Review: Arsenic and Old Books by: Miranda James

by - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Title: Arsenic and Old Books
Author: Miranda James
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: Cat in the Stacks #6
Pages: 306
Format: Kindle e-book
Source: Personal Purchase


In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature—and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head…

Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long’s husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.

Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly…

Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter… 

My Thoughts:

This book follows the beloved Charlie Harris and his coon cat Diesel who have recently acquired the diaries of Long family and the troubles they went through but when the diaries are quickly stolen it's up to Charlie and Diesel to figure out what is going on.  Of course this leads to many questions when two females become way too interested in the diaries.  One a professor hoping to succeed with writing a book based on the diaries to get tenure the other Ms.Grimes hoping to assist her boyfriend in his goal of becoming a senator.  When a fifth book appears Charlie scans the pages and reads it hoping it will shed light on the Long family and the curiosity the pages hold.  Who stole the books and why kill a professor over it?

I love this series so much I love reading from the male perspective to see how he handles the mystery.  I have also been a fan of Diesel since day 1 and will read any book in this series as the secondary characters are just as good as the main characters.  This one didn't disappoint I also enjoyed the back and forth within the diary pages as well.  Can't wait to see what is next for Charlie and our beloved maine coon cat!

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