Six Cats a Slayin'

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

This just might be my favorite Miranda James cozy yet! The mystery was good and complicated, but I loved the side story of the five motherless kittens and the little child that loved them and wanted them safe. What better way to keep them safe than to give them to Charlie Harris and is Maine Coon cat Diesel?
Was this review helpful?
Yep, I love cats, so this book was one I just had to read. Between the kittens and the main coon, and the slayings, this book was practically purrfect! Add in a mystery and lots of fur and purring, I'm hooked. 

I voluntarily read a copy of this book from Net Galley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and this review is left of my own free will.
Was this review helpful?
Title: Six Cats A Slayin

Author: Miranda James

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Christmas, Cats,

Plot: Charlie Harris has a nice routine down with a cozy schedule. He and his fluffy Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are getting set to rock Christmas and settle in for the holidays. But they weren't expecting a basket full of new arrivals for the holidays. With curious kittens wandering the house in need of a permanent home, Charlie doesn't think he needs anything else on his plate right now.

But when curiosity over the suspicious new neighbor turns deadly, Charlie and his friends find themselves knee-deep in a murder mystery. And all he wanted to do was a nice quiet Christmas and enjoy his new grandbaby.

Likes/Dislikes: I gave this book a really good try but the writing had a disjointed jarring feel to it and the conversations between the characters were all clipped and short. I really enjoyed the references to other books I've read and the adorable little kittens, but I don't think Charlie and I will be solving any mysteries together for awhile.

Rating: PG-14 and up, mainly for reading level.

Date Review Written: January 19th, 2019

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Netglley for my honest opinion. I wasn't required to write a positive review and the opinions expressed in the above review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series, Cat in the Stacks, and this is book 10, my favorite so far.  Charlie Harris, librarian extraordinaire and his large Maine Coon cat Diesel are getting ready for Christmas.  But when the new neighbor across the street invites him to a Christmas open house he's not happy and then he opens his door and finds a box with 5 tiny kittens.  Diesel is ecstatic and is very protective of the new arrivals. At the party the hostess is murdered and there are lots of suspects.  Between solving the murder and finding the kitten's owner it's a busy holiday for Charlie. Diesel has a more active role in this book and you'll be laughing out loud.  This can be read as a stand alone but you'll want to enjoy more than this one.  Cat lovers won't be able to put it down and the mystery is pretty well written.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A great holiday themed mystery from Miranda James! I enjoyed this latest installment, which mixes the Christmas mood with a murder at a holiday party. A fun read.
Was this review helpful?
This is another cozy mystery I really enjoyed myself reading. I might have to read this again after reading the other books. It kind of has me wondering if it would make more sense and give me a better understanding of the characters if I had read the first one as well. But who knows honestly. But yeah I mean it wasn't amazing, but I enjoyed it enough to wonder about the previous books and look forward to the next books. The plot was interesting, the characters were overall pretty likable, and the feline characters were adorable. Diesel was a fun cat and I wish I had read more of him, he was funny at times! Hope I like the others as much as this one!
Was this review helpful?
I am a big fan of this series so when I saw the latest one on Netgalley, I immediately requested it.  It took me a while to get to it as I needed to read the one before it, Claws for Concern, as this series builds on the previous ones in the series.  This series gets better with each new volume, and this one was no exception.  Charlie and Diesel become the foster "parents"for 5 kittens left on their door step, a new, mysterious neighbor moves in across the street who is murdered at a neighborhood party, and Charlie's curiosity gets the best of him about this neighbor as no one seems to know her which is unheard of in his small town of Athena, MS.  Charlie also is caught up in trying to find who left the kittens on his doorstep.  There are a lot of surprises in the book which I did not see coming.
Was this review helpful?
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James.  Not one but two mysteries, not one but six kitties, a loving family and friends, books.....all together in a delightful cozy mystery.  Can't believe that I have missed this series before.  Fell in love with Diesel and Charlie, will be looking for Ms James back list.  

