo Chukran (and his harm of five girls) >>sends his love!

      Thank LEC from ML and me. And by the way, I’m not sure his harem of five girls is NOT a “harm”. Our adopted kitten, Winter, was raised with six boys and it’s clear she had to fight for her supper. She was adopted with Midnight Louie III, known as “Batboy” for his airborne ways, so it was good she’d dealt with hyperactive boys before.

      And the series will not really be coming to an ultimate “end.” Louie fully intends to go on. 🙂

  8. Midnight Louie sounds like fun! And I need to show our own rescue black cat @wildeoscarcat that cover!

  9. On of our feral rescues that the neighbor adopted is named “Winter.” Must be something in the air, or those of us in Texas are wishing for cooler weather. LOL.

  10. I love Midnight Louie! He’s the most pawsome awesome go to guy in Vegas. Every new Midnight Louie book is like getting a visit from your nearest & dearest friend.

  11. Louie loves “pawsome awesome go-to guy”! His readers are his nearest and dearest friends too!

    Carole, Louie’s Pawtobiographer

  12. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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