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Publisher Description

Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are embroiled in a new mystery when a cold case suddenly heats up in the latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie's family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder...

Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town's public library. He's too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book--and who won't take no for an answer.  

A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigate the library's genealogical database. But he's shocked when he learns that the visitor's search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt's husband.

Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he's soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie's new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home...

Mysteries & Thrillers
February 20
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Kris Anderson, The Avid Reader ,

9th A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Claws for Concern by Miranda James is A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It is July in Athena, Georgia and we find Charlie Harris along with his Maine Coon cat, Diesel volunteering at Athena Public Library. Charlie notices the gentleman, who has been coming into the library for the last week, has returned. The man wants to look at the local phone books to locate Delbert Collins. Delbert was married to Charlie’s Aunt Dottie. Charlie discovers the man is Bill Delaney, and he is the son of Delbert Collins. Del never knew about Bill, and Bill did not find out about his birth father until after his mother passed away three months ago. Charlie wants to get to know Bill better and is going to invite him to stay with him. Then Charlie learns that Bill was entangled in a murder investigation. The multiple homicide investigation went cold and was never solved. Charlie teams up with true crime writer, Jack Pemberton to resolve the twenty-year-old case. Jack wants to write a book about Charlie (and Diesel) regarding a few of his past cases (his sleuthing prowess). Accompany Charlie, Jack and Diesel as they delve into the case and uncover a killer.

Claws for Concern may be the ninth book in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, but it can be read as a standalone. I like the author’s writing style (conversational and comfortable) and the characters are developed. Diesel is a smart, lovable cat who enhances the book (I enjoy his manner of speaking and interacting). I do not understand, though, why Charlie feels the need to have someone watch Diesel (a catsitter) when he cannot take the cat with him. This happened a couple of times in the book. I thought the pace, though, was a little slow (especially in the first part of the book). The mystery does not start until the halfway mark. The first half of the story is devoted to Charlie’s daily activities (eating, walking, spending time with girlfriend, volunteering at the library, talking with daughter, watching grandson, etc.) as well as meeting Bill Delaney and talking to Jack Pemberton about his book idea. There was a lack of action through the whole book. There is questioning, looking up records and speculation (ho hum). The mystery had some interesting points, but it was not compelling. There was a lack of suspects which made identifying the culprit a simple matter. The wrap up at the end could have used a few tweaks (it was lacking). I had eagerly been anticipating Claws for Concern after reading Twelve Angry Librarians last year. Unfortunately, Claws for Concern was not of the same caliber as its predecessor. If you are new to A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, then I suggest starting with Murder Past Due. Readers looking for a light, pleasant cozy mystery will be pleased with Claws for Concern.

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