Cat in the Stacks #12
By Miranda James
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he’s delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who’s starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie’s son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.
Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.
Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a spotlight on the real killer. (Goodreads)
With the ever endearing protagonist Charlie and Maine Coon Diesel, big theatrical personalities, and a challenging mystery, Careless Whiskers is charming and everything readers could want from a cozy.
After his close call in The Pawful Truth, Charlie has no intention of getting involved with yet another murder, but when his daughter Laura becomes the prime suspect in guest actor Luke Lombardi’s murder he can’t not investigate. There are plenty of people who are not Lombardi’s greatest fans that make perfect suspects, including his girlfriend, his stylist (who also happens to be the girlfriend’s ex), his understudy, a young actor he wronged and the actor’s aunt. With lots of motives – love, hate, greed, pride, jealousy – and sufficient clues and misdirection, the mystery keeps readers guessing throughout. The story moves along at a steady pace.
This is the twelfth book in the Cat in the Stacks series so the characters feel like old friends at this point. Charlie is an old-fashioned Southern gentleman (sometimes he comes across as much older than he is), and I adore him and Diesel the cat. Diesel’s every chirp and warble charm me to no end, and the addition of kitten Ramses makes the cat-centric books even better. Series regulars, including Charlie’s children and grandchildren, his boarders, housekeeper, friends, and significant other, all make appearances. All of the characters are relatable and interesting, and I enjoy spending time with them. The conclusion of this book portents an exciting change coming for Charlie, and I cannot wait to read the next book.
Careless Whiskers is a worthy addition to its long running series. Highly recommended.