Twelve Angry Librarians

twelve angry librarians

Twelve Angry Librarians
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Miranda James
Berkley Prime Crime, 2017

From the dust jacket, “Lighthearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs…

“Charlie is stressed. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. As if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

“It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset…

“But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them, before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library…”

Sorry for the long introduction; we here at the Library usually try to keep those dust jacket intros short but sometimes it’s hard with adult fiction. Anyway, despite the intro being a little long and a bit salacious (you know our hero, Charlie, is never in any danger of going to prison!!) the book was outstanding. I read it in two days. I waited three months on the hold list for the book and read it so fast I feel guilty. I may have to read it again before I turn it back in!

This light, cozy mystery is a good read and while you know right off who is going to get murdered (in cozies, it’s always the most obnoxious person in the first couple of chapters) its’ less easy to figure out who did the killing. This mystery is a good one and I didn’t figure it out – I had to wait until Charlie revealed who the murderer was!

If you’re looking for vacation reading, check out Miranda James’ mysteries. There are currently two series: this one (The Cat in the Stacks) and Southern Ladies (with 2 elderly Southern belles solving mysteries) that are very well written and fun.

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because the book has a giant house cat and a librarian as its’ central characters! Also, it’s just a darn good story.




Murder Has Nine Lives

murder has nine lives


Murder Has Nine Lives
A Jaine Austen Mystery

Laura Levine
Kensington Books, 2016

From the dust jacket, “The future is looking bright for freelance writer Jaine Austen. She’s signed up for a new job, she’s looking forward to a tropical vacation and her cat Prozac is slated to star in a major commercial. But when the claws come out behind the scenes, Jaine worries that murder might be the only thing to meow about…
“A writer’s life is far from glamorous. Still, Jaine’s new gig to write an ad campaign for Toiletmaster’s new line of self-flushing toilets comes with a few perks—including a date with the president’s dreamy nephew. And with a much-needed trip to Maui on the horizon, it seems life couldn’t get any better—until her cat Prozac is tapped to star in a Skinny Kitty commercial. But Jaine never would have guessed the world of cat food could be quite so catty…
“Jaine is nervous that Prozac won’t be able to take direction, but the finicky furball ditches her diva behavior for the camera, eating and napping on cue like a seasoned pro. But just as Jaine begins dreaming of fame and fortune, Skinny Kitty’s inventor drops dead on the set. Everyone is a suspect—including Jaine. And she’ll have to get her paws on the truth before the killer takes a swipe at another victim.”

Loved this book! It is a funny cozy mystery that has a cattitude-laden hero cat named Prozac! Of course, the narrator of the story, Jaine Austen is pretty funny, too. And her parents – my goodness – crazy humans!! So just as Prozac is about to become famous the inventor of the cat food (who is a nasty piece of work, BTW) insults the rising feline star and calls her ‘fat’! That’s it for Pro – she shuts down and throughout the rest of the book she just mopes around being depressed. (So much like humans!) Meanwhile, the very likable character of Jaine has a murder to solve – and a lot of funny things happen along the way! I was unable to guess who the murderer was so it was a total surprise and that’s the kind of mystery I like!

In the end, Prozac snaps back to her old self, the murderer is caught and all ends well. No overt violence, cursing or sex. This book is very readable for young adults and even older kittens as well. There are a number of other books in this series so at some point in the future I will have to read them, too!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because it’s a lighthearted murder mystery with a manic-depressive cat and a funny, self-effacing female human protagonist.

Reviewer: BobbieSue

William Heads to Hollywood

william heads to hollywood


William Heads to Hollywood
International Cat of Mystery

Helen Hancocks
Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2016

From the dust jacket, “Someone has stolen the statues for the Golden Cuckoo Awards the night before the ceremony. Only William is debonair enough to schmooze the stars and learn who the culprit is. But every cat has his own feline fatale to contend with, and our hero is no exception…. Mischief, glamour, and romance await in this cinematic caper from the creator of William & the Missing Masterpiece.”

Another cute cat picture book! This is like the cozy mysteries BobbieSue reads, only with pictures. I liked the story a lot and the illustrations just a little. I prefer my cats more realistic looking, but I know most kittens like funny-looking cats and other creatures (including humans). It’s a good mystery, just the thing to get kittens interested in reading and trying to figure out who the culprit was/is. I had my suspicions and I was correct in the end, but I also enjoyed the journey with William and his feline fatale, Audrey Mieowski.

Rating: 3 of 5 paws because although the mystery was … mysterious … the illustrations weren’t very appealing to me.





Claws for Alarm

claws for alarm

Claws for Alarm
A Nick & Nora Mystery

T.C. LoTempio
Berkley Prime Crime, Penguin Random House, 2015

From the back of the book, “Since inheriting her mother’s sandwich shop, Nora Charles is more about hot grilled paninis than cold-blooded murder—until her sister Lacey is arrested. The victim, an esteemed art collector and Lacey’s bullying professor, was stabbed in the heart. Apparently, all over a lousy grade.
“Off campus, things were just as dicey. The prof had an ex with secrets, a trophy wife set to inherit a fortune in masterworks, and a scorned student mistress. Going undercover, Nora realizes that investigating this crime is the biggest test of her sleuthing career. Because if she fails, even Nick’s animal instinct won’t be enough to rescue Lacy from a perfectly executed framing.”

This is the second installment of the Nick & Nora Mystery series, the one I’m reading backwards. Now that I’ve read the book I see what a not-so-smart idea that was. The whole mystery was taken out of it for me because I knew who the murder was the whole time – from the third book, Crime and Catnip. Of course I didn’t know the whys and how’s of the mystery, but still… . The result of this previous information as well as others, took all the enjoyment of reading the book – it took a lot of persuading myself to pick it back up to finish it. When I did finish it, I decided not to read the first book, Meow if it’s Murder but Nora keeps bringing up how Nick came into her life so I changed my mind and am starting that book today!

Rating 3 out of 5 paws because while it was a good mystery, it wasn’t riveting enough to keep me reading straight through to the end.




Crime and Catnip


Crime and Catnip
A Nick & Nora Mystery

T. C. LoTempio
Berkley Prime Crime, 2016

From the back of the book, “While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.
“As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him …”

This cozy mystery was a very enjoyable read – refreshing after all the fantasy & dystopian novels I’ve read lately. I liked the character of Nora; she was believable as an amateur sleuth, sandwich shop owner and caterer. This book is the third in the series but it seems I’m reading the series backward as I discovered this book on display at the library, put the other two on hold and the second in the series (Claws for Alarm) came in before the first of the series.

I was a bit incredulous at first about Nick – a lovely black tuxedo (like me) – who knows things about people and communicates them to Nora in various ways like pointing to something with his paw or thumping his tail. But I figured if I can read and review a book, why can’t another intelligent tuxie be able to read and decipher a coded message?

The murder takes place off stage; Nora is attacked twice but the description is not graphic. She has a boyfriend but the romantic episodes are mostly hinted at and are tertiary to the whole story. (Do you like that word, ‘tertiary’? Ever since I heard it on The Big Bang Theory I’ve been waiting for the right sentence to use it in! BTW, it means, “Third in place, order, degree, or rank.”) Also, there is also a connecting plot-line to the series, one that involves Nick’s former owner, a private eye, who has disappeared.

Rating, 3 of 5 paws, because even though the story was enjoyable and easy to read, I figured out who the murderer was before Nora announced it. I didn’t know how it happened but I figured out why it happened.