Read Out of Circulation by Miranda James Online

out-of-circulation

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 gaEveryone 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....

Title : Out of Circulation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425257272
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 289 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Out of Circulation Reviews

  • Sharon Chance
    2019-03-21 17:57

    I enjoy the Cat In The Stacks mysteries from Miranda James, which feature a lovable librarian and an equally lovable Maine Coon cat named Diesel! The latest book in the series, "Out of Circulation," is, in my opinion, one of the best of this series!I don't know which pleases me more with this series - that the main character, Charlie Harris, is not only a great librarian who loves books with all his heart as well as being a pretty good sleuth; or the fact that he loves and adores his beloved cat, Diesel! Having a part Maine Coon cat myself, I can attest to the realism that Miranda James brings to the animal characteristics of Diesel.This installment of the adventures of Charlies and Diesel has all the twists and turns that make a good mystery a great read, and with the liberal dashes of Southern quirks and quaint way that are added makes "Out of Circulation" a fun book to enjoy! James keeps the readers on the edge of their seats, trying to figure out who, among all the likely suspects, has committed the murder of the town busy-body! There are lots of surprises and shocking revelations in this story!I really had a great time reading this book, and highly, highly recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries and Southern-based fiction!

  • Darlene
    2019-04-13 16:03

    This is my second foray into the small college town of Athens, Mississippi and the sleuthing adventures of special collections librarian, Charlie Harris and his sidekick, Maine Coon cat Diesel. This fourth installment in the 'Cat in the Stacks' series, 'Out of Circulation' , begins with Charlie lamenting his decision to become the latest member of the Friends of the Library Board. Charlie would rather spend his evenings at home with Diesel and curled up with a good book but the Friends are meeting to plan the library's annual fundraising gala. The Friends of the Library board meeting turned out to be anything BUT friendly. Deciding that the gale would be a costume ball was relatively easy. The problems started when trying to decide where the gala should be held. The problems it seemed came down to what is typically a conflict…. it was 'old money', Miss An'gel and Miss Dickce Ducote from an old respected Athens family wanting to hold the gala at their family mansion….. versus the 'new money' Mrs. Vera Cassity, who descended from a more 'common' background but had married a VERY successful man (read RICH!). Barbs and insults were exchanged between the three.. of course, in that 'sweet-as-you-please' manner that it seems that only southern women can pull off. Finally, a vote was taken among the board members and unfortunately for Charlie, his vote was the decider and the Ducote mansion was the venue for the gala. Vera, of course, stalked out of the meeting but not before hurling more insults, threats and accusations. Charlie was appalled and shaken by Vera's uncivilized behavior but in the days that followed, he discovered that Vera was quite infamous for her uncivilized behavior. In fact, Charlie couldn't find one person in Athens who had a kind word to say about Vera Cassity.. including his own housekeeper Azalea who shocked Charlie with her admission that she despised the woman. Finally, the night of the gala arrived and the guests began arriving at the Ducote mansion dressed in costumes representative of their favorite bookish sleuths (and I have to admit that hearing of these costumes was one of my favorite parts of the story!!) . Charlie, who decided to dress as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot from the Agatha Christie series, wandered through the party, watchful but also hoping that things would go smoothly. The guests mingled, sipping champagne and nibbling hors d' oeuvres. Initially, Charlie felt as if he had been worried needlessly but soon enough, Charlie witnessed a number of 'dust ups' between Vera Cassity and various guests.. one altercation even turned physical. To Charlie's relief, the gala finally came to an end. Exchanging pleasantries with the Ducote sisters, Charlie was approached by Vera's husband… had Charlie seen her? She was nowhere to be found… and Charlie's housekeeper, Azalea was missing too! It just so happened that Charlie was the person to stumble upon both Azalea AND Vera. Azalea was pounding on the locked door of the servant's staircase and at the bottom of those stairs lay a crumpled heap… a DEAD Vera Cassity! Could she have tripped on the long skirt which had been part of her costume for the evening and fallen down the stairs? It became obvious in no time that Vera had had help tumbling down the stairs. But WHO? It was clear to Charlie that the field of suspects was wide open…. a simpler question to answer would have been, who LIKED Vera Cassity? The sherif's department began an investigation into Vera's death; but Charlie and Diesel kept their ears tuned to the Athens grapevine and soon reluctantly found themselves embroiled in an investigation of their own. Who in Athens was harboring a secret he or she didn't want revealed? I REALLY enjoyed listening to this audiobook which was expertly narrated by Erin Bennett, Charlie and Diesel make a good investigative duo and I love listening to their exploits into crime solving.

