Jul 242019
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Miranda James stop by today! 

For Old Times’ Sake
by Miranda James

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

I love old movies. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred McMurray, Rosalind Russell, Carole Lombard, Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – these were the great stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era (and yes I know I’ve left off a lot of names, so you can add your own favorites to the list). My favorite genre of movies from this period is screwball comedy. I love the fast-paced stories, the rapid-fire dialogue, and the subtle ways that sexual attraction is handled.

My favorite screwball comedies, you ask? Well, Bringing Up Baby tops the list, but close to the top are gems like The Awful Truth and Ball of Fire. I have seen my favorites numerous times. I like to re-watch my favorites for the same reasons that I like to re-read favorite books. It’s simply spending time with old friends, particularly old friends whom you can trust not to disappoint you.

There is at least one screwball murder mystery, The Mad Miss Manton, with Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. It’s actually a fairly clever plot, and it’s well worth seeking out. So is The Lady Eve with the same two stars; it has crime as part of the plot, and Stanwyck and Fonda are superb in it.

When I was trying to come up with a title for the latest “Cat in the Stacks” novel, I found a list of movies titles that had been changed so that each had some kind of cat reference. The one that immediately attracted my attention was The Pawful Truth. It’s obviously a take-off on one of my favorites, named above, and that set me thinking.

What if? These are the two most useful words for a mystery writer. What if I took elements from the comic movie and used them in the plot of a murder mystery? How would that turn out?

The result was the latest book in the series, The Pawful Truth. If you’ve seen the movie, I hope you will enjoy some of the in-jokes in the story. If you haven’t seen it, I hope you’ll watch it at some point. It’s enormous fun, and I hope you also have fun with the story I have told.

~Miranda

Oh, Miranda, I love old movies too! I haven’t seen The Awful Truth in years. I may have to rectify that soon 🙂

Thank you, for visiting today!

_______________________________________

Keep reading for my thoughts about A Pawful Truth.

 


The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
11th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Berkley (July 16, 2019)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 0451491122
ISBN-13: 978-0451491121
Kindle ASIN: B07JLMQHRF

In addition to his library duties and his role as doting grandad, Charlie has enrolled in an early medieval history course offered by young, charismatic professor Carey Warriner. Charlie feels a bit out of place- his fellow classmates are half his age- except for Dixie Bell Compton, another ‘mature’ student. When Charlie hears an angry exchange between her and their professor, his interest in piqued. He’s even more intrigued when she shows up at his office asking for a study partner. Charlie turns her down and is saddened to learn just a few days later that Dixie has been killed.

Charlie wonders if Professor Warriner had anything to do with Dixie’s death. Warriner is married to a fellow professor who happens to be a successful author. There are rumors on campus that their marriage was on the rocks. Was Dixie’s death the result of a lovers’ triangle gone bad? Charlie soon discovers that the professor’s wife may have some secrets of her own and his suspect list is only getting longer.

As he and Diesel step further into the tangled web of relationships, someone else is viciously killed. Whose jealousy finally erupted into murderous rage? Was it a crime of passion or is there another more sinister motive? Charlie races to unravel this mystery: and to draw out the culprit, he may just have to put his own life on the line…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Grandpa, Dad, Archive Librarian, Landlord, Student, and Diesel’s person, Charlie Harris has a very full life. Being a student is new as he is auditing an early medieval history course at the college taught by Professor Carey Warriner. Charlie is not the only “mature student” taking the class. Nowhere close to his age but older than the rest in the class Dixie Bell Compton is taking the class for credit and offers to be his study partner. Since he is just auditing the class he turns her down. Charlie is very impressed with Warriner’s lecture skills but after overhearing the professor’s after-class conversation with Dixie and the rumors he has heard about him and his wife, Irene, another professor, he is concerned about his other qualities. When Dixie is killed a few days later he truly wonders if Warriner is involved.

