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

Binky Brothers, Detectives

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Binky Brothers, Detectives by James Lawrence

Norbert “Dinky” Binky and his older brother, Albert “Pinky” Binky have started their own detective agency.

On the case!

Dinky thinks that as partners they should be equal, but big brother Pinky decides that being older means he gets more benefits and more of the money gained from their detecting.

While in between cases, the two brothers are selling cups of lemonade for 2¢. While selling, Chub Doolin, catcher, comes along. He hires the brothers as his mitt was stolen, and the team will be unable to beat the Wildcats without it.

Chub hands over the ransom note he was given:

Ha Ha! I have your mitt. Now the wildcats will beat you. Guess who? [Skull & crossbones]

Soon Wildcat players, Spike Brown and Joe Parker stop by. They have information they shouldn’t about the missing glove.

When Spike gets his money to pay, a pink note comes falling out. It is the same type as the one that Chub was given. It has a different message.

Tell the team we can win easy now. I hid you-know-what in the house. Those dopes will never look high enough to find it unless one of them is a monkey. Mel. [Skull & Crossbones]

Pinky figures out that Mel must be Melvin Krantz, the wildcat shortstop. Pinky thinks on the note and decides that the house in the note must be the team treehouse.

When he gets to the house it is too easy. And good reason to be, as it was all a trap to get rid of the Cubs best pitcher, Pinky. Pinky doesn’t know what to do.

Dinky comes along as he has found the glove, having figured out that the second note was a trap. He blackmails his brother into letting him be in the game and get equal share in the detective agency.

Thoughts After Readig:

This was not a good mystery.

I mean it didn’t even explain how Dinky figured everything out, he just did.

For more children’s books, go to The Chocolate Chip Mystery

For more mysteries with private investigators, go to C is for Corpse

For more mystery reviews, go to Emilie & the Hollow World

Ticker

Ticker

Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

So this book is a science-fiction/mystery/historical fiction/steam punk story. Penny Farthing had a heart problem and nearly dies. Calvin Warwick, a brilliant surgeon and her sister’s boyfriend, creates a clockwork heart to keep her alive, a Ticker.

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This Tin Man-esque type creation has turned Penny into the first of the “Augmented”, altered humans. Ultimately, a cyborg.

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However, things have changed. Warwick has been killing people in order to create the perfect heart, one that will be even more perfect and able to continue Penny’s life. Since then Warwick has been imprisoned and today will be sentenced for the crimes he committed.

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Penny, her brother Nic, and her parents are preparing to go down the courthouse; but Penny is running late to meet them at their family’s factory. Penny is even further derailed when her friend, baker, and brother’s girlfriend; Violet messages her that she is baking her favorite sweets. Penny heads over there before she goes back on track.

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Penny hurries over, almost being hit by some other means of transportation. When she arrives at the factory she in for one heck of a surprise. A bomb.

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In the aftermath, Penny discovers that Nic was not in the building, and her parents went on ahead. Penny immediately uses her RiPA messaging system to let them know the two are okay, but hears nothing from them.

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Nic’s old friend Sebastian Stirling; rich, playboy, and businessman arrives to help out They head over to their house where they discover it has been ransacked and a ransom note left behind. They must give up all the Augmentation research or the parents will be killed.

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It is now up to them to find the parents before Warwick kills them.

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Thoughts After Reading:

It was pretty good although there was quite a bit not covered in this. Such as the history of the area, the time it takes place in, how this society works.

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I didn’t like Marcus, the soldier that helps them, and didn’t want him as Penny’s romantic lead.

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Instead I liked Sebastian Stirling I don’t know why they made him evil.

Really Mike?

Whatever.

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For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Alchemy of Murder

For more not in a series mysteries, go The Book of Madness and Cures

For more reviews, go to Sew Deadly