Arsenic and Old Books

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Arsenic and Old Books

Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #6

Miranda James is back with the sixth entry in the popular “Cat in the Stacks” series featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. In this adventure, Mayor Lucinda Long donates a set of Civil War–era family diaries to the archives of Athena College. It’s not long after disappear from Charlie’s locked office. Politics enters the picture when rumor has it that the diaries contain a Long family secret that could affect the race Lucinda’s son, Beck, is running against an old family rival for the state senate. Soon the books mysteriously reappear, and everyone’s attention turns to the murder of an unpopular Athena faculty member who was involved with the diaries.

Charlie is an engaging a sleuth as ever and Diesel…well, he’s Diesel. J Quiet inspiration for Charlie’s amateur sleuth. As per usual, James plots an excellent mystery. The skillful writing and outstanding character development are, I am sure, what makes this series such a huge hit with readers – and who wouldn’t’ want a cat like Diesel? I have noticed a spurt in Maine Coons in cozies; however, Diesel still remains king of the breed, in this reviewer’s opinion. Readers will also enjoy the short story that tells how Charlie and Diesel met. Avid readers will also note the series’ transition from mass market paperback to hardcover, a sure sign of a winner! – four and a half paws!


Book Blurb for Arsenic and Old Books

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

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2015 4.50