Charlie also takes in a new boarder, a man Stewart and Haskell met at the gym. He also has ties to the college. Dan Bellamy teaches history with a focus on Regency England. He is close to Irene Warriner who is also an author with books set in the time Bellamy specializes in.

All the rest of the cast we have come to love over the course of this series return including Dante, Stewart’s poodle, my favorite fictional feline, Diesel, and the new kitten in residence, Ramses. We are also introduced to a large number of people as the story proceeds in Charlie’s effort to investigate. I was thrilled to see Miss Dickce Ducote make more than a cameo appearance.

The first part of the book gives background for new readers and introduces some of the new characters all before the murder occurs. Since Charlie is now known for his investigations people seem to come out of the woodwork to offer their assistance. There are plenty of suspects and Charlie works hard to pare those down as quickly as possible. Diesel also offers his opinions with a variety of chirps and head bumps. Fans of the series realize his talents and in this installment, he gave a clear indication of who he had his sights on earlier than usual.

I do enjoy the way Ms. James constructs her stories. We get to drop in on the entire Harris family and catch up with them. His daughter-in-law was having a hard time in a previous book and we learn that she is still working through something many women deal with and that there is no quick fix. I appreciate the way all the family storylines continue to evolve and are allowed to run their course. She entangles the murder mystery in key and meaningful ways. The pace she sets is very comfortable at first but as we get deeper into the story and clues start to fall into place the pace picks up until we get to the big reveal. At that point, pages can’t flip fast enough and the reader’s heartrates increase.

This entire series is wonderful. Miranda James is an excellent author. Her characters are some of my cozy favorites. Seeing that cat on the cover always brings a huge smile to my face. You truly can’t go wrong with any book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.

Use the search feature to find my reviews for all of the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries.



Coming January 2020

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US 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. 

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

Leave a comment for the author 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 August 7, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner 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.”

Share

  19 Responses to “Cozy Wednesday with Miranda James – Author of The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) #GuestPost / #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery”

  1. Love the review, sounds very good and I love that cover. I love cosy Mystery with the pets in them.
    Penney

  2. I have to read this! All of those movies mentioned are on my all-time favorites list!

  3. Congrats on the the new release! I will have to look for the Stanwyck mystery, I hadn’t heard of it.

  4. I have not read any of the books in this series. I can’t wait to start them now. Thank you for this chance to win.

  5. I love the covers on these books and am very anxious to read all of them! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I love these books. It’s one of my favorite series. I just put the movie on hold at the library. It’ll be fun to watch it again. Thanks for the contest.

  7. I fell in love with this series from the very beginning. Charlie and Deisel make a perfect duo characters to a book. Miranda James is one of the best authors of cozy mysteries. Thanks for hosting her book today.

  8. I am a big fan of old movies and can watch them again and again. My “current” favorite old movies is Desk Set with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn — I never get tired of watching it. I love the cover of The Pawful Truth and liked reading about how you came up with it, and it’s link to a classic movie.

  9. The book looks awesome, Thanks for your great generosity.

  10. Wonderful feature and giveaway. I enjoy this series and the interesting post.

  11. I enjoy your books

  12. I enjoy old movies too, some of the classics from the 30’s and 40’s I can go back to over and over. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The Pawful Truth.

  13. This sounds wonderful. My cat and I will enjoy it!

  14. Congrats on the the new release! Thanks for telling us about it.

  15. Thanks for the review! I enjoy this series..and love Dean..aka Miranda

  16. Congratulations on your new release . Looking forward to reading “The Pawful Truth”.

  17. This is a fun series. I need to catch up on it.

  18. fun series and I love old movies too!!!

  19. This sounds like a great book. Charlie is certainly a character I would love reading about as he puts his sleuthing skills to work and Diesel sounds like a trusted companion.

Leave a Reply - I love comments!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Spirited Away (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery) by Lena Gregory Get Your Copy Today!
+ +
%d bloggers like this: