Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Claws for Concern: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Welcome!  I hope everyone is having a good week thus far.  Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower will be out on Tuesday, February 27.  It is the second novel in An Amish Candy Shop Mystery series.

Claws for Concern by Miranda James is A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It is July in Athena, Georgia and we find Charlie Harris along with his Maine Coon cat, Diesel volunteering at Athena Public Library.  Charlie notices the gentleman, who has been coming into the library for the last week, has returned.  The man wants to look at the local phone books to locate Delbert Collins.  Delbert was married to Charlie’s Aunt Dottie.  Charlie discovers the man is Bill Delaney, and he is the son of Delbert Collins.   Del never knew about Bill, and Bill did not find out about his birth father until after his mother passed away three months ago.  Charlie wants to get to know Bill better and is going to invite him to stay with him.  Then Charlie learns that Bill was entangled in a murder investigation. The multiple homicide investigation went cold and was never solved.  Charlie teams up with true crime writer, Jack Pemberton to resolve the twenty-year-old case.  Jack wants to write a book about Charlie (and Diesel) regarding a few of his past cases (his sleuthing prowess).   Accompany Charlie, Jack and Diesel as they delve into the case and uncover a killer.

Claws for Concern may be the ninth book in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, but it can be read as a standalone.  I like the author’s writing style (conversational and comfortable) and the characters are developed.  Diesel is a smart, lovable cat who enhances the book (I enjoy his manner of speaking and interacting).  I do not understand, though, why Charlie feels the need to have someone watch Diesel (a catsitter) when he cannot take the cat with him.  This happened a couple of times in the book.  I thought the pace, though, was a little slow (especially in the first part of the book).  The mystery does not start until the halfway mark.  The first half of the story is devoted to Charlie’s daily activities (eating, walking, spending time with girlfriend, volunteering at the library, talking with daughter, watching grandson, etc.) as well as meeting Bill Delaney and talking to Jack Pemberton about his book idea.  There was a lack of action through the whole book.  There is questioning, looking up records and speculation (ho hum).  The mystery had some interesting points, but it was not compelling.  There was a lack of suspects which made identifying the culprit a simple matter.  The wrap up at the end could have used a few tweaks (it was lacking).   I had eagerly been anticipating Claws for Concern after reading Twelve Angry Librarians last year.  Unfortunately, Claws for Concern was not of the same caliber as its predecessor.  If you are new to A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, then I suggest starting with Murder Past Due.  Readers looking for a light, pleasant cozy mystery will be pleased with Claws for Concern.  The next novel in this series Six Cats a Slayin' which is scheduled to be released on October 23.

Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I will be reviewing Miss Mary's Daughter by Diney Costeloe.  It is a historical mystery set in London in 1886.  I hope that you have a jolly day.  I am off to rake up leaves (thanks to the lack of rain).  The area I raked two days ago looks like I never touched it.  I am currently reading Who the Bishop Knows by Vannetta Chapman which will be published on March 6.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


  1. Can't wait to read this book. Could you tell me who is the artist of that wonderfully evocative painting. Thanks you