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Cat in an Alien X-Ray by Carole Nelson Douglas

Cat in an Alien X-Ray” is the 25th in Douglas’ “Midnight Louis Mystery” Series.  Authors who follow the alphabet have some difficulty tying in the title that contains a less common letter like X, and I think Douglas was reaching a bit to tie the plot into an alien X-ray.  Of course, since the locale for this series is Las Vegas which is located next to the infamous “Area 54” any number of weird story threads are possible.

I have always considered this a rather silly series.  I don’t especially appreciate animals that voice their thoughts and call the shots that save the day each time, and the cat, Midnight Louis, comes through again to save his person, Temple Barr, and her friends and love interests, Matt Devine and Max Kinsella.  There is a continuing storyline that is laboring toward a climax (perhaps by the time we get to Z in the title).  A reader who just drops into this mystery might get confused, so its primary appeal is to Douglas’ army of existing readers.

Even though I have misgivings every time I sit down to read one of the books in this series, like every other fan of the Midnight Louis series, I can’t seem to stop because I want to find out if Temple actually marries the devine Mr Matt and if Max actually survives his ever-increasing encounters with Kitty the Cutter, the IRA agent who likes to punish men for the abuse she suffered as a child in Northern Ireland.  Both Max and Matt are hurt by this woman in this episode and one wonders why they haven’t turned her in to the ever-alert Lieutenant Molina by now.  Both men appear positively entranced and willing to come under Kathleen O’Connor’s blade just for the privilege of trying to figure out what makes her tick.

I’m disappointed that Temple seems to take a back seat in this installment.  She gets stuck dealing with a rather silly potential client who wants to build a hotel-casino off the Strip that has some connection to aliens and Area 54.  Otherwise, Matt, Max, Midnight Louis and Kitty the Cutter take center stage in “Cat in an Alien X-Ray.”

Loyal fans will read this book, if only to keep up with a long term addiction.

Liz Nichols


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