I am super excited today to Welcome Miranda James here today
or should I say her alter ego Dean James 🙂
This book debuted at #8 on the New York Times Bestseller List!
I blame Nancy Drew for my life of crime. Reading it and writing it, that is.
I was ten when I borrowed The Secret of Shadow Ranch from a cousin. It was the first mystery I ever read, and I was hooked. Then, to my delight, I discovered this was only one of a long series of adventures in which Nancy solved mystery after mystery. Just as exciting, I soon found other amateur mystery-solvers: the Hardy Boys, the Dana Girls, Judy Bolton, Trixie Belden, and many more. By the time I began reading adult mysteries, my love of the amateur detective was completely entrenched.
When I decided I wanted to write a mystery myself, I knew my main character would be an amateur. After all, I’m not a policeman, or a lawyer, or a private detective. But I do have a healthy dose of curiosity about the world around me and the people in it. Charlie Harris, the sleuth in my “Cat in the Stacks” series, is just like me in that respect. He’s also about my age (fiftyish, if you must know), he’s a librarian, he grew up in Mississippi, and he has a Maine coon cat. That’s as far as it goes, however. (I have two cats, by the way, neither of which is a Maine coon. Also, Diesel is much better behaved than my two.)
I wanted to incorporate my knowledge of, and love for, these juvenile series books into one of my own books, and in the new book, The Silence of the Library , I have done so. I created a series character in the mold of Nancy Drew and the other girl detectives and
called her Veronica Thane. The author of the series, Electra Barnes Cartwright, was inspired by Mildred Wirt Benson (the first writer, aka “Carolyn Keene”, of the Nancy Drew series, Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton series, and Julie Campbell Tatham, the original author of Trixie Belden. In fact the book is dedicated to their memories.
The most fun part of writing this book for me was the “excerpts” from the first Veronica Thane book. I reread some of my favorite girl detective stories from the 1930s to get a sense of the style in my head, and off I went. I hope readers will get a kick out of this aspect of the story. Of course, The Silence of the Library includes murder – a subject that usually didn’t come up in the classic juvenile series books. But when you get a number of rabid book collectors together, with hints of a rare and highly collectible volume, something deadly is sure to happen.
You can find out more about Miranda/Dean and Diesel too on their webpage here.
They are on Facebook too here.
The Silence of the Library
(Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
5th in the Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery (January 28, 2014)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Dan Craig
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
E-Book File Size: 2081 KB
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.
To celebrate National Library Week the Athena Public Library plans to feature amateur sleuths we loved as kids, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Veronica Thane. It was quite a surprise to find out the author of the Veronica Thane mysteries was about to celebrate her 100th birthday and was living very close to Athena. When the author agrees to make a special appearance at the library the news goes viral. Fans start to flock to town, many with copies of her books to sign and a few with hundreds, some of them very rare editions. There is even a rumor that there are several stories still unpublished. How far would a fan go to get their hands on these manuscripts? Would they commit murder??
I absolutely love this series! Diesel stole my heart the first time I saw him on the cover of the first book. I also appreciate a story with a male protagonist. Charlie is a true gentleman with very clever insight and a different perspective than the cozy readers are used to. His relationship with Diesel just warms my heart. I can easily see them walking down the streets of Athena, Diesel in his halter and Charlie stopping to visit with everyone he meets. Diesel is very intuitive himself. He senses when people need a little chin bob or just a paw on their knee. He also understands the words “treat” and “chicken” very clearly.
James outdid herself in this book because she wrote not just one story but two. She created a new young sleuth named Veronica Thane and wrote a mystery for her. It is the story Charlie is reading as the library will be featuring the author. The book was one his favorite childhood mysteries. As Charlie reads it leads him to think about the current crime trying to be solved in Athena. It helps all the pieces of the puzzle come together.
The author has written a wonderful story with true to life characters including a very special feline. It makes me really miss my feline companion that looks and acts a lot like Diesel. He is now living with my son and it my granddaughter’s buddy. There are plenty of plot twists and secrets revealed. Charlie works hard to keep Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry apprised of each new development he uncovers because he knows what will happen if he doesn’t. Charlie, Diesel and Kanesha make an excellent investigative team. She is not a lady to mess with.
The book is dedicated to those authors like Mildred Wirt Benson, Margaret Sutton, and Julie Campbell Tatham who wrote the first mysteries most of us read. I had a bookshelf full of them way back when. James plans to have The Mystery at Spellwood Mansion, in its entirety up on the website soon.
