Tuesday, January 13, 2015


ARSENIC AND OLD BOOKS
Book 6 in the Cat In The Stacks Mystery series
by 
Miranda James

In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature—and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head…
                                                                                             
Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long’s husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.
 
Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly…
 
Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter…


My Review

This is the first book I’ve read by Miranda James. I found it to be a well written story. It was a fast and easy read. The words felt as though they just flowed effortlessly from the author’s pen (keyboard).

ARESENIC AND OLD BOOKS, indeed the entire Cat In The Stack series, is told from the perspective of the lead character, who in the case is a man. I’ve never read a cozy with a male lead before. I found it to be refreshing. Charlie Harris is an enjoyable, and I love his interactions with his Main Coon cat, Diesel, and that Diesel is readily excepted into so many places. He goes everywhere!

There are a few fun supporting characters as well, such as Charlie’s girlfriend, Helen Louise, his housekeeper Azalea, and his friend and co-worker, Melba, plus a few others.  

As for the mystery, it too was different from others I have read in cozies. While he was at the center of things, Charlie didn’t play a real big role in the solving part of this one the way most protagonists do. And while it was a good story and mystery, everything seemed to wrap up rather quickly at the end. I kept waiting for a little action and/or the big “ta-da” moment, but they never really came. 

You can pre-order your copy now for the January 27 release!




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14 comments:

  1. I enjoy Miranda's style and love spending a day with these small community characters. What can I say ~ fellow booklovers and a Maine Coon too.

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    1. Love the cozy communities too. Would love to live in some of the little towns I read about.

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  2. I like this series. I'm way behind but, will get caught up eventually. A cat that walks on a leash has my attention. Lol!

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    1. LOL Dawn, your TBR scares me! We had a rabbit that me sister tried to walk on a leash when she was little. He chewed through before they got a few feet!

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  3. Thanks, Lisa! Lucky you, for getting to read this before its' release date. I'm looking forward to reading it, too.

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    1. Hi Patricia. Yes, I blessed enough to have this one sent to me.

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  4. I love the series, but have only read two of the books. Unfortunately I am on Social Security and can't afford to buy many of the books I would love to read.

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    1. Sandra, I understand all too well. Keep an eye on the blog. There are always a lot of chance to win great books!

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  5. Hi Lisa. I think you wrote a very good review of the book. I've never read anything by this author, but it seems like the protagonist should be the one to solve the crime.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. I had a hard time with this review. I really did enjoy the book, but felt like I needed to mention the few, I guess, negative things I did.

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  6. Love your review Lisa! A cat in the stacks series, has become one of the cozy mystery series, I look forward to reading when a new book is released. I already have this one preordered from amazon.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda. This was the first I have read in the series.

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  7. I have read the first two or maybe the first three in this series, but have not kept up so this reminder is perfect for me to get back to this series again. I have a bit of ordering to do first however. Loved this series; love cats and love mysteries, so a perfect combination for these books. Love your blog and your reviews Lisa. Great job.
    Cynthia

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I always love your feedback,

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