Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cat in a Topaz Tango-Carole Nelson Douglas

Cat in a Topaz Tango
Carole Nelson Douglas
Forge, Aug 4 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765318626

In Las Vegas, public relations specialist Temple Barr convinces her reluctant fiancé, former priest turned radio show host Matt Devine to enter a charity sponsored Dancing with the Celebs contest at the Oasis Hotel that will raise money for charity. Temple agreed to emcee the Junior Division as her on-line zany teenager Zoe Chloe Ozone; Matt is in as well as tough Homicide Lieutenant Carmen "C.R." Molina is in that division.

Temple told him it would be fun, but soon accidents occur. Carmen bullies Temple to help her when her teenage daughter Mariah vanishes. Also working the disappearance are the teen’s father, Rafi Nadir, chief of security chief at the Oasis Hotel and of course Temple’s significant other hardboiled detective Midnight Louie. Everyone fears the Barbie Doll who has stalked teens.

The twenty first alphabetically correct Midnight Louie caper is a terrific entry in spite of the whodunit being somewhat low-keyed. Temple’s former boyfriend Max Kinsella is a minor player as he remains off stage in Europe struggling with killers and amnesia but not struggling with a blonde. The story line is fast-paced even when Louie takes time outs to seduce a feline femme fatale. Fans of the series will enjoy this entertaining feline urban noir while newcomers will appreciate a short summary of who’s who.

Harriet Klausner