Carole Nelson Douglas (1944 -)

Carole Nelson Douglas' nonfiction and fiction writing has received more than 50 nominations and awards. After a career as a feature writer/reporter and editor for the St Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, she moved to Texas to write fiction full time. More than 40 novels later, many of her books have appeared on mystery, fantasy, and romance bestseller lists.

A graduate of the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, she was a finalist in Vogue magazine's Prix de Paris writing competition (won earlier by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis) and earned degrees in English literature and Speech and Theater, with a minor in philosophy. While working in journalism, she was the first woman elected to the executive board of The Newspaper Guild's Twin Cities local, the first woman show chairman of the local's annual Gridiron Show, and the first permanent woman member of the St. Paul Pioneer Press's Opinion Pages and Editorial Board.

She was also the first woman to reinvent the Sherlock Holmes world from a female viewpoint with Good Night, Mr. Holmes, a New York Times Notable Book of 1991 and winner of American Mystery and Romantic Times magazine awards.

All of Douglas's novels use a mainstream matrix to blend elements of mystery or fantasy with contemporary issues and psychological realism. A literary chameleon with an agenda, Douglas has reinvented the roles of women in a variety of fiction forms.

Currently she concentrates on the Irene Adler suspense novels and something a bit different. Douglas's 13-book contemporary Midnight Louie mystery series features a hard-boiled feline P.I. in Las Vegas, whose part-time, first-furperson narration satirizes the rogue male detective of American detective fiction. ("You never know what madness and mayhem you'll find in Douglas's mysteries," said the San Francisco Chronicle, but you can count on it to be "wild, witty, and utterly irresistible.")

The series has won readers and awards for addressing contemporary issues. Although the typical Midnight Louie outing is witty fun, noted Mostly Murder, it also covers a "multitude of serious and topical issues," such as sexual addiction and obsession, monogamy, celibacy, sexual responsibility and familial responsibility versus sexual need and personal need, theology, stalking, sanity and insanity, honor and commitment, and the keeping of vows and trusts. "No small accomplishment for a thoroughly entertaining mystery with occasional chapters ‘written' by an anthropomorphic tough-guy private-eye cat" with a Damon Runyonesque writing voice, the reviewer concluded.

Since 1996, the national Midnight Louie Adopt-a-Cat tours have "found good homes for books and cats," as Douglas says, by combining local shelter cat adoptions with bookstore signings.

Douglas also edited a short fiction anthology, Marilyn: Shades of Blonde, in which fantasy, mystery, and mainstream writers analyzed the film icon's life, death, and afterlife. She moonlights as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator to perform her contribution. a dramatic monologue speculating what MM would be, and would be doing, were she alive today. A second anthology is "edited" by Midnight Louie himself: Midnight Louie's Pet Detectives includes stories by mystery and fantasy writers featuring animals from hamsters to elephants.

Douglas collects vintage clothing when she has any spare time. She and her husband Sam Douglas, former director of exhibitions for the Minnesota Museum of Art, are kept as pets by seven adopted cats and a dog in Fort Worth.