Miranda James is an author still somewhat new to the Port Library’s shelves. James began writing a cozy mystery series with a library flair called Cat in the Stacks in 2010 with the title Murder Past Due. The series centers on a college librarian archivist named Charlie Harris and his oversize Maine Coon cat, Diesel in small town Athena, Mississippi. Cozy mysteries have the usual murder and mystery, but instead of focusing on grisly details, thrilling chases, and violence the stories contain more daily life of the main character detective and usually take place in quiet, unassuming locations.
The latest volume in the series, called Arsenic and Old Books, has Charlie in the middle of a political race, college tenure possibilities, and preservation of a set of Civil War era diaries. Charlie is tasked with the preservation of the Civil War diaries of a prominent family of the town. However, the diaries are stolen from Charlie’s office the day after he receives them! When a college professor is murdered for her connection to these diaries, Charlie may have little time left before he becomes the next target. At the back of the book is an additional short story relating how Charlie met his enormous pet cat, Diesel. Although number six in the series, this one can easily be read on its own. A few characters may seem out of place, and if you want to start from the beginning you can find the others in the series at the Port Library.
You can get the book reviewed here and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library at 1718 N. Hersey in Beloit. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”