Member Reviews

I feel like it's been awhile since I checked in with Charlie and Diesel so I was so excited to catch up with all the fun characters that inhabit the world of Athena, Mississippi (which I'm pretty sure is loosely based on Oxford, MS - home of Ol' Miss). Ramses, the younger much more mischievous cat, is in fine form terrorzing toddlers and providing some comic relief when he appears on the page.

The mystery is one of my favorite kinds of mysteries. Yes, Charlie and crew are investigating who would have wanted Tara dead but they're also investigating Tara. Who is she and what is she hiding? In the time that they've known Tara she's been a closed book and to figure out who wants to hurt her they have to figure out who she is. I love digging into the past and once the mystery got going I was hooked. There is a bit of a slower start and the mystery is definitely a "slice of life" so there's lots of talk about food, what the cats are up to and Charlie's day. This could feel a little frustrating for new readers but if you're a fan of the series it feels like catching up with friends.

If you're looking for a cozy relaxing bookish series with cats this is a fun series to try!

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I began reading Miranda James' cozy mysteries a few years ago and have enjoyed getting to know Charlie, Diesel, Stewart and all of the other wonderful characters as the stories progress over the years. I appreciate that the characters are decent human beings and they all look after each other. I will say, however, that in this particular book I was disappointed in how much time the main characters spent gossiping rather harshly about Tara before she was murdered. I get that she was standoffish but wow, they seemed really mean about it. That said, as usual, this was a fun little mystery to read and I enjoyed the story. Melba is my favorite character, she's the only one with any common sense. I would love to see a spin-off book series about her.

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Princess Fuzzypants here: I love Diesel and look forward to each and every book in this series. It has been fun watching Charlie and his family evolve both the family related to him and his family of friends. His wedding is coming up fast and his son, daughter in law and granddaughter have moved into the renovated farm house he inherited. Things are looking good. He even has an assistant helping him catalogue a new bequest to the library. Tara is, to put it mildly, an odd fish. Her behaviour screams of social ineptitude and she rejects any attempts at interaction but she does the job well.

She also works at the bistro who are catering the housewarming party. That is until she spies someone and beats a fast retreat out of the house. Charlie finds her cowering in the root cellar and takes her home. Or so he thinks. After she is killed in an intentional hit and run, the gang learn that nothing she told them was the truth and she is involved in some very shady dealings. As they try to learn more about Tara and the situation that got her killed, they meet new people who may or may not be involved. The problem is everyone is claiming to be someone else. It is a cat and mouse game but then that is something at which we Maine Coons excel. Trust Diesel to suss out the bad guys.

The mystery had lots of twists and turns but it is always the relationship between the characters that brings me back to this series time and again. I look forward to the next one. Five purrs and two paws up.

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Another solid entry in this well crafted series! This time librarian and archivist Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel are trying to solve the hit and run murder of a mysterious young woman who had been working not only with Charlie but also with his fiance Helen Louise at her Bistro.

Calling herself Tara Martin, the young woman is close-mouthed and not easy to work with, and, as it turns out, is on the run prior to meeting her demise. Charlie discovers that Tara has left behind clues to her identity and reasons for being in hiding in volumes in the rare book archive.

As always, the Cat in the Stacks family of supporting characters is on hand for this visit and experiencing major life events, including Charlie's upcoming wedding to Helen Louise--all in all, a pleasant visit with likable characters.

The mystery unravels itself as clues unfold in a steady and, for a cozy, realistic fashion--a hallmark of this series that also eschews violence. Book and library nerds will be in their element.

Full Disclosure--NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

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As usual Miranda James nails it with an unusual approach in her latest Cat in the Stacks Mystery. Please see my complete review at www.reviewingtheevidence.com.

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Every opportunity I get to read a Cat in the Stacks novel is a real treat. I love getting back into the world of Charlie and Diesel. This installment was fun and fast-paced.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free e-copy.

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3.75 stars

This is a gentle and appealing cozy series featuring semi-retired librarian Charlie and his Maine coon cat Diesel and an assorted cast. Set in a small southern town, Charlie's girlfriend, grown kids, housekeeper, boarders, and co-workers are part of the appeal.

Charlie has a new archive assistant and can't figure her out. She has no social skills, is brusque and secretive and sometimes enraged. Before he can find out what her problem is, she is run down in a hit and run. There are a couple other shady and suspicious characters around town and it seems this is all linked. But when the young woman dies, they can't even come up with an identity as she used fake names and addresses.

Charlie is less aggressive than usual in pursuing this mystery, maybe because his son doesn't like him putting himself in danger and maybe because Charlie's wedding to Helen is mere weeks away. But we enjoy watching him puzzle things out and the interaction among the familiar and appealing cast of characters. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I enjoyed this book more than the previous one. Charlie doesn’t take as many chances with his life as in some of the others in the series.
It has an interesting plot with suspects showing up at various parts. The big plot twist was a total surprise. I read it pretty quickly.

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I do love Diesel. He is a fascinating creature. The title was a bit confusing, but this was a wonderful addition to the series.

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A sister seeks refuge in her hometown when an embezzlement scheme turns south.

Charlie Harris is an archivist and rare cataloger. He hires Tara who is a hard worker with a less than desirable personality. Tara works with Charles fiancé and assists with a housewarming event. The event draws many people, one of whom sends Tara into panic mode. Charlie finds a code after Tara's death, leading to the unraveling of a double life.

I highly recommend this book.

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I like this series, but some of the internal dialogue of the main character is strange and unnecessary. I feel like he's telling the reader too much of his actions and thoughts. I did enjoy the mystery and thought there was enough going on to keep it interesting.

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Charlie Harris has a new assistant. Tara Martin is kind of rude and more than a little anti-social, but she's a good worker and Charlie is willing to overlook her odd behavior as long as she continues to do good work at the archives for him and at the bistro for Helen Louise. But when a catering job goes wrong and Tara is subsequently found murdered, Charlie decides to dig a little deeper into who Tara Martin really is.

This series hit a bit of a funk a few books ago but it is going strong again! I love Diesel and though I'm still not super crazy about the rascally Ramses, he is growing on me. Charlie and Helen Louise are sometimes a bit sickeningly sweet but I know a few couples who are exactly like that, it's adorable. The investigation in this book focuses mainly on the archives and I thought that was interesting. We do finally get to see the fully remodeled Harris family farmhouse but apart from that Charlie sticks close to home.

The ending was a bit disappointing at first read, but when I thought more about it I realized that it relates back to Agatha Christie, which Charlie reads in this book. So though it might have been a bit of a let down when viewed as a regular, current-day cozy, it's actually kind of perfect considering the references made in the book.

This series is a classic and a must read for cozy fans.

Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

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This was a winner in the mystery genre, it had a great plot going on and enjoyed the idea of what was happening. The characters were everything that I was expecting and glad the concept worked with the characters. Miranda James has a great writing style and left me wanting to read more in this series.

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Another good installment in the Cat in the Stacks series written by Miranda James. Requiem for a Mouse, a cozy mystery about a seemingly timid woman hiding something, offers a light investigation and a chance to catch up with Charlie, Diesel, and some old friends. Charlie's wedding is approaching soon, but before then, his son and daughter-in-law are finished renovating their ancestor's home. At the party, the timid woman -- Tara -- claims she had a panic attack but nothing seems in line with her behavior. Then she disappears and is found during a hit-and-run. Who wanted to kill her? Books arrive at the library to be catalogued, specifically by Tara, and then Charlie begins to find more clues. Lots of run to read, and I am excited about the ending, letting us know about an upcoming trip to Ireland!

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I will always shout the praises of this series! Miranda James has written a delightful mystery series called A Cat In The Stacks. If you love books, cats, a touch of humor, and good manners, these mysteries are perfect for you. They have stood the test of time. They have vibrant characters and a well-crafted mystery that keeps you engaged. This book is excellent, as all the rest are, and maybe even the best one yet! It was full of fun surprises and a fast, easy read. I have always been and will always be a huge fan of Ms. James. Many thanks to Berkley Publishing for bringing the world Author Miranda James.

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Charlie and his cat Diesel are listening to his children and his housekeepers daughter, and keeping their noses out of the detection business. Instead Charlie is preparing for his upcoming wedding. He does find his new assistant a little odd though. When she disappears while helping at Charlie's sons open house, C Charlie knows something is going on on her life, and he tries to help her. A hit and run does not help. Another fun book in the series of part time librarian Charlie and his sidekick Diesel

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A wonderful addition to Charlie and Diesel's adventures. A bit too sweet and cozy at times, which makes for some eye rolling; however, the mystery pulls you in and you can't help love the cast of characters. A series that feels like true comfort.

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All of the familiar, beloved characters in Miranda James’ cozy series return in Requiem for a Mouse. Charlie Harris, archivist and librarian, is back with his Maine Coon Cat, Diesel, along with all the members of his household and extended family. Although Charlie isn’t as actively involved in the latest case as he would like, sooner or later all the suspects show up in Charlie’s office at Athena College.

Tara Martin is a new employee who works part-time in the archives. Charlie finds her a little odd, and his friend Melba Gilley agrees with him. Tara has no social skills, and tends to blurt out things without thinking, comments that aren’t very tactful. When Charlie checks with his fiancee, Helen Louise Brady, at her French bistro, she says the same thing. Tara works part-time for her, and usually has to work in the kitchen because she’s been known to disappear when she’s working the floor.

In fact, it’s one of Tara’s disappearing acts that worries Charlie. She’s part of the bistro’s catering team at the housewarming at the farmhouse home of Charlies’s son and daughter-in-law. She’s working when all of a sudden, seeing the party guests, she turns pale and leaves. When Charlie finally tracks her down, she insists she had a panic attack. But, Charlie thinks she looks frightened. He insists on driving her home, to a sketchy side of town. But, he’s shocked to learn she’s been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, and is not expected to live.

When Charlie digs into Tara’s story, he finds a woman with multiple addresses and a fake name. When strangers start to show up at the college, Charlie suspects Tara has a mysterious past. He hands a few clues over to Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry, but those clues only leave Charlie more befuddled. Who was the strange woman who worked in his office?

There were too many fake identities and lies involving the murder investigation, but the sheriff’s department finally arrests the villains. And, let’s face it. Fans of this cozy series read the books to see what Charlie and Diesel are up to, to follow along with Charlie’s relationship and upcoming wedding to Helen Louise, and to catch up with all the friends and family. The murder case might have been a little dragged out, but Requiem for a Mouse satisfies the need to catch up with old friends.

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Requiem for a Mouse is an enjoyable cozy mystery. The characters are well defined, a great sense of place and Diesel and Ramses are fun cats. However, I felt this book was not quite as good as the others in this series. That said, I would recommend this book.

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Librarian and amateur detective, Charlie is once again drawn into a murder mystery. He tries valiantly to stay out of the way and let the professional law enforcement work to find answers but his reputation encourages folks to draw him into the fray. This is an engaging and twisty whodunnit and features all the characters readers of the series have come to enjoy: Helen Louise, Melba, Stewart & Haskell and most especially, Diesel, Charlie’s perceptive Maine Coon cat. Recommended, especially for fans of the previous titles.

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