  • Mark Baker
    2019-04-08 16:02

    Charlie Harris has joined the Friends of the Library board in time for their annual Christmas fundraiser. Unfortunately, he’s walked into a feud that has been going on for years between the elderly Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity, who likes to think of herself as a bigger deal in town than she is. The night of the gala, Vera takes a tumble down the stairs and breaks her neck. With the sheriff looking at Azalea, Charlie’s housekeeper, he needs to figure out what really happened.As a fan of the Southern Ladies series, I was quite anxious to read the book that introduced the Ducote sisters. They are as much fun here as they are in their own series. We get to see a different side of a couple of series regulars as well, which I really enjoyed. The plot was strong and kept me going until the surprising yet logical conclusion.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  • Dawn Michelle
    2019-04-02 17:21

    Most cozies are light and fluffy, even with the aspect of murder within its pages. The murdered is usually someone that is distasteful/bad/creepy/mean and while absolutely NO ONE EVER deserves to be murdered, you usually don't feel horrible about it and the mystery makes up for the fact that someone has died [and yes I realize how this makes me sound, but if you ask anyone who reads this genre or mysteries where death is involved, they will end up sounding like I just did].THAT was not the case with this one. This was filled with so much pain and anger and anguish, I had a difficult time both reading it and finishing it. And then when all was revealed, I was sadder still. One of the hardest things to deal with was that the person who was murdered was seriously unliked and not one person who knew them shed one tear over their passing [even by murder], not even their spouse. <--when that revelation was made, I realized I was going to have a tough time reading this one. It is extremely well-written. The feelings and emotions I had are, in my opinion, exactly what the author intends you to have. They WANT you to have all these feels. They want it that way, maybe as a reminder to be kind to people, even the ones you don't like.

  • Margie
    2019-03-30 20:00

    You can't go wrong with these stories. A large cat that goes everywhere with his owner. Throw in a mystery to solve. Characters you will grow to love. What more could you want?

  • Sheila
    2019-03-20 20:05

    This time Diesel and Charlie have to find out who murdered Vera Cassity when Azalea, Charlie's housekeeper, becomes the prime suspect. I liked how Charlie becomes the one that Kanesha turns to for help when she is taken off the investigation because her mother is the chief suspect. She always has gotten mad with Charlie in the past but now she needs his skills to help keep her mother from being arrested. Once again I did not figure out the murderer. I love these characters. I also like seeing how Charlie and his children are relearning each other and living together. I loved the Ducote Sisters and their plan to negate someone who is constantly behaving badly. I look forward to the next installment.

  • Kirsti
    2019-03-25 14:10

    Another fun romp! I do love cozy mysteries and this is one of the best cat ones available! It's a lot of fun seeing old characters in different lights, and new characters too. The writing is a little bit dry, but overall still good. I didn't pick the killer this time either. I'll definitely have to order in a few more of these books, maybe next pay day!

