by Toni LoTempio
A few months ago, I wrote a blog listing some of my favorite cat detectives. Here are a few more you might enjoy.
The Midnight Louie series, by Carole Nelson Douglas
Louie shares the stage in his books with four human characters, two men, two women; two amateur sleuths, two pros. Crime-solving Temple Barr, PR woman and burgeoning sleuth, is Louie’s roommate. (No one “owns” Louie.) He’s Temple’s protector and “muscle.” Hard-boiled female homicide lieutenant C.R. Molina has to put up with the pair of them. Max Kinsella is Temple’s ex, a magician and counter-terrorist operative on the run. Matt Devine is an ex-priest radio advice counselor who’s become Temple’s fiancée. And this is not to mention the feline characters, which include his alleged daughter, Midnight Louise (who loves ragging on dear old pops), Ma Barker, his mom who still oftentimes refers to him by his given name, Grasshopper, a bomb and drug sniffing Maltese, Nose E, several assorted cats, big and little…oh! And let’s not forget those glamour pusses, cats of the female persuasion that set Louie’s tail to thumping: Shaded silver and gold Persians Yvette and Solange, between whose affections Louie bounces like a furry black ball; the deadly Hyacinth, a seal point Siamese whose claws are dipped nightly (supposedly) in Curare; and Satin, a comely black chick with a fluffy tail, one of Louie’s first amours and the maybe-momma of Midnight Louise.
Douglas writes the series as if it were a daytime soap, interweaving plot points and characters throughout. And, like any loyal soap follower, we’re all dying to know what happens next? Who will Temple end up with, her long time love, the Mystifying Max? Or radio hottie/ex-priest Matt Devine? More importantly, will Louie ever be able to decide between those darling Persians, Yvette and Solange?
As Louie says, he lives in “the city that never sleeps” – and with a crew like that, who could?
The Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries by Ali Brandon
This charming cozy series centers on Darla Pettistone, a Texas gal who inherits a Brooklyn bookstore (Pettistone’s Fine Books) from her aunt. The bookstore also comes with a mascot – a large black cat named Hamlet!
In the first instalment, DOUBLE BOOKED FOR DEATH, Darla scores a coup by nabbing hot YA author Valerie Baylor (think Twilight fervor) for a store signing. Trouble is, there's a pesky protestor on site, potential religious activists threatening to disrupt things, and a less-than-charming support team traveling with Valerie. Still, all is going well until Valerie steps outside for a smoke and her ultimate death. Determined to get to the bottom of the incident, Darla helps hunky police detective Reese investigate. Naturally, Darla also learns to pay attention to Hamlet, who lends a paw by pointing out clues. A fun read and well written – and Hamlet is a scene stealer!
The Cats and Curios Mystery Series – Rebecca M. Hale
This charming series centers around “the niece” an unnamed character, and her two cats, Rupert and Isabella, In the first adventure, HOW TO WASH A CAT, they delve into the mystery surrounding the uncle’s death, which begins amid the curios and novelties of a San Francisco antiques shop and follows a twisted trail of dangerous deception that leads all the way back to the days of the Gold Rush itself. Other adventures in the series center around a white alligator on the loose in San Francisco and in the latest entry, they follow clues that lead them on a merry chase from Coit Tower’ famous murals through the New Deal art of San Francisco – and just when it seems they’ve hit a brick wall, they get some surprising help from beyond! But the niece has a far greater concern – is her uncle’s disappearance related to the recently murdered City Hall intern? An extremely well written and plotted series, catnip for both felines and humans alike!
Next time: We look at dog detectives, other types of animal detectives, and some two footed ones too!
Toni LoTempio – admin by day, writer by night, As T. C. Lotempio,she pens cozy mysteries, debuting with the upcoming Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkeley Prime Crime. (MEOW IF IT’S MURDER, Fall 2014). She and her cat ROCCO (at left) do fundraising for Nathan Fillion’s charity, KIDS NEED TO READ, when they aren’t interviewing authors on ROCCO’s blog! You can keep up with all the latest interviews and news (including her 2014 releases!) at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com