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGaley for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. Charlie and Diesel are back! This is a great series and this latest installment does not disappoint. Loved the ending and can’t wait for the next one!
Was this review helpful?
Miranda James continues the Cat in the Stacks series with Six Cats a Slayin". Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat have been lumbered with six kittens left on the door step just before Christmas.  When Charlie attends a neighbor's party, the neighbor drops dead:  poisoned!!!  Who was she really? Who hated her enough to kill her?
Who left the kittens?  Many suspects and not too many clues.  Diesel and Charlie have their work cut out.
Was this review helpful?
As the Christmas season approaches, I found this book to be an enjoyable mystery, and joyful celebration of the season. The ending was heartwarming and satisfying.
Was this review helpful?
I'm almost mad at myself that it took me this long to really start reading this series. This is the 3rd book I've read and each one has been a delight.  This was especially fun because not only did if feature a mystery involving figuring out the true identity of the victim but it also had a basketful of kittens! 

The setting and the characters really add to the atmosphere of the book and I feel like I'm catching up with old friends.  There is some non-investigation information about Charlie's grandchildren or things like that but it isn't so much that the mystery gets lost and it adds a little depth to the characters.  The actual murder doesn't occur until almost a 100 pages into the book but there's so much going on already that it didn't drag and there were already some questions I wanted answered!  This was the perfect calming reading break and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Charlie's world in Athena, MS is quirky and fun with memorable characters and it's always a place I look forward to revisiting. 

If you enjoy a good fast paced mystery with likable characters and a cat that will make even non-cat people fall in love with him you must try this series!
Was this review helpful?
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James is the tenth novel in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series. Charlie Harris has a new neighbor, Gerry Albritton who makes him uncomfortable with her overly flirtatious manor. Gerry is hosting a Christmas party to meet her new neighbors, and she sends over her assistant to make sure Charlie will be attending.  Charlie will attend if his girlfriend, Helen Louise Brady can be on his arm (protection).  Christmas is approaching, and it is Charlie’s first one as a grandfather.  He is worried about his daughter-in-law, Alex who seems exhausted from work and taking care of a colicky baby.  But Alex is not ready to accept help.  Charlie opens the door one day to find a box of five kittens on his doorstep with a note asking him to keep them safe.  Diesel decides it is his duty to keep the little frisky felines out of trouble.  At Gerry’s Christmas party, the whole neighborhood has shown up.  Gerry has been causing a stir with her attempts to buy up the houses on the street and her over-the-top outdoor Christmas decorations.  There is quality champagne and inexpensive appetizers.  Suddenly there is a loud crash and, when the crowd parts, Charlie sees Gerry collapses on the floor.  Helen Louise performs CPR, but Gerry is pronounced dead by the EMTs. Gerry’s death is suspicious, and Charlie is curious which one of the party attendees is the killer (and will be getting coal in his stocking this Christmas).  Charlie has two mysteries to solve and Christmas preparations to complete.  Will he get is all accomplished before Santa slides down the chimney?

Six Cats a Slayin’ is a light and joyful Christmas cozy mystery.  Charlie is a unique main character for cozy mysteries because he is male.   Charlie Harris is a librarian at the local college in the archive room.  His cat, Diesel goes with him to work (and about town) and contributes with his little chirps which are so cute (and expressive).  Diesel appoints himself guardian of the kittens which exhausts him since they are so busy.  Thankfully, Charlie’s renters come up with an idea to keep the curious kitties contained.  Gerry Albritton has moved into the neighborhood and is wasting no time making her mark.  She has flirted with every man she has encountered and is now trying to buy up her neighbor’s homes.  It is no surprise when when Gerry ends up murdered.  Solving Gerry’s murder was a cinch.  I was surprised when it did not occur until I was almost halfway through the book.  One little detail gave me the identity to Gerry’s killer (I kept hoping it I would be wrong since I would have loved a twist).  I did enjoy reading on to find out more about Gerry since she was mysterious about her background.  The mystery surrounding the kittens was a puzzle and who doesn’t love cute felines.  Six Cats a Slayin’ contains good writing with a gentle pace. Six Cats a Slayin’ contains Christmas preparations, taking care of the kittens (in detail), speculation on Gerry’s killer, shopping for Christmas presents, food preparation and eating, playing with kittens, Charlie talking about his weight and needing exercise, attempts to catch the kittens’ owner, time spent at work, and concern about Alex.  Charlie has caring friends and a loving family.  They rally round to help out when there is a need.  Six Cats a Slayin’ is a merry cozy mystery that will have you laughing over the rambunctious kittens’ behavior.
Was this review helpful?
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele

I just adore librarian Charlie and his most estimable cat Diesel, and it is hard to believe that Six Cats a Slayin’ is the tenth book in the Cats in the Stacks Mystery Series.  The plot and characters are as fresh as ever with the added benefit of these characters feeling like old friends.

Christmas is quickly approaching, and Charlie is excited to celebrate with his family, especially his two grandbabies experiencing their first holiday season.  However, all is not smooth sailing when he meets his new neighbor, Gerry, whose bold flirtatious nature and sights set on buying houses in the neighborhood make Charlie uncomfortable.  In addition, someone has dumped a box of kittens on Charlie’s doorstep, and his daughter-in-law is facing a crisis.  When Gerry is murdered at her own Christmas party, Charlie investigates, uncovering deep secrets along the way.

Charlie has got to be one of the decent men in the literary world.  His old-fashioned Southern manners and his genuinely kind and curious nature make me wish he was a real person I could call my friend.  His sleuthing never seems over the top or inappropriate; he simply puts his vocational skills and sharp mind, along with his gossiping friends, to work.  I do appreciate that Deputy Kanesha actually seeks out his opinion and knowledge this time around.  Gerry, the victim, does start out rather unlikable, but the more we learn about her, the sadder I became about her senseless death.

There is a lot going on in this book, but the pace is never rushed and the various threads fit together nicely. Author James tackles some timely and serious subjects within the pages of Six Cats a Slayin’, all with a deft, sensitive touch.  What could be too heavy for a cozy mystery left in another author’s hands is balanced well with the antics of five feisty kittens and Christmas preparations.  There are plenty of murder suspects and lots of revelations leading to the killer.  In fact, I did not pay enough attention to a clue early on that proved vital in identifying the perpetrator in the end.  It is a smart, well-crafted mystery.

 Six Cats a Slayin’ is a wonderful read, appropriate for the Christmas holiday season or anytime.  I recommend it to any fan of cozy and traditional mysteries.
Was this review helpful?
Even though it still feels too early to talk about the Xmas holidays, this was still the perfect book for this week. Why? Because just like Charlie Harris, we got a kitten this week. But we got just the one, while Charlie found five little ones on his and Diesel’s doorstep.

If our two boys turn out to be half the cat-uncle-babysitter that Diesel does, we’ll be very happy. Also totally astonished.

Back to the book…although our itteh bitteh kitteh is utterly adorable.

This is the holiday entry in the cozy mystery series Cat in the Stacks. Our hero, amateur detective and fellow librarian ends up with two mysteries to solve. One mystery has a suitably heartwarming ending for the holiday season and the other is a convoluted murder case.

There is no such thing as a “heartwarming” ending to a murder case. Someone has died before their time, and someone else needs to pay for bringing that time ahead of schedule.

The first part of the mystery is that stealth placement of five kittens on Charlie and Diesel’s doorstep, along with a note that lets Charlie know that although the kittens owner loves them, his or her male parent is not letting said owner keep them at home. Based on the handwriting, the owner is a child – and said parent is being a Grinch this Christmas.

So Charlie’s first mystery is to find the owner of the kittens, so that he can give that male parent a piece of his mind – as well as get the owner’s take on what to do with the kittens. They are almost old enough to be adopted out, so in the six to eight week range. And he can’t keep all five, as much as he wants to. Diesel is exhausted playing uncle to the brood.

At the same time, there’s a much darker mystery wrapped around the sudden advent of his new neighbor, Gerry Albritton. She claims to have lived in tiny Athena all of her life, but no one seems to recognize her. She looks vaguely familiar, but no one can place her. And there are no females of the right age on the well-known Albritton family tree.

Gerry is a mystery. Also a slightly distasteful one. She comes on much too strong to all of the men who get within grabbing distance, and makes everyone, especially Charlie, uncomfortable with her heavy-handed flirting. She’s also had the most garish holiday light display ever seen in Athena set up in, at and on her house.

Charlie needs blackout curtains to sleep at night.

But everyone in town is invited to the big holiday shindig she is hosting – and no one plans to miss it. Including Gerry’s murderer – whoever they might be. Whoever Gerry might be.

Escape Rating B+: This series is a comfort read for me, and I was certainly comforted by reading it. This series is always very cozy, with lots of friendly and family happenings stashed in between the bits of Charlie solving the murder. It is also not a series where you have to read the books in order to get into the action. Although I think it helps to have read at least one or two.

The fact is that I like Charlie. While his penchant for solving murders is a bit outside the usual librarian job description, what makes this series work for me is that Charlie sounds like “one of us”. His experiences as a librarian ring true for me as a librarian. If they didn’t it would throw me out of the story. (This reflects very much on the observations about scientists in Friday’s Putting the Science in Fiction review. When we know something intimately, and an author goes there, if the scenario doesn’t ring true the rest of the book falls flat. Or gets thrown against a wall.)

Charlie reads like “one of us librarians” because his creator is a real-life librarian. I’d be happy to have drinks at a library conference with either one of them.

I also like that Diesel, Charlie’s big, handsome Maine Coon cat, is intelligent for a cat but does not veer into human intelligence. I love Joe Grey in Shirley Rousseau Murphy’s series of the same name, but one cat detective is enough. Instead, Diesel makes himself a big part of the story by doing what cats do best – taking care of their people, making sure their people take care of them and getting into just the right amount of mischief.

Although Diesel’s role in this story is to keep the clowder of rambunctious kittens OUT of mischief. It’s an exhausting job, but somebody definitely has to do it!

The solution to the mystery of who dropped the kittens at Charlie’s door had just the right kind of light touch to offset the family crisis that Charlie has to deal with and especially with the increasing mystery that surrounds Gerry Albritton. Not just the mystery of her death, but first the mystery of her life. It’s impossible for either the police or Charlie to figure out whodunnit until they are able to discover who it was that got done.

Gerry’s life is a tragedy that turned into a triumph and ultimately back into the tragedy of her death.Once they figured out who she was, it was all too easy to figure out who benefitted from her death.

But the final tragedy was appropriately leavened by the advent of the most rambunctious of the kittens into Charlie and Diesel’s life. For good this time!
Was this review helpful?
Delightful! Great mystery and terrific continuation of the story of these characters. I loved all of the pieces with Diesel and the kittens. The author did an outstanding job with the descriptions for this piece of the story. I enjoyed trying to puzzle out the mystery. While it resolved fairly quietly (no big life-or-death confrontation at the end), that fit with the overall tone of the story. This was quite charming and reminded me why I fell in love with this series from the beginning.
Was this review helpful?
Charlie is looking forward to the holiday season with being a newly minted grandfather, the only downer is his new neighbor who he doesn't much care for much.  He does his best to avoid her because anytime she catches him she flirts outrageously and make shim uncomfortable.  Gerry is a local real estate agent who seems to have designs on the houses in their neighborhood.  When Charlie gets an invitation to a party she is holding he immediately invites Helen Louise so that she can see that he is taken.  With tacky Christmas decorations, terrible food, and several angry guests Charlie is ready to head home and forget the party.  It looks like Helen Louise might be ready to leave when their hostess drops dead to the floor.  Did she have a heart attack or could she have been murdered?  If so, how and why?  Charlie wants to help figure out what happened but someone has left five kittens on his porch and they are taking up a great deal of time.  He also wants to figure out who left the precious bundles and why.  Can he figure out both mysteries before Christmas?  Follow along and find out!  This was a great read with a wonderful twist that turned the mystery on its head.
Was this review helpful?
Christmas is almost here and Charlie Harris has his hands full. His daughter-in-law is a new mother and not handling it very well. His concern for her and his new grandchild occupies his mind, but his concerns do not stop there. A box of kittens land on his doorstep. Along with his faithful Maine coon cat, Diesel, they take care of the kittens until they can find out who put them there and why. 

Mysteries always surround Charlie and Diesel. Their neighbor, realtor Gerry Arbitron, is more than a little interested in Charlie and his house. She’s a nuisance, but Charlie tries to be neighborly. He accepts her invitation to a big holiday party. The whole town is there, but things don’t end well for Gerry when she ends up the victim of a murder.

Charlie is hot on the trail of a killer. The clock is ticking to December 25th. Charlie doesn’t want to ruin the holiday with an unsolved murder mystery.

What can be better than a new “Cat in the Stacks” mystery set to the backdrop of Christmas? This is the 10th book in the series with an absolutely gorgeous cover.

I’ve always adored this series.    Although I’m a bit behind on it, I couldn’t resist reading the newest edition. It’s like visiting old friends. Diesel sort of takes a backseat in this murder mystery as he has his paws full with kittens. Being a cat lover, my favorite scenes are the ones with Diesel taking care of the kitties. It’s a sweet secondary plot line to the main murder storyline.

The murder mystery takes several twists and turns. They made my head spin and I was quite surprised at the outcome. I really did not want the book to end. I wanted more Diesel! 

Beautifully written, it’s the perfect cozy mystery for this time of year. I can’t say enough good things about it.  It left me in happy tears.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

Six Cat’s a Slayin’ is the tenth book and my first introduction to the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James.

Christmas is right around the corner and Charlie is doing his best to show peace and goodwill toward his new neighbor Gerry Arbitron. But when Gerry winds up dead at her own holiday party? Dun! Dun! Cue the mystery element of this story. With a new mystery to solve, the last thing Charlie expects to find on his doorstep is a box with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. Aww! Cue the cuteness factor of this story.

As I mentioned, this was my first introduction to Charlie and his cat Diesel. Apparently, they have quite the reputation for solving crimes. Since I haven’t read the previous nine books, I found the mystery element and Charlie’s involvement a little hard to take in. Perhaps if I had known these characters a little better, it would have made the story a little more believable?

To me, most of the focus of this book seemed to be the five kittens and where they came from. That was okay with me because it was a great side story. And what’s not to love about kittens?! But I love a good mystery and would’ve liked a deeper look at what really happened to Gerry. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the mystery and I thought it was down well, but it ultimately felt rushed through.

I will eventually read the previous books in this series. I look forward to really getting to know Charlie, Diesel 
and the rest of the cast of characters a bit more. If you’re like me and haven’t read another book in this series yet, start at the beginning. I think you’ll enjoy this read a lot more if you do.
Was this review helpful?
Charlie is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed--his first Christmas as a grandfather.
The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel's help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.
Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff's naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.
Series: Cat in the Stacks Mystery - Book 10
Author: Miranda James
Genre: Cozy/Pet Mystery
Publisher: Berkley 
Publishing Date: October 23, 2018
Six Cats a Slayin’ is the 10th book in the “Cats in the Stacks” mystery series. Ms. James easily weaves a tale that both amuses and intrigues. Her writing style is fast-paced, smooth, with a sense of humor and intellect. This new addition to the series, like all the other books, has readers turning the page excitedly.
The character of Charlie is not your average lead in a cozy, he is after all, a he. He is also not the young hunk that so many cozies insert as a love interest. Charlie is a grandfather, and a proud one at that. He has a family he loves, friends, and coworkers that insert themselves into his life when least expected but are always welcome. His love interest, Helen Louise has a way of showing up out of the blue and helping Charlie see reason and to keep a level head.
Charlie’s cat, Diesel is a character all his own. If you didn’t know he was a cat you would assume he was a longtime friend of Charlies. Diesel knows everyone Charlie knows and even goes to work with him.
Other characters in this book/series play an important part in Charlie’s life and solving the murder. Azalea, Charlie’s housekeeper is an intricate part of his life and household. She is also an amazing cook, and more than happy to have 5 new kittens in the house, even if she doesn’t really show it on the surface. Add a daughter-in-law who is suffering from postpartum depression with unachievable mom goals, two new grandbabies and a host of other characters, and you have the makings of a story that draws you in and never let’s go.
Readers will worry along with Charlie and Helen about their loved ones, the kittens that were dumped on Charlie’s front porch, and the new mysterious neighbor who manages to get herself murdered just before the holidays. Charlie feels it is up to him to help solve the murder and the mystery of who the neighbor, Gerry was. When the identity of the victim is resolved, and the murderer unmasked the reader will thrill at the uniqueness of the motive and will understand the reason the killer felt there was no other option.
This book, Six Cats a Slayin’ is warm and inviting, even with murder at its core. It is unique with just enough old-fashioned intrigue to make it a favorite for readers of all types. If there is any issue with the book it is that the reader may need some context on who the players are and what has gone on in the past. Over all, I highly recommend this book, and suggest readers go back to book one to enjoy more of the adventures of Charlie and Diesel.  

ARC Provided by NetGalley
Was this review helpful?