  • Marlene
    2019-04-09 17:53

    Originally published at Reading RealityPart of what I enjoy so much about the Cat in the Stacks mystery series is that Charlie Harris feels like “one of us” – one of us librarians that is. He’s someone that I could imagine sitting down with at a library conference, laughing about our coincidentally shared last name and swapping stories about the library career we have very much in common.And telling each other cat stories, because Diesel is definitely a cat worth talking about. Diesel may be extra-large, even for a Maine Coon (a typically large breed) but Diesel’s outsized personality is all cat. He doesn’t solve crimes, he doesn’t nudge clues, but he does provide his person and the people that surround him with outsized doses of sympathy when needed and love all the time, as well as the occasionally well-deserved “diss” when he feels ignored.They all do that, too. You haven’t been seriously dissed until you’ve been dissed by a cat who believes he hasn’t gotten his or her due – and they all think that on occasion, no matter how good we usually are at being catservants.There are also a lot of librarians who are mystery readers, and a lot of librarians who are owned by cats. This particular story puts those two well-known penchants together into a marvelously cozy little mystery.In the end, it isn’t a surprise that Vera Cassity was murdered – it’s much more of a surprise that it took so long. And that it happened in the middle of a mystery-themed gala fundraiser for the Athena Public Library.Vera wasn’t merely unpopular, she seemed to go out of her way to piss people off. That someone had finally had enough isn’t much of a surprise.But what is a surprise is that the Sheriff seems to be concentrating his investigative attention on Charlie’s long-time housekeeper Azalea Berry. Not because Azalea had any more motive than anyone else, but because digging into any dirt he can find on Azalea will splash mud onto her daughter Kanesha – who looks to be the Sheriff’s rival in a not-too-distant election.Of course, in this cozy mystery, the red herrings abound, and nothing is quite as it seems. Charlie, as always, does finally manage to figure out who really done it, but that’s not all he uncovers in this lovely little mystery. The secrets he didn’t expect to find turn out to be more explosive than the ones he was actually looking for.Escape Rating A-: This was definitely a case of “right book at the right time”. I was looking for a comfort read to get myself back into the reading and reviewing swing, and discovered through trial and error that there were a whole bunch of genres I just was not in the mood for. A cozy mystery like Out of Circulation turned out to be just right. Especially since we missed our own cats very much while we were away.I always love Diesel. He is just such a marvelous cat. Also a LOT of cat. But very cat. Not psychic, not human level intelligent, just big and loving and occasionally snarky (in a cat way) and very sweetly, demandingly, cat. I’ve had cats that have had individual bits of Diesel’s purrsonality (although not quite his huge size) but never one that had all these qualities at once. Every time Diesel appears in the story I got a chuckle.And yes, we all talk to our cats the way that Charlie does and we all think they understand on some level. They’ve trained us well.Part of the fun of this particular story were the allusions to many classic mystery series. At the costume party where the murder takes place, all of the guests were dressed, not as famous historical figures or in typical Halloween costumes, but in very clever costumes that paid homage to some of my own favorite mystery writers and fictional detectives.Of course, it’s always just fun and games until the dead body is discovered, and so it proves in Out of Circulation.The thoughtful part of this story revolved around the other mystery that Charlie looks into. Athena Mississippi is a small Southern town where memories are long and whose founding families are still represented in the current population. Charlie’s dilemma reflected a professional ethical issue that will be understood by any librarian or archivist, and the way that he handled it would serve as a terrific example for anyone in the professional on how to handle a problem like this one – which probably happens more often than we think. Every family has skeletons in the closet if you look back far enough.And the way that the remaining family members handled the issue once it was discovered? Well that was just classy. It’s no wonder that the author has spun those particular characters off into their own series, because they are wonderful steel magnolias.

  • Barb
    2019-03-24 20:21

    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.I had a hard time getting into this book for some reason. It was interesting, but seemed to drag on... and on... and on... 3 stars.

  • Joi
    2019-04-19 18:04

    I enjoyed this book. It's another entry into the Cat in the Stacks mystery. I really like this series and can't wait to continue. This mystery was about the death of Vera Cassity and all f the people that had a motive to kill her. Of course Charlie was summoned to help figure out the mystery. We, as readers follow along with Charlie and his pet cat Diesel as they wade through all of the different suspects. The author made sure that each of the suspects had a good motive to keep you guessing until the very end.

  • LORI CASWELL
    2019-03-31 20:23

    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.Charlie has found himself on the committee to plan this year’s library fundraiser gala. Mainly that means staying out of the way as barbs fly between Vera Cassity and Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote. It seems no one really cares for Vera, even Charlie’s housekeeper, Azalea, seems to have it out for her. At the gala Charlie starts to understand why. Apparently no one ever taught Vera that “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” She had a verbal jab for almost everyone that night. And these bitter words happened to be her last. Yes, while Vera was not the life of the party her death turned the party upside down. She was found dead and Azalea was standing over her body. Charlie knows there is much more to the story so with a bit of help from his sidekick Diesel he sets out to catch the killer before his last chapter is finished.Dollycas’s ThoughtsThis 4th installment is the best one so far. The female characters are the shining stars this time. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are wonderful characters. Full of Southern charm and feisty. These are not women to mess with. We get to know Azalea better in this story too, a little blast from her past. She is another strong opinionated woman and I loved her speaking out – finally. Her daughter, Kanesha, gets her spunk from her mother. I see her taking over that police force in the near future. James writes fun and entertaining mysteries with characters fleshed out making them real and identifiable. Writing strong women that have the relate with each other and relate to the reader can be a difficult task especially when the protagonist is a male. The author, yes also a male, has become a master with this latest story. I will admit it. I absolutely love Diesel!! He is such a special cat that is tuned in to the humans around him. His meows, warbles, chirrups, and head bumps are priceless. No magical powers just a real cat acting like a cat. I live with one that could be Diesel’s brother who looks and acts exactly the same way. All of these characters are part of a terrific mystery with a very important and surprising twist. Cozy readers will love this story!!

