Catnap

Catnap (Midnight Louie #1) by Carole Nelson Douglas

I picked this book up years ago at a library book sale as I love mysteries and I love cats, so when they are combined they are a serious winner!

This book is not only a noir-it is a chat noir! LOL

Midnight Louie is a giant, eighteen pound cat who roams the streets. He used to call the Crystal Palace Casino his home, but since the owner got married and had a baby-it isn’t really the place for him.

He’s a P.I. investigating crimes on the strip and finds himself at the convention center where the ABA, American Booksellers Association, is holding thier annul convention. As he peruses the book stalls, he discovers a dead body-stabbed by a knitting needle. Not wanting to be the one who is suspected for the murder, he decides to have someone else find the body.

That patsy just happens to be Templeton Barr, P.R. for the ABA conference.

Templeton Barr had a wonderful job at the Guthrie Theater and left it to follow her magician boyfriend to Las Vegas, Nevada. He disappeared, and Temple couldn’t get her job back-so she stayed in Vegas, working as a freelance P.R.

She is finishing up her work, worried sick about the disappearance of Scottish Fold cats, Baker & Taylor-mascots for the booksellers; when a guard tells her a cat has been spotted on the main floor. Templeton scurries down there to find Midnight Louie and the dead body.

It isn’t just any body, but Chester Royal, head of Pennyroyal Press-specializing in medical murder mysteries and thriller. He was a rude, crude, penny-pinching, misogynistic man who only cares about himself and making more money for himself. Suspects abound!

He was found with the knitting needle through the chest and the word “STET” on his body.

Templeton has a PR nightmare, but gets the idea to use Midnight Louie-detective cat angle-shielding the B&T cat disappearances and making the story a human interest piece on the front page.

She also finds herself caring for Midnight Louie, investigating the murder, and having to do a ransom drop to get the B&T cats back.

She goes to work investigating, but will curiosity kill this P.R. cat?

Hmm…

Thoughts After Reading:

It’s funny because I read this book over thirteen years ago and Baker & Taylor meant nothing to me, other than a side storyline. Now that I work in a library, as soon as I read Baker & Taylor I knew it meant the booksellers and I knew how important the cats are. Funny, isn’t it.

I thought it was an interesting mystery-especially the switching of chapters from Templeton’s view to Midnight Louie’s 1940s PI entries.

The mystery was a bit dry and hard to slog through in places. I also think how she figured it out was a bit jumping the shark-as a new character enters the story in the last few chapters that holds the “key” to discovering the truth.

I hate that. It always feels lazy to me or a last ditched effort to figure out a way to reach the conclusion instead of interweaving it throughput.

For more Noirvember, go to Wolverine Noir

For more cat mysteries, go to The Tell-Tale Purr

For more mysteries with Private Detectives, go to Lowcountry Boneyard

For more mysteries set in Las Vegas, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more books from a library book sale, go to The Key to Midnight

Lowcountry Bombshell

Lowcountry Bombshell (Liz Talbot Mysteries #2) by Susan M. Boyer

Liz Talbot is living on the Stella Maris island and has recovered from her past adventures in Lowcountry Boil. She has given up her obsession over ex-sweetheart Michael Devlin, and has admitted her feelings for Nate Andrews, partner in her private investigations and her ex-husband’s brother.

The two have things to work out as he wants to stay in Greenville, South Carolina-but Liz needs to stay in Stella Maris-in order to protect the island from developers and keep Colleen, the spirit of her dead friend who is a guardian spirit for the island. As long as Liz’s investigations fall into her mission-she will assist her in any way she can.

Elizabeth has just gotten a new case, and boy is it a doozy. In walks a beautiful blonde who is the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe.

And that’s not all that’s the same. She has the same birthday June 1st: birth name Norma Jeane Mortenson; her mother Gladys was in and out of hospitals because of her schizophrania; her client was in and out of foster homes; she married a Jim to leave her mother-but also divorced him; she later married a Joe, a baseball star (although only minor leagues, and a few other similarities.

After her second husband died, she changed her name from Norma Jeane to Callista McQueen. Her husband played the lottery every day, and won the big jackpot before he was murdered. Callista moved around, settling on Stella Maris.

She wants to hire Liz as she feels someone is trying to kill her, and mimic Marilyn’s death. Liz only has a few days until, August 5th.

Liz doesn’t know whether this Marilyn stuff is true, but does admit that her client is afraid. She starts investigating and discovers that someone is after her, but who?

Hmmm…?

Then Callista’s psychic/life coach, Harmony, is murdered-the gun one that was used in a murder years ago and should be in an evidence locker-but is missing.

WHAT!

Obviously, someone has infiltrated in Callista’s life and wants to kill her, but who?

Hmmm…

Could it be her mother who has mental disease and fixation on copying Marilyn’s life for her daughter? Or her mother’s friend Grace who is crazy and high strung?

Her ex-husband who is obsessed with her and is unwilling to let her go again?

Her creepy Mrs. Danvers-esque housekeeper?

Niles, the gay yoga instructor who has become her confident and resides in her house?

