Book Review: Arsenic and Old Books

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Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks, #6)Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Archives. Genealogy. History. Rare journals written in specific ink and on unusual paper. Of course, I’ll love it. I’m talking about the 6th book, Arsenic and Old Books, in the ‘Cat in the Stacks’ cozy mystery series written by Miranda James. It was published in 2015 but I’m catching up on this series so that I’m ready for the 11th book, which I received via NetGalley last month. The author is a fantastic guy, and the series is always enjoyable to read; hence, it’s a definite recommend for those who love southern stories, even-paced investigations by a lovable amateur sleuth, and witty dialog.

Charlie works at a library in Athena, Mississippi. The mayor brings in a collection of her husband’s ancestor’s journals for cataloging and repair. Her son believes something in them will help showcase why he should be elected to the state senate that year. Unfortunately, as soon as the journals are left with Charlie, tons of people come out of the woodwork to steal them. What exactly did an ancestor write about that’s worth all this trouble? After a few chapters, we find out who knows the potential reason, but before we actually discover it, the journals are stolen and one of the potential thieves is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Charlie and Diesel are on the case.

One of the Ducote sisters makes an appearance, which made me quite ecstatic. There was a friendlier relationship between Charlie and the deputy, Kanesha Berry, whereas in the past, it was a bit cantankerous. James delivers a strong story dating back to Civil War times, a wealth of information on how people wrote journals ~15o years ago, and a lovely change in many of Charlie’s relationships. I appreciate the writing style and tone, and it always makes me relax and focus on the actual story. It’s an easy read but full of complexity in the mystery.

In this book, the mayor looks very suspicious, and we don’t get to meet her husband despite lots of conversations surrounding him and their son’s hope for politics. Throw in a news reporter, some professors, an opponent in the election, and some people with grudges against the family, and you’ve got a lot to work with. Diesel is misbehaving in this book, but he seems to learn his lessons. I need to introduce him to my dog, Baxter, so that behavior is transferred. On to the next one…

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


14 thoughts on “Book Review: Arsenic and Old Books

    lghiggins said:
    June 2, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    This sounds like a fun read. As a longtime fan of Arsenic and Old Lace, the title drew me in immediately. You are to be commended for your goal of completing partially read series.


    Martie said:
    June 2, 2019 at 11:44 AM

    Do you remember the movie “Arsenic and Old Lace?’ I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    robertawrites235681907 said:
    June 2, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    Oooh, this one does sound very exciting, Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

    kathyscottage said:
    June 2, 2019 at 2:00 PM

    Good review. It sounds like a fun mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    June 2, 2019 at 6:13 PM

    Love that title and the premise. I think I have this from NG too… hmm… didn’t realize it was book 11! Will have to check if it’s the same series.

    Liked by 1 person

    macy said:
    June 18, 2019 at 12:50 PM

    Hmmm, haven’t had a good mystery read on my plate since nearly a year ago. Alright, your review has convinced me to give this series a chance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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