  • bella
    2019-04-11 19:04

    In his fourth adventure Charlie and his Maine Coon sidekick, the lovable Diesel, are back to solve more murders in Athena. Charlie is helping to organize the Friends of the Library fund-raising gala and seems to be caught in between the tension from the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassidy. They can't agree on where to hold the gala, and when Charlie casts his deciding vote for the Ducote sisters' residence, Vera becomes very unhappy indeed. It's a very frosty reception the night of the gala as Vera does her best to intimidate everyone and An'gel and Dickce Ducote have a plan to put her in her place. However when Vera falls down the stairs, in what doesn't seem like a accident, it looks like someone had another plan. And so the Ducote sisters enlist Charlie to investigate, in the hopes of clearing their name. Thus giving Charlie another murder to solve!Over the last four books this series has wormed it's way into my heart to become a favorite. It helps that I adopted a Maine Coon cat myself six years ago, so I'm absolutely smitten with Diesel and his antics. Add into it the fabulous atmosphere of Athena, the library setting and the quirky characters and well that makes me this series a home run for me.In Out of Circulation, in the act of trying to solve the murder Charlie discovers a lot more about the history of both the Ducote family and also Vera Cassidy's family. This was really fascinating, as I tried to piece together the mystery alongside Charlie. I really can't stress enough how wonderful this series is. The stories are well-plotted with really memorable characters - I particularly love Charlie's boarders Stewart and Justin! Not to mention the Ducote sisters.I'm thrilled the Ducote sisters are going to have their own mystery series, which is supposed to hit the shelves in October, 2014. Until then, I will wait patiently for Charlie and Diesel's fifth book, The Silence of the Library, which is due out on January, 2014.If you haven't discovered the Cat in the Stacks mysteries yet, pick up the first one - Murder Past Due. Well worth a read for all mystery lovers.

  • Anne(Booklady) Molinarolo
    2019-04-13 11:58

    Oh my! Charlie is cringing in his own living room while the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity are verbily battling over where the upcoming Friends of the Library Gala is to held. Seeing and hearing the vitriol coming from the wealthiest ladies in Athena MS has him in a mute stupor and wishing he'd never become a Friends of the Library board member. An'gel and Dickce Ducote yet again outmaneuvered Vera and hand Charlie his engraved invitation. The Gala is always held ate their home. Vera is livid. She goes to Charlie's office and requests to see the Ducote's papers and letters. Charlie must decline because the Ducote materials are sealed, and Miz Cassity must get permission from the Ducote sisters or their lawyer. Again Vera Cassity becomes viciously bellicose and threatens Charlie, his boarder - Justin, and Diesel.Charlie finally sees why everyone in Athena loathe the Cassity woman. Even his housekeeper, Azalea Berry, hates the woman. She tells Charlie if "that woman comes into this house again, I quit." Charlie is taken aback. He's never seen Azalea this upset and angry. But he soon will discover how angry Vera has made someone. At the Gala Vera is found dead on a stair case landing and Azalea saw her being pushed by a person in the shadows. Not only is Vera out of public charity life, she is permanently out of circulation. And Azalea is Sheriff Tidwell's prime suspect! Both the Ducote sisters and Chief Deputy Kanesha Bell ask Charlie to investigate the murder much to his surprise. Finding the killer won't be easy, everyone in Athena would have liked to seen Vera Cassity dead. And Charli and Diesel will learn a few secrets about Athena's oldest and richest families.Again, James kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. There are few red herrings dropped here and there. But don't be fooled about who the killer is because there is a mini-mystery within the who-dun-it story line. Another delightful read!

