Cat in a Topaz Tango
Matt Divine has been hiding out on midnight talk radio. He has been doing well. (Spoiler alert - If you haven't read any books in the Midnight Louie series, stop here and go back to Catnap.) His fiancee, Temple Barr, is a freelance public relations agent is Las Vegas. She insists he needs exposure, so she gets him a spot on Dancing with the Celebs, a local reality televison show featuring minor celebrities as the dancers. Matt is reluctant, but trusts Temple. His years as a priest had prepared him for his radio show, but not for dancing the fiery pasadoble or the tango, two of the featured four dances.
Lt. Molina has a different set of problems. Her 13-year-old daughter Mariah has disappeared. With help from one of her detectives at the Las Vegas Police Department, she is able to track down her daughter's possible destination. Unfortunately, Rafi, Mariah's father, insists on helping locate her. Mariah doesn't know who her father is. Unfortunately for Temple, Molina insists that Temple return to her teen diva persona Zoe Chloe Ozone to help find Mariah. For the 30-ish but petite Temple, being a teen again is not what she wants. Then, Temple is roped into being Zoe Chloe for the dance competition as well.
Soon Temple is regretting getting Matt involved in the dance contest. While she's busy trying to help with the Mariah problem, people involved in the contest are meeting with weird accidents and pranks. Each night the pranks escalate in severity. They might be accidents, but there are too many to be coincidence. Someone could get seriously hurt or even killed.
Cat in a Topaz Tango is part of the continuing Midnight Louie saga. Louie is the black cat private investigator who keeps Temple company. Matt and Temple are settling in as a couple. Max is stranded in Europe with no memory of his own past although he remembers his sleight of hand and pickpocketing skills. Molina and Rafi are verbally jousting with each other while looking for Mariah. Danny Dove, the choreographer from earlier novels in the series (including Cat in a Midnight Choir),is one of the judges of the competition. He's fun as well as energetic. Dirty Larry, one of LVPD's undercover cops, is busy around the set of the contest as well.
The single book mystery in Cat in a Topaz Tango is crafted nicely and has interesting twists getting to the unexpected conclusion. Meanwhile, the over arcing story of the series is building up as Molina begins to believe that perhaps Max is/was more victim than criminal. Max is lost in Europe. Temple has no idea if he's alive or dead or what has happened to him. He just disappeared. Temple and Matt's romance builds and strengthens in Max's absence.
(Did I whine last year? Here it is again...) I am completely involved in the large story line. There are still six books until we know what will finally happen to Temple, Matt, Max, Molina, Rafi, Mariah, and the other characters who have become semi-regulars. It is frustrating knowing it will be six years before we get to that conclusion. In the meantime I'll look forward to... Cat in an Umber Something? Umber is a good color starting with the letter 'U'. I wonder what she'll do for 'X'?
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations
Midnight Louie Series:
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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