Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are busy decking the halls for the holidays when an unexpected delivery and a shocking murder conspire to shake up the season in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
December twenty-fifth is right around the corner, and Charlie is making his list and checking it twice. He is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed--his first Christmas as a grandfather.
The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel's help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.
Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff's naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.
Questions abound in James's gripping 10th Cat in the Stacks mystery (after Claws for Concern). Widowed librarian Charlie Harris isn't looking forward to the Christmas open house his flirtatious new neighbor, Gerry Albritton, has invited him to attend. But even though she has offended half the town of Athena, Miss., everyone shows up at Gerry's party out of curiosity. Who is this woman who claims to have grown up in Athena, but no one remembers? At least one guest knows more than he or she is letting on, for Gerry collapses and dies, poisoned at her own party. Charlie doesn't relish getting involved in the investigation, but he can't stay on the sidelines. As Charlie looks into Gerry's past, he discovers a tangle of tragic family secrets that have been hidden for decades. Meanwhile, Charlie and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are also dealing with a box of five lively kittens that someone left on his doorstep. James has crafted a warmhearted Christmas story that combines seamlessly with a satisfying mystery.
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Tenth book in series!
Six Cats a Slayin’ is a light and joyful Christmas cozy mystery. Charlie is a unique main character for cozy mysteries because he is male. Charlie Harris is a librarian at the local college in the archive room. His cat, Diesel goes with him to work (and about town) and contributes with his little chirps which are so cute (and expressive). Diesel appoints himself guardian of the kittens which exhausts him since they are so busy. Thankfully, Charlie’s renters come up with an idea to keep the curious kitties contained. Gerry Albritton has moved into the neighborhood and is wasting no time making her mark. She has flirted with every man she has encountered and is now trying to buy up her neighbor’s homes. It is no surprise when when Gerry ends up murdered. Solving Gerry’s murder was a cinch. I was surprised when it did not occur until I was almost halfway through the book. One little detail gave me the identity to Gerry’s killer (I kept hoping it I would be wrong since I would have loved a twist). I did enjoy reading on to find out more about Gerry since she was mysterious about her background. The mystery surrounding the kittens was a puzzle and who doesn’t love cute felines. Six Cats a Slayin’ contains good writing with a gentle pace. Six Cats a Slayin’ contains Christmas preparations, taking care of the kittens (in detail), speculation on Gerry’s killer, shopping for Christmas presents, food preparation and eating, playing with kittens, Charlie talking about his weight and needing exercise, attempts to catch the kittens’ owner, time spent at work, and concern about Alex. Charlie has caring friends and a loving family. They rally round to help out when there is a need. Six Cats a Slayin’ is a merry cozy mystery that will have you laughing over the rambunctious kittens’ behavior.