Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so happy to welcome Miranda James to Escape With Dollycas!
By Miranda James
(Post provided by publicist.)
I don’t really know where my nearly lifelong interest in history started. I do remember that, when I got my first library card at the age of eight, the first book I checked out was a juvenile biography of Abraham Lincoln. I went on to read many, many more of those juvenile biographies, and then I moved on to Greek and Roman mythology. Later on, as a teenager, I began reading historical fiction of various flavors – everything from historical romances to romantic suspense and straight historical fiction. If it was set in the past – and particularly if it was set in England – I would give it a try. In college, I majored in history and even went on to get both a master’s degree and a Ph.D., emphasis on medieval history.
I think one of the main reasons I’m so fascinated by history is knowing that there are connections from the past to the present. Some are more clear-cut than others, but the connections are always there. There are connections on a grand scale as well as connections on a more intimate, definitely personal scale, like tracing one’s ancestors to see from whence you came.
These same connections are, for me, what makes a mystery plot interesting. What actions in the past are connected to events in the present? Did one event, an action by a single person, set the course that ended in a murder? Or perhaps several murders?
These are the questions at the root of every story in the “Cat in the Stacks” series. In the latest book, Claws for Concern, those actions lie twenty years in the past. Four people, two adults, and two children were killed on a farm. The murderer was never brought to justice. Will Charlie and Diesel be able to identify the killer after all these years?
Thank you, Miranda, for visiting today!
Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
9th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 20, 2018)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Kindle ASIN: B072LT1Y7L
Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie’s family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder…
Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town’s public library. He’s too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book–and who won’t take no for an answer.
A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigates the library’s genealogical database. But he’s shocked when he learns that the visitor’s search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt’s husband.
Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he’s soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie’s new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home…
This is one of my favorite cozy series. That cat on the cover, Diesel, always makes me smile and now remember my own big kitty Wiley who passed away January 17. Diesel is a little bit more intuitive than Wiley was but he comes darn close.
This time Diesel and his person, Charlie Harris, take on a cold case when a man at the library asks for help just after telling Charlie he is the son of his late aunt’s husband. Charlie and Diesel are enjoying a new baby and fielding inquiries from a man that wants to write about all the mysteries Charlie has solved. While not interested in being the feature of a book, Charlie and the author team up to solve one together, even if it means putting his newly found relative behind bars.
I loved everything about this story. The mystery really didn’t take hold until about halfway through the book, but this reader was drawn in and entertained from page one. James’ writing style makes it feel like you are having a conversation with Charlie or watching everything right over his shoulder. When the mystery is revealed Charlie takes us along as he visits everyone that could have the answers he needs to solve it. When his daughter and son-in-law observe a crucial “accident” it gives Charlie what he needs to press for even more answers.
Miranda James is a fantastic storyteller. Her characters are engaging and feel like friends or neighbors you like to spend a lot of time with. Charlie relationship with Helen Louise is moving along nicely now that she is getting more help at her restaurant. His daughter recently gave birth to his first grandchild and his son’s wife is due soon. Diesel is already a good baby minder, he feels it is his job to watch over that child and alert everyone if the baby barely makes a sound. Charlie’s housemates are also top-notch and of course his housekeeper Azalea is the one who keeps everyone in line.
This is a wonderful addition to this series. I do recommend you start at the beginning but this story does stand on its own.
If you are looking for a comfortable, cozy mystery to curl up with, look no further than Claws for Concern, or any other Miranda James story.
Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.
Six Cats a Slayin’ (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) – Coming October 23, 2018
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”