Hmm…

Her security team who are watching, but somehow allowed someone into Callista’s home?

Her creepy psychiatrist who is way too into Callista?

This is not good

The man who attacked her years ago? Or the man who murdered her second husband?

With each step Liz finds herself in another thread and possibility. But it is clear that someone is after Callista and with each day passing, will Liz and Nate solve it? Or will Callista end up like her namesake?

Thoughts After Reading:

I thought this was good although not as good as book one and three. The mystery is interesting and intriguing-I LOVED it-it was the Nate and Liz relationship that got me.

In the 1st book they were purely professional, although it was super clear that Nate was into Liz. Then in this we are barely in and they are consummating their relationship. I know time passed, but it felt like bang-no buildup nothing.

We also have barely any Colleen, which really causes issues as I grew to like her in the other book and its not the same without her.

Bring her back

I love the Marilyn Monroe angle and that whole storyline. A fantastic idea.

For more Liz Talbot Mysteries, go to Lowcountry Boil

For more female private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more on private investigators, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry Boil (A Liz Talbot Mystery #1) by Susan M. Boyer

So I first became aware of the Liz Talbot Mysteries with the third book, Lowcountry Boneyard. I was a book reviewer for a blog, we didn’t get paid but I did get free books to read, like that gum commercial.

I tried to get the rest of the series but the libraries didn’t have it and I thought about buying it but I really wanted to read it first. I finally got my hands on the first book, so here we go!

Liz Talbot left Stella Maris Island, her hometown, for college and marriage and has hardly been back. Her high school sweetheart, Michael Devlin, married her evil cousin Marci Miller (seriously she has some screws loose), and then she married, Scott Andrews, turned out to e a narcissistic conman.

She is divorced and now runs a successful private investigator team with her ex-brother-in-law Nate Andrews. (It is obvious he has feelings for her but Liz doesn’t see it and still carries a torch for her high school sweetheart).

Everything changes when she sees the ghost of her high school friend, Colleen Stevens. She warns her to come back to the island as her grandmother, Gram is dead.

At first Liz thinks her grandmother died by accident, but soon she and her brother. Blake Talbot, Police Chief, decide there was something more happening.

Liz inherits her Gram’s house and Colleen, a guardian spirit who is connected to the island. As long as Liz remains on the island, Colleen is there to guide and protect her-but if Liz doesn’t stay then terrible things will happen.

As Liz says goodbye to Nate and her other life, she sets out to make Stella Maris her new home and solve who killed Gram.

She finds herself in a wasp nest of developers, fighting city council, blackmail, hired guns, domestic violence, choosing between her old flame or starting something new, and more! Will she find out the truth, or end up joining Colleen in the spirit world?

Thoughts After Reading:

It was a great read. I love how classy and ladylike Liz is, as a Southern woman should be, along with how tough and resourceful she is.

This novel is great read as it gets intense in the middle and I was flipping pages trying to get to what happened next.

I loved it and can’t wait for book 2!

For more private investigators, go to The Case of the Invisible Dog

For female private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more Southern mysteries, go to Design for Murder

For more supernatural mysteries, go to Christina’s Ghost

The Case of the Invisible Dog

The Case of the Invisible Dog (Shirley Homes Mystery #1) by Diane Stingley

After falling to strike it big in Hollywood, and two awful relationships, Tammy Norman has headed back to her hometown in North Carolina.

Desperate for work she takes a job with a Sherlock Holmes obsessed private investigator (who also believes to be a descendent of the real Sherlock Holmes), Shirley Homes.

At first Tammy spends her days doing nothing and getting paid well. Then a case comes their way. Every night a man is kept up by a barking dog, but neither he or his neighbors own one?

What’s starts out as a benign case turns to murder with Tammy wondering if she and Shirley have gotten in waaaay over their heads.

Thoughts After Reading:

This was soooo awful.

Ugh!

It was stupid. It makes fun of Sherlock Holmes and fans.

The characters are so awful.

Don’t read it. It was boring and the end was unsolved and made no sense. I can’t stress enough, do not read it.

For more private investigators, go to Wolverine Noir

For female private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

Wolverine Noir

Wolverine Noir (Marvel Noir Series) by Stuart Moore and C.P. Smith

Thoughts Before Reading:

This was a Christmas gift from my sister who knows my love of film noir, mysteries, private investigators, and the 1940s.

This series involves taking characters from the Marvel Universe and combining them with elements from Pulp fiction novels and film noir.

Plot Synopsis:

It is 1937 in the Bowery of New York City. Jim Logan (Wolverine) is the head of Logan & Logan Private Detective Agency with his brother Dog (Sabertooth), who is not mentally there after a horrible accident.

Logan is the best knife expert, using as many as six knives. However, he hasn’t had very much luck lately. There has been no cases coming his way.

That all changes when the beautiful Mariko Yashida walks into his office and brings a case that will bring up the past and a world of painful memories Logan hoped to never face again.

Thoughts After Reading:

It was good, but very, very dark…

For more noir, go to Archie Andrews: Not So Private Eye

For more private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more reviews, go to The Secret Adversary