Another fun and entertaining read from this author. A perfect way to take a step back in time to the “girl detective” stories of our past. You may be ready to reread a few Nancy Drew or Judy Bolton mysteries when you finish this one.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Miranda for 5 Bonus Entries !
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End February 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with the Author of The Silence of the Library – MIranda James (Giveaway too!)”
I started with The Hardy Boys and then moved on to Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and Trixie Belden. And I blame them for my love of mysteries, too.
I loved encyclopedia brown and I love this series too, thanks for the giveaway
I was a big fan of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys growing up, so I can’t wait to read this. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
Cats, mysteries and books all in one story what a great combo. I too have been a fan of mysteries for a long time. I read Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown as as kid and enjoyed them. Thank you for the chance to win
I’ve been a fan of Dean James when I first discovered his unusual gay vampire series about Simon Kirby-Jones. The Wanda Nell books are probably my favorite followed by the Charlie Harris books.
I have wondered for a long time why he frequently uses a female pen name.
One of my most favorite series! Reading the HardY Boys and Nancy Drew also started my love of mysteries.
I grew up in Australia and was a huge fan of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven Series.
I read all the Hardy Boys books and Nancy Drew books in the 50’s. Loved them.
I read all of those as a child too. This sounds like a fun series.
I haven’t read this series yet, but I have heard so many great things about it! My TBR stack just keeps growing!
I have read your books and love them all
Nancy Drew was my starting point in the 50s, too. We used to act out he stories in backyard games.
I started with Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon, Still own all my own books and pick up the old ones when I find them at reasonable prices. 😉 Love your series.
I have not read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, but I love Diesel and this series. Congratulations on your latest release Miranda (Dean)!
I think I’m one of the few that never read Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys, I read a series called the Happy Hollisters when I was young. I’ve started the cat in the stack series and really enjoyed it, you gotta love Diesel. Thanks for the chance to win.
I read Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Judy Bolton, and Trixie Beldon, and like many of the other respondents, those books kicked off a life-long love of mystery. I practically hyperventilated when I came across about 3/4 of the Judy Bolton series in a used bookstore about 10 years ago. I bought them ALL, and happily re-read my way through them. (I’m still keeping an eye out for the ones I’m missing, though.)
Your Diesel sounds terrific, and I look forward to reading the series!
I am so easy. Add a cat and I’m there!
Cats and cozies are just the perfect combo. And Diesel is just the perfect cat for a cozy—I can hardly wait to read this book of his.
I started out with Nancy Drew, Now the sky’s the limit. BTW the library I worked in was never quiet. Too many machines now. What with the fax machine, copier, computers on and the bar code swipe. it goes on and one.
I started with Nancy and Trixie Belden too. Thanks for the great post and chance to win!
Thank you for the giveaway. I read some Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys when I was young. I have enjoyed the other four books in the library series, please keep up the great work. Your books give me what I need to relax.
Nancy Drew was always one of my favorites. I remember checking out musty, well-loved library copies from school and reading them. I really liked reading the Boxcar Children books too, they always had an element of mystery.
Your books sound delightful and have been on my TBR for some time. I’m planning to tackle them soon!
My love of mysteries came via Nancy Drew also, The Secret of the Old Clock was the first I remember reading.
Nancy Drew – 4 of us collected and shared them back in the early 50s. I can still recreate in my mind our Carnegie library wnere we had card catalogs and hand signed our books out.
Great title…can hardly wait to read it!
I love the setting, and the fact that the cat’s name is Diesel. I am looking forward to reading this book.
I tend to be fond of mysteries that have cats in them. I look forward to reading this.
I read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and The Airship Boys (bet you never read those) when I was young. The Airship Boys and the G.A. Henty boys books were handed down from my father (born in 1900). Do you wonder why I love mystery and adventure. Maine coon cats are awesome. A friend of my mother had one.
My go to question that I am most curious about is always what influenced you in childhood bookwise – and you answered it beautifully! We share many favorite mystery series from that time. It makes me look forward to this read even more, I added you to my TBR list!
i started out with nancy drew and the hardy boys.this book looks good thanks for the chance
Love, love your photo and the fact that you read Nancy Drew – loved her!!!
can’t wait to read it
My mom loved Nancy Drew.
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