cover image Cat in a Jeweled Jumpsuit

Cat in a Jeweled Jumpsuit

Carole Nelson Douglas. Forge, $24.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86817-8

Douglas aims at two subcultures in addition to her usual target of cat lovers in her latest Midnight Louie caper (after Cat in an Indigo Mood, Forecasts, Mar. 15). This time, Temple Bar's all-black, crime-solving tomcat finds his whiskers twitching in Las Vegas, where the Kingdome, an Elvis-inspired mega-shrine, is opening. As Louie pads knowingly through all the gaudy paraphernalia and Elvis look-alikes, construction at a nearby hotel is halted as the crew claim sightings of the King. Public relations expert Temple must investigate the bejeweled and becaped phenomenon. Everybody gets shaken and rattled (and some get rolled) as Elvis sightings abound. Temple's close friend, radio shrink Matt Devine, receives a call one night from the man from Tupelo, and the daughter of Temple's nemesis, Crawford Buchanan, is dressed like Priscilla and getting death threats. Douglas regularly slips between narrative voices: a possibly real Elvis talks some, as does Midnight Louie. Most of the Elvis lore is common knowledge and bloats the tale. The plot progression is staggered even if the accompanying banter is often cute. Cat-crazy readers with a thing for both Elvis and Vegas will enjoy Douglas's blend of goofball coziness and Midnight Louie's mock noir slinkings and sleuthings. (Nov.)