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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Carole Nelson Douglas

cat crimes ii

Cat Crimes II includes the Midnight Louie story “Maltese Double Cross”

I’m not sure exactly when I first picked up something by Carole Nelson Douglas but I’m pretty sure it was sometime in the late ’80s. From her wiki intro:

Carole Nelson Douglas is an American writer of sixty novels and many short stories. She has written in many genres, but is best known for two popular mystery series, the Irene Adler Sherlockian suspense novels and the Midnight Louie mystery series.

Douglas was a theater and English literature major in college. After graduation, she worked as a newspaper reporter and then editor in the [Minneapolis-St. Paul] area. During her time there, she discovered a long, expensive classified advertisement offering a black cat named Midnight Louie to the “right” home for one dollar and wrote a feature story on the plucky survival artist, putting it into the cat’s point of view. The cat found a country home but its name was revived for her feline PI mystery series many years later. Some of the Midnight Louie series entries include the dedication “For the real and original Midnight Louie. Nine lives were not enough.”

She began writing fiction in the late 1970s. The late director/playwright/novelist Garson Kanin, a pleased interview subject, took her first novel to Doubleday and it sold shortly after. Amberleigh is a post-feminist historical Gothic novel. Douglas has always addressed women’s issues in her fiction and preferred mixing genres from contemporary to historical mystery/thriller, romance and women’s fiction, and high and urban fantasy.[1]

As I look through her list of books from Goodreads.com, I think the first book of hers I read was the second of a fantasy series titled Heir of Rengarth. I do know that shortly after, I picked up the first two from her Irene Adler series, Good Night Mr Holmes and Good Morning, Irene then shortly after Irene at Large and Another Scandal in Bohemia. As I noted back last year, I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes so it was easy for me to pick up reading an adjunct series based on a character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Irene Adler was featured in the Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia.)

I think most folks know I am a cat person so how could I begin to resist a “detective” series starring a cat with an attitude? From the wiki for Midnight Louie:

Midnight Louie is the name of a slightly overweight (20 pounds) fictional black cat in a series of mystery novels by author Carole Nelson Douglas, and is the general title for the same series. Each volume of the series is told from the point of view of the cat’s “roommate”, Temple Barr, a freelance public relations consultant, and from the point of view of Midnight Louie, the cat himself. Midnight Louie’s chapters are written in what the author describes as a style reminiscent of Damon Runyan, generic gumshoe, and Mrs. Malaprop. As the Las Vegas-set series continues, three other main human characters have points of view: a hard-boiled female homicide detective, C.R. Molina; Matt Devine, an ex-priest; and Max Kinsella, a stage magician. The mix of adventure, mystery, humor and social issues is why the author describes the series as “cozy-noir.”

There are now 26 novels in the Midnight Louie series. I have not come close to reading them all. In fact, I have only read the first eight or so starting with Catnap through Cat in a Golden Garland. I have also read a number of mystery anthologies that have included Midnight Louie short stories including Cat Crimes II, Cat Crimes for the Holidays, and Cat Crimes Through Time.

If you are a cat person, you need to become familiar with Midnight Louie and with other crime solving felines. Plus, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you need to read about a woman that he admired and with whom he was impressed.


Picture from Chris Drumm licensed under Creative Commons

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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Carole Nelson Douglas

cat crimes ii

Cat Crimes II includes the Midnight Louie story “Maltese Double Cross”

Please Note: When I began this series, it was to cover a lot of authors whom I have found personally influential, even though this may only be because I enjoyed the stories they have told in their books or short stories. I’m just fortunate enough and well read enough that many of the authors I have personally enjoyed have also been influential on a macro scale as well as micro. rrt

I’m not sure exactly when I first picked up something by Carole Nelson Douglas but I’m pretty sure it was sometime in the late ’80s. From her wiki intro:

Carole Nelson Douglas is an American writer of sixty novels and many short stories. She has written in many genres, but is best known for two popular mystery series, the Irene Adler Sherlockian suspense novels and the Midnight Louie mystery series.

Douglas was a theater and English literature major in college. After graduation, she worked as a newspaper reporter and then editor in the [Minneapolis-St. Paul] area. During her time there, she discovered a long, expensive classified advertisement offering a black cat named Midnight Louie to the “right” home for one dollar and wrote a feature story on the plucky survival artist, putting it into the cat’s point of view. The cat found a country home but its name was revived for her feline PI mystery series many years later. Some of the Midnight Louie series entries include the dedication “For the real and original Midnight Louie. Nine lives were not enough.”

She began writing fiction in the late 1970s. The late director/playwright/novelist Garson Kanin, a pleased interview subject, took her first novel to Doubleday and it sold shortly after. Amberleigh is a post-feminist historical Gothic novel. Douglas has always addressed women’s issues in her fiction and preferred mixing genres from contemporary to historical mystery/thriller, romance and women’s fiction, and high and urban fantasy.[1]

As I look through her list of books from Goodreads.com, I think the first book of hers I read was the second of a fantasy series titled Heir of Rengarth. I do know that shortly after, I picked up the first two from her Irene Adler series, Good Night Mr Holmes and Good Morning, Irene then shortly after Irene at Large and Another Scandal in Bohemia. As I noted back last year, I have always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes so it was easy for me to pick up reading an adjunct series based on a character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Irene Adler was featured in the Holmes story A Scandal in Bohemia.)

I think most folks know I am a cat person so how could I begin to resist a “detective” series starring a cat with an attitude? From the wiki for Midnight Louie:

Midnight Louie is the name of a slightly overweight (20 pounds) fictional black cat in a series of mystery novels by author Carole Nelson Douglas, and is the general title for the same series. Each volume of the series is told from the point of view of the cat’s “roommate”, Temple Barr, a freelance public relations consultant, and from the point of view of Midnight Louie, the cat himself. Midnight Louie’s chapters are written in what the author describes as a style reminiscent of Damon Runyan, generic gumshoe, and Mrs. Malaprop. As the Las Vegas-set series continues, three other main human characters have points of view: a hard-boiled female homicide detective, C.R. Molina; Matt Devine, an ex-priest; and Max Kinsella, a stage magician. The mix of adventure, mystery, humor and social issues is why the author describes the series as “cozy-noir.”

There are now 26 novels in the Midnight Louie series. I have not come close to reading them all. In fact, I have only read the first eight or so starting with Catnap through Cat in a Golden Garland. I have also read a number of mystery anthologies that have included Midnight Louie short stories including Cat Crimes II, Cat Crimes for the Holidays, and Cat Crimes Through Time.

If you are a cat person, you need to become familiar with Midnight Louie and with other crime solving felines. Plus, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, you need to read about a woman [Adler] that he admired and with whom he was impressed.

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dakine01

dakine01

Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL