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Cats' Paws and Santa Claws

Carole Nelson Douglas: Cat in a Golden Garland


Finally we cats have a role model to look up to. Midnight Louie's latest adventure, Cat in a Golden Garland set my ears twitching and my fur on end. In this, the eighth book of the Midnight Louie mystery series, Louie's good looks and charisma have landed him a try-out as spokescat for the Allpetco brand cat food in New York during Christmastime. Yowie! New worlds to conquer.

Click here to purchase from AmazonTemple Barr, Midnight Louie's petite roommate with the classy shoes, bids temporary farewell to neighbor and maybe-yes, maybe-no boyfriend Matt Devine. But not before gifting him with a furniture buying spree that left Matt owner of an eight-foot-long, circa1950, red suede sofa.

But Matt's plans don't leave him time to stretch out on that comfy sofa and catnap (a very good idea at any time). He's hot to follow up yet another lead in his long search for his stepfather. The search ultimately lands back Matt back in Chicago in the middle of the family he never planned to see again.

Human relations are so complicated! And Temple gets a triple dose of those complications at Colby, Janos and Renaldi, the NYC ad agency managing the competition for the Allpetco spokescat.

Kendall Renaldi, daughter of the ad agency's CEO, serves as Temple's and Louie's guide to the Madison Avenue advertising madness that greets them on their arrival. It may be almost Christmas for everyone else, but the auditions must go on. Louie and Temple and the competition -- Louie's number one rival, the dastardly yellow-furred Maurice (hisssssssss); Louie's dream date, the divine Yvette, her sister Solange; and Yvette's unpleasant human companion, Savannah Ashleigh -- are worked like dogs.

The auditions culminate in an agency Christmas party attended by management, staff and their families. Amid the childish clamor of munchkins waiting for Santa to arrive, murder waits for its turn in the spotlight. Before Santa can lay a finger aside of his nose, Louie is up to his tail in clues, and Temple's not far behind him.

If serving up a fine dose of justice isn't enough for Temple, there's another gift waiting under her Christmas tree in the form of the Mystifying Max Kinsella, the other black-haired "cat" in Temple's life. It's a bum deal for Louie. Once again the big-hearted lug puts the vital clue in Temple's hands, only to be left green-eyed and alone (but not for long) under the mistletoe.

This book deserves its four mousies rating.

Ttoo (as told to Suzanne Frisbee)

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