Author: Miranda James

Miranda James is the pseudonym of Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian long transplanted to Texas. A mystery fan since the age of ten, he wrote his first novel at the ripe old age of twelve. The only copy of The Mystery of the Willow Key vanished years ago, but since it was highly derivative of the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series, that’s probably a good thing.

Dean James aka Miranda James Currently a librarian in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Dean has published articles on topics in library science, the history of science/medicine, and mystery fiction. His first book, which he co-wrote with fellow librarian Jean Swanson, was By a Woman’s Hand (Berkley; 1994). Jean and Dean won an Agatha Award for Best Mystery Non-Fiction and were nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar for Best Critical-Biographical work for this popular reference book. A second edition followed two years later, and Dean and Jean collaborated on two further projects, Killer Books (Berkley; 1998) and The Dick Francis Companion (Berkley; 2003). In all he has co-authored or co-edited six works of mystery reference and one short story anthology.

His first novel, Cruel as the Grave (Silver Dagger Mysteries) was published in 2000.

Library

Six Cats a Slayin' - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #10

Six Cats a Slayin'
  • 5 Stars
  • Number: B078VV869Q
  • Release: 2018-10-23
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Seasonal / Holiday, Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are busy decking the halls for the holidays when an unexpected delivery and a shocking murder conspire to shake up the season in this all new installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

December twenty-fifth is right around the corner, and Charlie is making his list and checking it twice. He is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed--his first Christmas as a grandfather.

 

The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel's help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.

 

Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff's naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.


Claws for Concern - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #9

Claws for Concern
  • Stars
  • Number: B072LT1Y7L
  • Release: 2018-02-20
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are embroiled in a new mystery when a cold case suddenly heats up in the latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie's family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder...

Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town's public library. He's too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book--and who won't take no for an answer.

 

A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigate the library's genealogical database. But he's shocked when he learns that the visitor's search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt's husband.

Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he's soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie's new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home...


Fixing to Die - A Southern Ladies Mystery, #4

Fixing to Die
  • Stars
  • Number: B01MU94DX6
  • Release: 2017-10-03
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries and Digging Up the Dirt returns with the latest Southern Ladies Mystery...

It’s autumn down south, and An'gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous.

 

Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An'gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.


Twelve Angry Librarians - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #8

Twelve Angry Librarians
  • Stars
  • Number: 9780425277768
  • Release: 2017-02-21
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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The New York Times bestselling author of No Cats Allowed and Arsenic and Old Books is back with more Southern charm and beguiling mystery as Charlie and Diesel must find a killer in a room full of librarians...

Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs...

Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset...

But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library...


Digging Up the Dirt - A Southern Ladies Mystery, #3

Digging Up the Dirt
  • Number: 9780425273067
  • Release: 2016-09-06
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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The New York Times bestselling author of Dead with the Wind and Bless Her Dead Little Heart is back with more of those sleuthing Southern belles, the Ducote sisters...

An’gel and Dickce Ducote, busy with plans for the Athena Garden Club’s spring tour of grand old homes, are having trouble getting the other club members to help. The rest of the group is all a-flutter now that dashing and still-eligible Hadley Partridge is back to restore his family mansion. But the idle chatter soon turns deadly serious when a body turns up on the Partridge estate after a storm...

The remains might belong to Hadley’s long-lost sister-in-law, Callie, who everyone thought ran off with Hadley years ago. And if it’s not Callie, who could it be? As the Ducotes begin uncovering secrets, they discover that more than one person in Athena would kill to be Mrs. Partridge. Now An’gel and Dickce will need to get their hands dirty if they hope to reveal a killer’s deep-buried motives before someone else’s name is mud...


No Cats Allowed - A Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #7

No Cats Allowed
  • Stars
  • Number: 9780425277744
  • Release: 2016-02-23
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series, librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel must clear a friend when the evidence is stacked against her…

Springtime in Mississippi is abloom with beauty, but the library’s employees are too busy worrying to stop and smell the flowers. The new library director, Elwyn Dillard, is a brash, unfriendly Yankee who’s on a mission to cut costs—and his first targets are the archive and the rare book collection.

As annoying as a long-overdue book, Dillard quickly raises the hackles of everyone on staff, including Charlie’s fiery friend Melba—whom Dillard wants to replace with someone younger. But his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks.

With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Dillard’s body is discovered in the library. But things take a turn for the worse when a threatening e-mail throws suspicion on Melba.

Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under “G” for guilty…


Dead with the Wind - A Southern Ladies Mystery, #2

Dead with the Wind
  • 4 Stars
  • Number: 9780425273050
  • Release: 2015-09-29
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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The New York Times bestselling author of Bless Her Dead Little Heart and the Cats in the Stacks mysteries brings back the Ducote sisters, two spry Southern sleuths.

