Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book 6 in the Cat In The Stacks Mysteries 
by Miranda James 

Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, Mississippi, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. She would like librarian Charlie Harris to preserve and 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 would like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly, leaving Charlie with a catalog of questions to answer. Together with his Maine Coon cat Diesel, Charlie must discover why the diaries were worth killing for before he too reaches his final chapter.


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 character, and I love his interactions with his Main Coon cat, Diesel, and that Diesel is readily accepted 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. 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.

AVAILABLE in Paperback 
February 2!

Available now in Hardcover

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  1. Thanks, Lisa. When I started reading cozy mysteries, I "blitz-read" this series in order to catch up. Now, I have to wait (impatiently) for the next one to come out, like everyone else. :) I love how Charlie can take Diesel almost everywhere. Sounds like the next book, No Cats Allowed, may change that, though. :(

  2. Terrific review of a fabulous book. Love Charlie and Diesel! I wish my cats were as laid-back as Diesel--mine are fairly psycho (but sweet) and I can't take them anywhere. Except to the vet's of course, but that's another whole story.

  3. I absolutely love this series and can't wait to read this! Nice review. I hope to own a cat like Diesel someday!

  4. Just read my first Cat in the Stacks book, Murder Past Due; it was an enjoyable read. Looking forward to a lively FB book group discussion in the near future.

  5. I can't wait to read this I love The Cat in the Stacks series. Donna McKenzie

  6. I love every book in this series. Diesel and Charlie make a great team. All the mysteries are great.

  7. I truly enjoy this series. The relationships of the characters are so believable and the plot isn't oven away on chapter two, but winds and twists throughout the book like real life does.
    The second best thing about these stories is the spin-off series about the southern ladies!