Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Claws for Concern
Cat in the Stacks Mystery #9
Miranda James

February 20, 2018/ ISBN 978-0-425-27778-2

Reviewed by Laura Hinds 

Charlie Harris is thrilled to be a grandfather. He's enjoying his new grandson, also called Charlie. Diesel the cat loves the baby, too, and things are nice and normal in Athena, Mississippi.

Normal never lasts for long for Charlie and Diesel, though. A stranger starts to frequent the public library where Charlie volunteers every week. He asks Charlie to help him find old telephone books and then asks him where a particular address is. The address is Charlie's own house! It seems that the stranger, Bill Delany, is actually the son of Charlie's late Uncle Del and his first wife.

Meanwhile, a true crime writer by the name of Jack Pemberton wants to write a new book and feature Charlie and his previous success in solving murders. The two storylines come together when Charlie learns that Bill Delaney was a suspect in the gruesome murders of four members of a family in his hometown of Tullahoma, a small town not far from Athena, and where Pemberton happens to live. Jack and Charlie (and of course Diesel) set out to find the truth of what happened to the Barber family several years ago.

Miranda James has a real knack for inventing a complicated and realistic mystery in such a comfortable manner that it makes it almost impossible to put one of his books down. Over the course of the previous eight books, I grew to love Diesel and to enjoy and respect Charlie and the family and friends who surround him. Athena is so real in my mind that I can picture the homes and businesses and believe I would feel right at home with such intelligent and kind people populating it.

It's a joy to read a cozy mystery that truly embodies the definition of the genre. A small town, a likeable amateur sleuth, and murder that takes place off the page with little graphic violence, profanity or sex. Of course, an exceptionally smart cat and a library setting add to the joy I take in reading these books. James is a master of this craft, and in my humble opinion, anyone who yearns to try their hand at writing a cozy would do well to study each and every book James has written and learn from them.

Thank you, Miranda James, for this warm and gentle series that keeps me craving more and more of Charlie and Diesel! I hope you are hard at work on the next book!!

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
Six Cats a Slayin’ #10

Reviewed 2018