Another Review at MyShelf.Com


Arsenic and Old Books
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery #6
Miranda James

Berkley Prime Crime
January 27, 2015 / ISBN 978-0-425-25729-6
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Charlie Harris is a librarian with a very special assistant - his Maine Coon cat, Diesel. Together the pair work in Athena, Mississippi, maintaining the archives at Athena College. Diesel is a highly intelligent feline and also helps Charlie to solve murders in the small town.

When a set of Civil War-era diaries are donated to the archives collection, Charlie is tasked with preserving them. The diaries were written by an ancestor of the mayor, Lucinda Beckworth Long's husband. The mayor is hopeful that the diaries will aid in establishing the family legacy which should in turn, help her son, Beck, in his state senate campaign. Yet when other people take a mysterious interest in the diaries, and one of them is killed in a hit and run, it's up to Charlie - and Diesel - to get to the heart of the matter before things get any more deadly than they already have.

I've had an affinity for this series from the very first book. Author Miranda James strikes just the right notes of mystery, murder, small town secrets, and does it with a character-driven story with a plot-driven subplot. As a reader, I want to love the characters first and delight in watching them pull the subplot pieces together, especially when they solve a complex mystery.

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Cat in the Stacks mysteries, but I love that this is a hardcover addition with a beautiful cover. If you love books, libraries, kind souls, and a cat with an appreciation for good food as well as good people, you'll certainly enjoy Arsenic and Old Books.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Classified as Murder #2
File M for Murder #3
Out of Circulation #4
The Silence of the Library #5
Arsenic and Old Books #6
No Cats Allowed #7
Twelve Angry Librarians #8
Claws for Concern #9

Reviewer Note: This is the first hard cover book of this series and includes a bonus short story
Reviewed 2015