An’gel and Dickce Ducote tend to stay put in Athena, Mississippi, but a wedding is a good reason to say a temporary farewell to Charlie Harris’s cat Diesel and go visit relatives. But while their stay in Louisiana is scorching hot, the atmosphere at the wedding is downright cold, with bride-to-be Sondra Delevan putting her trust fund above little things like love and loyalty.

When a violent storm supposedly sweeps Sondra off a balcony to her death, the sisters discover that many of the guests attending the wedding had major reasons to object to Sondra’s marriage. Now, it’s up to An’gel and Dickce to use their down-home instincts to expose dubious alibis, silver-plated secrets, and one relentless murderer who lives for “till death do us part.”


Arsenic and Old Books - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #6

Arsenic and Old Books
  • Stars
  • Number: 9780425277539
  • Release: 2015-01-27
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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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


Bless Her Dead Little Heart - A Southern Ladies Mystery, #1

Bless Her Dead Little Heart
  • 5 Stars 4 Stars
  • Number: 9780425273043
  • Release: 2014-10-07
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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The new series from the author of The Silence of the Library and Murder Past Due...

New York Times bestselling author Miranda James returns to Athena, Mississippi, with an all-new mystery featuring Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, two snoopy sisters who are always ready to lend a helping hand. But when a stressed socialite brings murder right to their doorstep, even they have trouble maintaining their Southern hospitality?

With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.

Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer


The Silence of the Library - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #5

The Silence of the Library
  • 5 Stars
  • Number: 9780425257289
  • Release: 2014-01-28
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but a celebrated author’s visit draws an unruly swarm of fanatic mystery buffs?and one devious killer.

It’s National Library Week, and the Athena Public Library is planning an exhibit to honor the centenary of famous novelist Electra Barnes Cartwright?creator of the beloved Veronica Thane series.

Charlie has a soft spot for Cartwright’s girl detective stories (not to mention an extensive collection of her books!). When the author agrees to make a rare public appearance, the news of her whereabouts goes viral overnight, and series devotees and book collectors converge on Athena.

After all, it’s rumored that Cartwright penned Veronica Thane stories that remain under wraps, and one rabid fan will stop at nothing?not even murder?to get hold of the rare books


Read Humane File M for Murder - Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Read Humane File M for Murder
  • Number: 9780425268452
  • Release: 2013-04-30
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Athena College's new writer in residence is native son and playwright Connor Lawton, known for his sharp writing-and sharper tongue. After an unpleasant encounter, librarian Charlie Harris heads home to a nice surprise: his daughter Laura is subbing for another Athena professor. Unfortunately her old flame Connor Lawton got her the job.

But before Connor finishes his newest play, he's murdered-and Laura is the prime suspect. Charlie and his faithful cat, Diesel, follow Connor's cluttered trail to find the true killer before his daughter is forever catalogued under M...for murderer.


Out of Circulation - A Cat In the Stacks Mystery

Out of Circulation
  • Number: 9781624901928
  • Release: 2013-01-01
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He's returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but when a feud erupts between the town's richest ladies, the writing on the wall spells murder.

The Ducote sisters are in a tiff with Vera Cassity over the location of this year's library fundraising gala, and Charlie would rather curl up in a corner than get into the fray. It seems everyone--even his housekeeper Azalea--has it in for Vera. And at the gala, she gives them good reason, with a public display of rancor aimed at anyone who gets in her way.

But those bitter words wind up being her last. When Charlie discovers Azalea standing over Vera's dead body, it's up to him--with a little help from Diesel--to clear Azalea's name, and catch a killer before his last chapter is finished.


Classified as Murder - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #2

Classified as Murder
  • Number: 9780425241578
  • Release: 2011-05-03
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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Aging eccentric James Delacorte asks Charlie the librarian to do an inventory of his rare book collection-but the job goes from tedious to terrifying when James turns up dead. Relying on his cat Diesel to paw around for clues, Charlie has to catch the killer before another victim checks out.


Murder Past Due - Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #1

Murder Past Due
  • Number: 9780425236031
  • Release: 2010-08-03
  • Author: Miranda James
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Tags: Suspense: Mystery, Suspense: Cozy Mystery
  • Publisher: Berkley
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There's a cat in the stacks...

...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth.

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris-and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous bestselling novelist, Godfrey Priest.

But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the bestseller lists- permanently, and with extreme prejudice. Now, Charlie and Diesel must browse through the history section of the town's past to find a killer.