Murder Past Due
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime, Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Group, 2010
A cozy murder mystery, Murder Past Due, takes place in the home town of the main character. It is a smallish southern town where everybody knows what is going on in everybody’s lives, or at least they think they do. Into the mostly quiet life of Charlie Harris comes a nemesis from his high school days, Godfrey Priest, bestselling author of violent murder thrillers and all around jerk. One day in town and somebody murders Godfrey. Through his subtle investigation, Charlie finds out he isn’t the only one with a bad memory of Godfrey and more than one person would have wanted him dead.
*Charlie Harris, a librarian who has been widowed 2 years, lives a quiet, orderly life in his deceased aunt’s house, letting out rooms to young men who attend the local college.
*Diesel, a Maine Coon of a couple of years that was rescued by Charlie; Diesel is the life of the place wherever he goes. Charlie takes him all over town on his leash, charming grumpy deputies and soothing broken hearts.
*Godfrey Priest, blows into to town every few years mostly to flaunt his wealth and celebrity to the hometown folks. He made a lot of enemies in high school and since.
*Justin Wardlaw, 18 year old who boards with Charlie, suffers through some pretty traumatic days short life and Diesel is there to pick up the pieces.
*Julia Wardlaw, Justin’s mom who harbors a secret that Godfrey is back in town to expose.
*Deputy Kanesha Berry, in charge of her first murder investigation is testy, stubborn and ready to run anyone over who gets in her way, including Charlie and Diesel.
I really liked this book. I got it from the library after reading a review of a more recent book by the same author on the blog, Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries, & Meows. Mudpie gave the novel in a different series an excellent review and I will be reading that one soon (as soon as our turn comes up on the Hold list). What I like about it, aside from the costarring role of Diesel, is that it’s just a plain good story, with likeable characters, believable plotlines, and it is effortless. By that I mean after reading books that taxed my brain and frustrated me because they didn’t live up to the hype, Murder Past Due was like the scent of coffee on a cold, cold morning. Warm, comforting, good. (Mom’s words, I don’t drink coffee! For me it would be like a freshly caught tuna, cleaned and filleted just for me!!) I don’t know if the other books in the series are as likeable as this one but we can’t wait to find out.
Rating: 4 paws out of 5, for a nice mystery without misery. 5 paws for Diesel!!
Yes, this is Miranda James – a pseudonym of Dean James!
This is Mudpie who reviews mysteries on Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows!!
Other books in the series – I’ll be reading all of them!!!
A big Maine Coon !!!