  • Larraine
    2019-03-26 13:10

    I've been a reader and a lover of libraries as long as I can remember, and am owned by several cats! So when the "Charlie and Diesel" series came out a few years ago.I just finished the 4th in the series, and, as always, I was not disappointed. Dean James, writing as Miranda James, writes with gentle wit and charm. Charlie is a research and archival librarian at a university in Athena, MI. Charlie is accompanied just about everywhere he goes by Diesel, his 36lb Maine Coon. Charlie and Diesel enjoy just about everything in their small town. However, Charlie is uncomfortable when competing socialites have an argument about the upcoming library gala. One of them, Vera Cassity, is a miserable woman despite being very wealthy. She throws her weight around along with her money. She desperately wants the library gala to take place in her home, but her rivals, two "old money" sisters, refuse to allow that to happen. The gala takes place - and Vera is murdered. Then Charlie's housekeeper, Azalea, a non nonsense woman he "inherited" along with his house, is accused of the murder. The fact that her daughter, Kenesha, is a detective in the local sheriff's department adds a twist since she and Charlie have not always seen eye to eye. This, after all, is NOT Charlie's first murder mystery! This series is always such fun. If you haven't read the first three, scoop them all up, make yourself a pot of tea and start reading!

  • Text Addict
    2019-03-20 14:08

    I think this one took too long to get going - the murder victim wasn't even found until Chapter 13, something like a third of the way through. Which is not to say that the social combat before then wasn't interesting, but it took too long to get to that point, as well. Except that, on the other hand, it turned out that much of what went on toward the beginning was more relevant to the subsequent investigation and plot than I first assumed. Or perhaps it was just my mood, so that the low-key development of the story frustrated me more than it could have otherwise. At any rate, Charlie Harris is still a pleasant fellow to spend a few hours with - though some might find his conflict-averse nature stultifying - and so is his cat. Kanesha Berry continues to provide some "edge" in a setting that would otherwise be too nice for words. The payoff for my decision to pick up and finish the book was good though - some archival research, some serious cogitating, a health scare, and a difficult decision for Charlie to make. The next one in this series is expected out next January (2014).

  • KarenF
    2019-03-26 16:13

    I really like Charlie & Diesel as a team. The mystery took a little while to get going in this one but the characters are so much fun that it's OK. I have to admit that I wanted a different person to have committed the crime but I didn't dislike the outcome, I just wanted a different one. I love that Diesel doesn't have psychic powers or anything, he's "just" a sensitive cat. Like many pets he brings moments of levity to difficult times and I love that although Charlie's circle of local friends and family have grown since the first book Diesel is still an important part of his life. I'm looking forward to more time with Charlie & Diesel.

  • Sallee
    2019-04-06 20:06

    This mystery was very enjoyable and the Ducote sisters play a major part. Vera Cassidy came up from poor beginnings and became very rich. She uses this to try and buy status. When she turns up murdered at the Friends of the Library Gala held at the Ducote's house, River Hill, there is no dearth of suspects as she had so many enemies. When Charlie's own housekeeper, Azalea becomes a suspect, it is up to him to clear her name. Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon Cat, Diesel help make this book so much fun.

  • Sheila Beaumont
    2019-03-26 12:16

    I love this series, and this fourth book was just as enjoyable as the first three. There's a good mystery plot, and a beautifully portrayed Southern small-town setting, but what I like most are the characters: intelligent, warmhearted librarian Charlie Harris, his family and friends, an assortment of local eccentrics, and, most of all, Diesel the lovable Maine coon cat, whose charming presence makes these books so irresistible.

  • Kate
    2019-04-16 15:00

    I LOVE this series! The small town setting, the fact that Charlie's house is filled with family and friends and the way that animals play a big part in each story make this series so cozy and fun. This installment was interesting because we are introduced to some old money families in Alabama when a murder takes in one of their historic mansions. My only complaint is that this book takes place right before Christmas, yet the holidays and almost never mentioned. Oh well, still a 5 star read!

  • Jessica
    2019-04-17 17:20

    I just adore this series! I can't get enough! It has really opened me up to the wonderful world of cozy mysteries.

  • JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book)
    2019-04-10 11:56

    Charlie Harris is a librarian in Athena, Mississippi. He’s also on the board of the Friends of the Library, and one night while they are having a meeting at his home, he is privvy to an unfortunate conversation between the Ducote sisters, grande dames of Athena society, and Vera Cassity, an upstart who aspires to their position. Vera argued that her home, Ranelagh, would be the only one to hold the gala, as it had the largest dining room. But An’gel Ducote was nothing if not astute and sharp-witted, and managed to convey the fact that it would be difficult to ask people for money if they weren’t having fun - and there was nothing fun about a sit-down dinner. After this uncomfortable conversation, Vera left in a huff - once she realizes the rest of the board members agreed with the Ducotes.But Vera isn’t about to give up easily - she goes so far as to threaten Charlie and even his boarder Justin, who is the recipient of a scholarship from Vera; and even Diesel, his Maine Coon cat.. It seems she really will stop at nothing to get her way. Things get worse when Charlie’s housekeeper Azalea finds out she’s been in the house and threatens to quit if she shows up again - but won’t tell Charlie why she hates her as much as everyone else seems to do.When the library gala is held and Vera shows her usual asperity, the Ducotes have one more trick up their sleeve to stop her in her tracks. But when she storms off and Charlie later hears Azalea calling for help, he finds her locked in a room...with the body of Vera. It appears she either fell or was pushed down the stairs, and Sheriff Tidwell sets his sight on Azalea as the murderer - if only to make her daughter, his deputy Kanesha Berry, uncomfortable and look bad to the public.So Kanesha, who has always been aloof and professional towards Charlie, asks him to help clear her mother's name and find the true murderer. She knows that Charlie has a knack for putting clues together, and since he's sure Azalea is innocent, agrees to help her. But when Charlie starts digging into which person wanted Vera dead - and there were probably many - it comes down to who would be willing to commit murder in order to silence her forever...I've read four books in this series, and at least this one had not only the murder to consider, but a subplot or two to keep things fairly interesting. In this book Charlie's relationship with Helen is moving forward, along with those of his son and daughter's. They don't take precedence over the murder, however; and that's how it should be. We also learn a little bit more about Azalea's family, although nothing new on her dynamics with her own daughter.All in all, I have to wonder if there's any vegetables grown in Mississippi aside from green beans. They seem to have them with almost every meal (and on a side note, I detest them myself). Maybe Azalea can introduce everyone to the pleasures of eating corn or peas - or even carrots once in a while. I would also caution Sean to move out quickly, since every member of Charlie's household has been suspected in a murder case so far. Just a thought...Also, while Charlie might own a Maine Coon, he obviously doesn't know you can't give cats garlic. It's toxic. Yet he has no problem feeding this to his feline, while giving your cat a small amount of cheese won't hurt it. Yes, many cats are lactose intolerant, but not all. I'm a lifelong cat owner, and I've had plenty of cats that love cheese and it doesn't hurt them. But garlic? NEVER!In the end, when the murderer was found out it seemed to me slightly extreme of this person since they really gained nothing at all from the deed that I could tell. I would have liked to have seen a much better reason for the murder than what was given. However, since I've already gone this far into the series I will probably proceed, since I've read much worse books and survived. At least this was the best of the four so far, so there's hope yet.

  • Lagniappe
    2019-03-22 15:16

    There is so much to like about this book. I like that our "cozy" protagonist is male instead of the standard female crime solver. I like the supporting cast of characters, quirky southerners all, but written with affection instead of meanness. And I like the four legged sidekick Diesel, a Maine Coon with personality to spare. Add in a strong mystery and this becomes the best "cozy" I have read in some time. By the time Vera Cassity is murdered the only question to ask is why didn't someone do it sooner. Our librarian protagonist Charlie Harris becomes involved when his housekeeper is originally thought to be the prime suspect. He sets out, accompanied by his feline companion Diesel, to clear her name and find the real killer. Charlie is a smart and resourceful crime solver, and I love the fact that he works with law enforcement. There is no running off half-cocked to confront a murderer in this book. And Diesel the cat is loveable for just being a cat - he does not actually partake in any crime solving. There are enough twists and turns to keep one guessing through most of the book, and the side story involving the history of a prominent family is the cherry on top.This is the fourth installment in a series and there are a few references to previous crimes, but I think it stands alone quite well. I will be reading others in this series, and I strongly recommend this one.

