Twelve Angry Librarians – REVIEW

4 out of 5 stars.

Twelve Angry Librarians is the latest installment in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series by Miranda James. I enjoyed it and I enjoyed visiting characters I love again, but this one didn’t hold my attention as well as some of the others in the series.

Book Cover: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery: Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda James - auditorium background, Maine coon cat sitting on counter with a pile of books and a sign saying "Librarian Convention"

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Brief Synopsis

Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself—in handcuffs…
 
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.

It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset…

But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library…

Review

As I stated above, while I enjoyed this latest installment to a point, it didn’t hold my attention as well as previous books in the series. I’ve always been eager to read the new book and devoured it quickly. This one, I actually set aside for a few weeks after starting it (because I had other books to read for blog tours) and then went back to it. I don’t know why it wasn’t holding my attention as well, it just didn’t.

It was still a lovely visit with favorite characters – Charlie, Diesel, Helen Louise, Stewart & Haskell, etc. I’ve enjoyed these characters throughout the series and it’s always fun to visit them in a new book. These are complex characters and many are at a crossroads in their lives in this book (I’m not saying anything more because I don’t want to spoil the book for you!).

I suppose it’s possible that this one wasn’t as riveting for me because while we were still in Athena, the plot centered around a library convention being held so there were more “strangers” and less of our favorite characters.

I did thoroughly enjoy the plot twist that occurred. I certainly did not see that coming! Karma really is a bitch. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything so that’s all I’m going to say about that!

I do recommend this book, especially if you’re already a fan of the series. If you haven’t read the series before, I highly suggest you start at the beginning with Murder Past Due. While the mysteries themselves stand alone, Charlie’s life does change quite a bit during the course of the series and you’ll understand it all better if you start at the beginning!

About the Author – Miranda James

I am a native of Mississippi and recently returned to live in Jackson after spending thirty-three years in Houston, Texas. I have loved mysteries since I discovered Nancy Drew at the age of ten. At twelve or thirteen I wrote a mystery and even submitted it to a publisher — and promptly received a form rejection letter. That dashed my hopes for a writing career for a while, but I went back to writing mysteries while I was in graduate school in Rice. My first published adult mystery was actually the second one I wrote: CRUEL AS THE GRAVE was published in 2000.

Since then I have published twenty additional mysteries, the latest of which is TWELVE ANGRY LIBRARIANS, the eighth in the Cat in the Stacks series. In my day-to-day life I am a librarian like Charlie (except my specialty is medical libraries) and I have two cats, neither of whom is a Maine Coon. I love reading and writing mysteries and taking care of two spoiled cats (that’s probably redundant–all cats are spoiled because they generally accept no less). I write mysteries to entertain readers and help them relax and get away from the pressures of daily life. That’s why I read them myself.

 

 

 

 

Cat with a Clue

4.5 out of 5 stars.

“Cat with a Clue” is the 5th installment of the Bookmobile Cat mysteries by Laurie Cass, and I have to say that I think this one is my favorite in the series so far.

The basic synopsis is that strange things are happening in Chilson and in its library. We start off with our heroine, Minnie, finding a dead body in the library and then there are a series of strange break-ins, both at the library and at other places around town. It’s up to Minnie to help the Sheriff’s Department to figure out who’s behind all this crime. Well, okay, technically it’s up to the Sheriff’s office alone, but Minnie thinks it’s her job too.

I thoroughly enjoy the characters in this series for the most part. They’re complex, well-developed and realistic. Minnie, like the rest of us, has trials just dealing with the stress of life sometimes (and don’t we all!). Since the two characters I didn’t really like left the series in the 4th book, including Minnie’s long-distance boyfriend, this book was even more fun for me to read! Minnie’s new love interest looks promising as well.

Laurie Cass has a very fluid writing style. The story line flows easily from section to section. The transitions of scenes are nearly flawless and I’ve never felt that the story line drags on and on. It moves at a steady pace throughout the whole book.

I will admit that I’m slightly biased on the descriptions of the settings, since it takes place in one of my favorite parts of Michigan. It’s a small town set on a small lake in the northwest portion of the Lower Peninsula, one of those places that Michiganders tend to refer to as “Up North”.  I love reading all the descriptions of the scenery and the places in the book since I’m familiar with the area. I feel like the descriptions aren’t too wordy (which is something I really don’t like), but as I said, I’m a bit biased on that front.

The only reason this book does not receive five stars is because it didn’t have a huge “wow” factor for me or an emotional hook for me, which is part of my criteria for a 5 star book. It is still a wonderful cozy mystery and I highly recommend it and the rest of this series!

[I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not influenced by this, nor was I compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own.]

Reading Up A Storm

5 out of 5 stars

Reading Up A Storm by Eva Gates is the third book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries. I found this book to be absolutely delightful. I’ve enjoyed the series since its creation and this book was no exception. It was very well-written and I love the settings and characters.

What’s not to love about a library set inside a historic lighthouse? That coupled with the fact that Lucy, our heroine, lives in a small apartment on the top floor of the lighthouse, makes it the perfect setting.

I like that while Lucy is often trying to figure out who the murderer is, she doesn’t take unneeded risks like some cozy mystery heroines do. She asks questions and annoys people with that, which sometimes makes the villain come after her, but when it comes to setting up “sting” operations or anything like that, she’s careful to involve friends and/or law enforcement. Many cozy mystery heroines take unnecessary risks and sometimes it drives me crazy. I really like that Lucy doesn’t do that.

This mystery kept me guessing. I wondered about the one character (who ended up being the villain) but I wasn’t sure it was him/her until the end. The plot line moved along nicely. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. I also appreciate the fact that Lucy’s dilemma between two men worked itself out in this book, instead of dragging on and on.

Unfortunately, the sad thing is, that unless this book has some fantastic sales, it’s the end of the Lighthouse Library mysteries. This series really is terrific and I urge you all to check it out. You don’t have to start from the beginning to understand the series. You can read them as stand-alone books. Buy “Reading Up a Storm” by Eva Gates – I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did!

[I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. My review was not influenced by this, nor was I compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own.]