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I am thrilled to feature Careless Whiskers today!
Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
12th in Series
Setting – Mississippi
Publisher: Berkley (January 21, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07R7M3RJZ
When librarian Charlie Harris’ daughter is falsely accused of murder, he and his faithful feline Diesel must leap forward to crack the case in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.
Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he’s delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who’s starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie’s son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.
Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.
Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.
Charlie Harris is enjoying his life and is excited that his daughter, Laura, has a starring role in a local play at Athena College. Careless Whispers is a new play written by a young man with a local connection, Finn Zwake. Laura’s husband, Frank is directing the play. The college has brought in an actor of some fame to boost sales for the event. Laura has worked with Luke Lombardi before and she is not looking forward to playing opposite him in this play. He along with his entourage rub almost everyone involved in the production the wrong way.
Rehearsals have had their up and downs with Laura trying to keep Luke in his place. There have also been some incidents/pranks against the Hollywood actor. With a “show must go on” attitude the show opens to a full house. All the actors hit their marks until Luke drinks from a glass at the beginning of the second act and he collapses and dies. The glass was filled and handed to him by Laura. Charlie rushes to the stage to be sure his daughter is okay. It is then that he realizes she is going to be the prime suspect.
Charlie had a close call recently with a case and vowed to let the police handle any future investigations but that was before his daughter was in the middle of a case. He knows she had nothing to do with Lombardi’s death. So he flips the script and dives right into another murder investigation with his loyal sidekick, Diesel in the quest to catch a killer.
One of the best things about this series is the genuine characters. They are strong in their values, have huge hearts, and are full of southern charm. I could easily imagine sharing a glass of sweet tea and catching up on all that is happening in their lives. Having Diesel and his new buddy Ramses chirping right along is just icing on the cake. Ms. James’s characters continue to grow and evolve. Their dialogues are realistic and crisp. I love the way Azalea keeps everyone in line and their stomachs filled. As always Diesel is my fave. I just can’t get enough of that Main Coon Cat!
I really enjoyed that Laura and Frank were featured in this story. It gave the perfect excuse for Charlie to jump into another investigation. It was a twisted investigation too. Mr. Lombardi’s entourage, his dresser, and his lover, formerly husband and wife, really made things very interesting. A playwright conundrum also adds to the mystery.
With a perfect pace, this story unfolds with the mysteries entangled with everyday life. The family dinners, Charlie spending time with his grandchildren every week to give their moms a little break, Helen Louise and Charlie’s late-night calls as they try to keep their romance going while she devotes so much time to her bistro, all give the story definition and keep it based in reality. While the number of murders and mysteries pushes the reality the Harris family and friends are always up to the task of solving them. This time Melba, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are along for the ride.
Careless Whisker is an excellent addition to this series. The author takes the time to add background so new readers can jump into the series at any time. It is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend all 12 books.
About the Author
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.
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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.”