Out of Circulation
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime, Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin Group, 2013
Charlie and Diesel are faced with a problem: their beloved housekeeper, Azalea, is found standing over the broken body of one of Athena’s most disliked women of society – and the sheriff believes Azalea to be guilty of murder! Another mystery in the Cat in the Stacks series where Charlie Harris, librarian and rare books cataloguer, must work behind the scenes to solve the murder and Diesel, a giant cat even by Maine Coon standards, goes about his important business of consoling and soothing broken hearts.
*Charlie Harris doesn’t spend as much time in the library in this book. After the murder he is enlisted by not only the Ducote sisters to find the fiend but by Azalea’s daughter, Deputy Chief Kanesha Berry, as well. He and Diesel go back to the scene of the crime to reenact the murder, visit not so savory characters and delve into the Ducote’s past to find the answer.
*Misses An’gel and Dickce Ducote, spinster sisters in their 80’s and leaders of the upper class of Athena, they are at odds with a certain member of the Friends of the Library, who ends up dead!
*Azalea Harris, housekeeper for Charlie and his boarders. She has a secret reason for being at odds with Vera Cassity and that puts her on the suspect list.
*Deputy Chief Sheriff Kanesha Berry, daughter of Azalea, which means she is unable to run the investigation. She enlists the aid of Charlie to absolve her mother.
*Helen Louise Brady, owner of the local bakery and love of Charlie.
*Stewart Delacorte, a boarder with Charlie and college professor.
*Vera Cassity, a rather disagreeable socialite who is a war with everyone she meets. She does a lot of good charitable works but does it to be seen and not out of her heart -if she even has one.
*Morty Cassity, Vera’s long-suffering husband – he, too has a secret reason for wanting Vera dead.
*Sissy Beauchamp, she is rumored to be having an affair with Morty Cassity.
*Hank Beauchamp, Sissy’s brother, has gambled away their inherited fortune and has prime reason for wanting Vera gone so Sissy can marry Morty and he can have access to Morty’s millions.
*Sheriff Gerald Tidwell, investigates the murder and doesn’t appreciate the help of Charlie and Diesel. He immediately jumps to the conclusion that Azalea is guilty and it is up to Charlie to prove him wrong. Diesel does not like him, so Charlie does his best to stay well away.
I enjoyed this installment of Cat in the Stacks series as much I as like the others. It is a good mystery, lots of colorful characters and a surprise murderer. A few twists and turns along the way and reading it was good way to spend a couple of rainy afternoons.
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for another really good mystery!!
“Miranda James” pseudonym of Dean James!!
not Diesel, but a Maine Coon!