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Cat in a Quicksilver Caper (2006)

de Carole Nelson Douglas

Séries: Midnight Louie (18)

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Midnight Louie, alley-cat extraordinaire and Las Vegas's hairiest, hard-boiled PI, finds himself literally walking a tightrope when a fabulous museum opening at one of Sin City's swankiest casinos is marred by a little thing like death. Louie's loyal roommate, feisty PR freelancer Temple Barr, has snagged the commission of her career: repping the opening exhibition of the Russian Czars' priceless treasures at the New Millennium Hotel, the apex of which is the Czar Alexander Scepter, a priceless jewel-encrusted artifact. Trouble is, the hotel has booked an aerial magic act right above the exhibition. Temple works at a breakneck pace to coordinate this logistical nightmare. Tragedy ensues when a performer dies right above where the collection will be displayed and the police threaten to shut everything down. But the word "no" isn't one heard often in Las Vegas when money is involved and the show (or shows) must go on. Just as things seem to be working perfectly, another performer dies...and the scepter vanishes. The culprits could be international art thieves, Russian mafioso, or Chechen rebels out to embarrass the current Russian government. Or it could be someone else, perhaps someone Temple knows all too well . . . . Temple and Louie both have enemies in the magic act--evil magician Shangri-La and her curare-nailed performing Siamese cat, Hyacinth--and on the ground--ever-suspicious homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina, who's itching to pin the heist and murders on Temple's significant other, ex-magician and sometimes ex-spy Max Kinsella, now oddly AWOL. Worse, as Temple and Louie's separate investigations bring them both close to the truth, it's clear that someone has decided to hang them out to die too. Can fancy footwork and detection save our intrepid duo? Find out in Carole Nelson Douglas'sCat in a Quicksilver Caper.… (mais)
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This is the 18th book in the Midnight Louie series. I'm not sure how I got behind on it--I absolutely love these books. But the good news is, now I'm not having to wait so long between books--I read the previous book just a couple of months ago.

The mystery in this one really raises the emotional stakes. Magician Max, in his undercover work to infiltrate the Synth, has to steal a jeweled scepter on display in an exhibition for which Temple has been hired to do PR. Also, a dead body is found hanging at the site, and Max is the prime suspect, leading police Lt. Molina to renege on her promise to Temple to stop investigating Max.

Ex-priest Matt, meanwhile, sensing the rift between Max and Temple, gets serious about pursuing her, and just to keep things from being too easy, Temple's romance novelist aunt Kit moves in with her for a while... and, boggling Temple's mind, begins dating the oldest Fontana brother.

This series is one very long story, one I'm pretty sure will be wrapped up tidily by the time we get to Z, unlike some other series I won't mention.

The emotions in Cat in a Quicksilver Caper are even more intense than usual--or maybe they're just more of a focus here. Max is being torn horribly between his duty and his love for Temple. He feels very strongly the importance of his work, and fears, not unreasonably, that he may lose her before it's finished. Matt's dilemma is different, but no less intense. Since he left the priesthood but not the church, it's an important issue with him to do what's right. He has some insightful conversations on the subject; as does Temple, who also consults a religious professional for advice on dealing with him.

The mystery also tugs at the emotions, particularly the second death, which Max tries, but is unable to prevent. So add some extra guilt in there as well.

And of course, there's Midnight Louie, working with his daughter Midnight Louise, the Cloaked Conjuror's big cats, and Shangri-La's sinister Siamese Hyacinth, who has a friendly body double.

And oh, yeah. Molina has a stalker, and she thinks it's Max.

I wish I'd brought the entire series with me--I'm really feeling the urge to re-read it all. I can't decide whether to read Cat in a Red Hot Rage right away, or to wait until closer to Cat in a Sapphire Slipper's release date. In the meanwhile, I also have another couple of Douglas's Irene Adler books to read, as well as the first book of her new series. One thing that's had Carole Nelson Douglas on my must-buy list for almost 10 years is that she writes in such different styles, but they're all wonderful. ( )
  Darla | Nov 18, 2008 |
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Midnight Louie, alley-cat extraordinaire and Las Vegas's hairiest, hard-boiled PI, finds himself literally walking a tightrope when a fabulous museum opening at one of Sin City's swankiest casinos is marred by a little thing like death. Louie's loyal roommate, feisty PR freelancer Temple Barr, has snagged the commission of her career: repping the opening exhibition of the Russian Czars' priceless treasures at the New Millennium Hotel, the apex of which is the Czar Alexander Scepter, a priceless jewel-encrusted artifact. Trouble is, the hotel has booked an aerial magic act right above the exhibition. Temple works at a breakneck pace to coordinate this logistical nightmare. Tragedy ensues when a performer dies right above where the collection will be displayed and the police threaten to shut everything down. But the word "no" isn't one heard often in Las Vegas when money is involved and the show (or shows) must go on. Just as things seem to be working perfectly, another performer dies...and the scepter vanishes. The culprits could be international art thieves, Russian mafioso, or Chechen rebels out to embarrass the current Russian government. Or it could be someone else, perhaps someone Temple knows all too well . . . . Temple and Louie both have enemies in the magic act--evil magician Shangri-La and her curare-nailed performing Siamese cat, Hyacinth--and on the ground--ever-suspicious homicide lieutenant Carmen Molina, who's itching to pin the heist and murders on Temple's significant other, ex-magician and sometimes ex-spy Max Kinsella, now oddly AWOL. Worse, as Temple and Louie's separate investigations bring them both close to the truth, it's clear that someone has decided to hang them out to die too. Can fancy footwork and detection save our intrepid duo? Find out in Carole Nelson Douglas'sCat in a Quicksilver Caper.

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