  • Helen Drake
    2019-03-25 20:16

    This is such a delightful series! Taking place in Athena, Mississippi, it just oozes Southern charm. The characters including Charlie, a southern gentleman and widower, who is adept at solving murders, and his Maine coon cat Diesel are delightful as are all the surrounding characters. Charlie is a part-time archivist at Athena, College. He also volunteers at the town library. Diesel accompanies him to these jobs and most other places. In this story, he is now on the Friends of the Library Board. The amount of drama surrounding the planning and the execution of the Friends' Annual Fundraiser is the crux of this story. Most everyone comes dressed as their favorite literary character. Naturally the person everyone in town dislikes is murdered mysteriously at the event. Everyone is expecting Charlie to solve the murder, as always. There are a few natural suspects but who actually did it and is Charlie's housekeeper, Azalea, an eyewitness or possibly the murderer as she is found with the body?The solution to the murders in this cozy series does keep you guessing and there are always surprises. That is also the case in this story.I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

  • Linda C
    2019-04-10 19:19

    Charlie Harris, librarian and owner of Maine Coon cat, Diesel, is on the Board of the Friends of the Library. Mean spirited Vera Cassity is also on the Board and causing her usual dissension; this time over the location for the Gala. The Ducote sisters win out and she is off in a huff. Later she approaches Charlie about getting access to the Ducote papers at the library. They are restricted and Charlie refuses without the sisters' approval. Vera threatens Charlie and everyone related to him. Even Charlie's housekeeper has nothing good to say about Vera. So when Vera comes to a bad end at the Gala it is hard to narrow the list of suspects. Interesting mystery but a little too much about the large than life cat.

  • Sherry Sharpnack
    2019-04-17 16:15

    This is #4 in the “Cat in the Stacks” cozy mysteries about Charlie, a southern librarian, and his enormous Maine Coon cat, Diesel. In this one, Charlie’s housekeeper, Azalea, is the sole witness at a murder, and her daughter, Kanesha — who has been a thorn in Charlie’s side in the previous books b/c as a cop, she’s usually suspicious of his involvement — actually asks for his help in absolving her mother from guilt. Atmospheric, southern Gothic characters walk off the page — esp two elderly spinsters — and I did not see the twist coming at the end, and therefore did not know the identity of the murderer until the end. That’s always a plus in a cozy!

  • Gina Andrews
    2019-04-06 17:11

    Fun, entertaining book. Charlie Harris tries to keep the peace when the ladies of the town argue as to where to hold the annual benefit gala. It was settled that the Ducote sisters would host, leaving Vera Cassity very mad. Not that anybody paid much attention, as she was not very well liked. But when she turns up dead at the end of the gala, and the sheriff susupects Charlie's housekeeper may have done it, he has to investigate. Could the old papers he received from the Ducote mansion and an old photograph he got from Vera hold a clue?

  • Brace1737
    2019-03-31 18:12

    Diesel, a Main Coon cat, is a favorite of library patrons at both the college library and the public library in the small Mississippi town where his human companion, Charlie Harris calls home. Diesel gets along with most humans, but even he can tell that Vera acts like the junkyard dog to her fellow humans. But did she deserve to be pushed down the stairs to her death at the Friends of the Public Library gala? Diesel follows Charlie as he hunts down the clues and finds the killer.Comments: I've read some serious books lately so this was a nice change of pace. Notice that Miranda James makes all her characters like people you see everyday.

  • Traci
    2019-04-03 19:59

    Library system didn't have books 2 or 3, so I skipped ahead. Obviously missed a few things, but not enough to have to go back and track down those entries.Cute read. Wish my kitty was as adorable as Diesel! No chirping and warbling for our old man - just a lot of meows that sound more like "Now!"

  • Carol L. Hensley
    2019-04-09 17:13

    Another Wonderful Cats in the Stacks MysteryAlways worth reading! I enjoyed the costume party where fictional characters made an appearance. I look forward to reading the fifth book in this series. Thank you, Miranda James, for providing a literate, fun a d enjoyable series, where each installment is long enough that I can enjoy and savor the book!

  • Elaine Roberson
    2019-03-23 16:07

    A very enjoyable cozy featuring librarian Charlie Harris and Diesel, his wonderful Maine Coon cat. I liked the descriptions of Athena, Mississippi. The characters are interesting and the figuring out who murdered Vera kept me guessing. This was the 4th book in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series.