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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cat in a Hot Pink Pursuit

***** Cat in a Hot Pink Pursuit by Carole Nelson Douglas. Mystery.

This is the 17th book in the Midnight Louie series. There are two more still in my TBR pile.

Temple's petite stature and youthful looks work in her favor for a change, as, at Lieutenant Molina's behest, she enters a Teen Idol contest--a reality show. Molina's daughter Mariah entered behind her mom's back, and there've been some creepy threats targeting the show, so Molina wants someone close by to keep an eye on Mariah. In exchange, she promises to lay off on her investigations of Max.

Meanwhile, Matt Devine is off to Chicago at his mother's request, to find out information about his biological father's family, and Max is back undercover again.

There's a theme in this book of family and connections--Molina struggles as a single mother of an adolescent, Temple ends up bonding with Mariah and--horrors!--understanding Molina, and mentoring Mariah.

Mariah's unsuspecting (and unsuspected--by Mariah, at least) biological father is at the show as a bodyguard, and there's some tension there as those in the know try to keep him and Mariah apart and Molina worries about whether, when, and how she should tell the two about each other.

And Matt's search for his relatives leads him to his father, and the resulting dilemmas, emotions, and lack of emotions.

Max, too, has his emotional concerns as he worries about whether his current quest (for his surrogate father) will cost him his place in Temple's life.

Even Midnight Louie joins the theme, admitting that Midnight Louise is his daughter.

I suppose you could read Cat in a Hot Pink Pursuit as a stand-alone story. The mystery of who is targeting the teen contest and why, and the pursuit of the killer is complex enough and compelling enough to carry the story. But there's also so much emotional punch to this book, and I doubt you'd get the full effect of it without having read the previous books.


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