maine coon cat

Book Review: File M for Murder by Miranda James

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File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks, #3)File M for Murder by Miranda James
My rating: 4+ of 5 stars

After finishing the ‘Southern Ladies’ mystery series by Miranda James, it was time to catch up on the ‘Cat in the Stacks’ mystery series, beginning with the 3rd of eleven books to date, File M for Murder. Miranda James is a pseudonym for the author who has several other series under a couple of names. I haven’t gotten to those yet, but I will in time. I really enjoy the author’s writing style, tone, and voice, so I’m apt to pick up any novels that have been written.

The ‘Cat in the Stacks’ books focus on Charlie Harris, a college librarian in Athena, Mississippi (among other roles too), and Diesel, his Maine coon cat. Charlie has two adult children in their 20s, and in File M for Murder, his daughter, Laura, comes home from Hollywood to teach at the college for a semester. Unfortunately, her ex, a famous writer, looms over her and then ends up dead. Charlie has to protect his daughter, which means going up against ruthless Deputy Kanesha Berry, also his housekeeper’s daughter. Laura protests her innocence, but which member of the college or town of Athena had it in for the famous writer? We learn he lived there once before, he’d been having an affair with someone else, and he was researching a past death. Just how did it all catch up to him finally?

A few reasons why you might love this series: (1) a southern setting with charm and true heritage, (2) a cat who takes over everywhere he goes, (3) a rivalry between the key cop and the amateur sleuth, (4) an older male protagonist in a cozy, and (5) a strong cast of characters who will keep you guessing for many pages. James always packs a nice punch with the reason why the killer murders someone. When it’s related to Charlie’s past, it’s even better. Knowing the author lives in a town probably not too unlike the main village in his books makes it feel even more authentic.

I already have books 4 and 5, but once I get through those, I’ll order the next group, as I intend to finish them all by this summer. Anyone want to join in?

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