Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cat-ching up with Charlie Harris and Diesel!


In honor of thier latest release, I pay tribute to:

The Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda (aka Dean) James.


Set in the fictional town of Athena, Mississippi, the action centers around librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel.  Diesel is quite large for his size, but very lovable, and Charlie walks him on a leash and takes him pretty much everywhere he goes.  Unlike the cats in the “Magical Cats” series, Diesel is more of a sidekick for Charlie than an active participant in the mystery solving – although he does lend a paw from time to time.  The series has many charming characters, some of which have even been put into a spin-off series by James. 

  My favorite in the series so far is THE SILENCE OF THE LIBRARY, which revolves around a library exhibit to honor YA novelists – in particular, one octogenarian, Electra Barnes Cartwright, the author of the beloved “Veronica Thane” series.  Once news of the author’s appearance goes viral, another rumor surfaces – that of five unpublished manuscripts – drawing out one rabid fan who will stop at nothing short of murder to get hold of the rare books.  Series book devotees will find the references and facts about actual series books interspersed throughout the book interesting, and it adds to the mystery. 

 their latest adventure, out February 20, is called CLAWS FOR CONCERN.  Here's the back cover blurb from Amazon:

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...

It's always a treat to watch Charlie and Diesel investigate and even though I did guess the killer's identity early on, it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this book.  I liked the character of Jack Pemberton.  Could another spin off series be in the works???????/

Here's to Charlie and Diesel entertaining us for many more adventures to come!


WIN ROCCO'S REVIEW COPY OF CLAWS FOR CONCERN!

You can win ROCCO's hardback review copy of Claws for Concern!  Just leave your name and email address in our comments section and tell us your favorite "Cat in the STacks" mystery!  Entries without an email address will be disqualified, sorry. Contest ends midnight, February 23.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

ROCCO's February Cozy Roundup!

Here's ROCCO's take on Penguin's February roster of cozies!

TOP PICK:
The Fast and the Furriest
Sofie Ryan
February 6
Five Stars

Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance, a shop that sells lovingly refurbished items, in the charming town of North Harbor, Maine. But she couldn't run the store without the help of her right-hand man, Mac--or her dashing rescue cat, Elvis.

Mac's life before North Harbor has always been a little bit mysterious, but it becomes a lot more intriguing when a woman from his past shows up in town, and then turns up dead. Suspicion falls on Mac, but Sarah--and Elvis--know he can't be the killer, and they hope they can prove his innocence quick as a whisker.


Love, love, love this series!  Elvis is a remarkable cat and Sarah is turning into an excellent detective.  Also found myself liking the romance aspect!  If you haven't yet tried this series, I suggest you do so. Good reading on a cold winter night! Five PAws!!!!!!

ROCCO's Second Top Pick
CLAWS FOR CONCERN
MIRANDA JAMES
FEB 20
FIVE PAWS


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...


It's hard to believe that this is the ninth instalment in this popular series, and one can see why!  Each adventure is more thrililng than the last. I personally never tire of watching Charlie and his remarkable cat, Diesel, unravel the clues that will unlock the mystery. This time out, Charlie gets a little too up close and personal with a homicide. I liked the idea of the true crime writer wanting to do a series on Charlie's adventures but wait! Hasn't that already been done LOL.  This book will not disappoint die hard fans of the series and new ones will want to binge on the previous adventures.  Five Paws!!!!!

CLAIRVOYANT AND PRESENT DANGER
Lena Gregory
Feb 6, 2018
Four Stars

Cass has always relied on her abilities to guide her, but after communications with a ghost land her in the middle of a murder investigation, she has to wonder if her gifts are really more a curse.

Cass knows she is meant to help track down the killer--much to the chagrin of local law enforcement--when the apparition leads her to a dead body on the beach near her psychic shop, Mystical Musings. But the police are not the only ones who wish Cass would stick to reading palms. Someone is trying to scare her off, and it will take all her powers of premonition to catch the killer before Cass herself becomes the next victim...


This is the third instalment in the psychic island msytery series.  I've always been a fan of the paranormal, and there is just enough to satisfy me in this series!  Cass gets spunkier with each book! Four stars!


REPRINT OF THE M ONTH
PEKOE MOST POISON
Laura Childs
Paperback edition Feb 6.


In this reprint of New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs's latest Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia Browning attends a "Rat Tea," where the mice will play...at murder.

When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston's most prominent hostesses, to a "Rat Tea," she is understandably intrigued. As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston to promote better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen's entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat. And as she reviews the guest list for suspects, she soon finds herself drawn into in a dangerous game of cat and mouse...

Who doesn't love a tea shop mystery? Theodosia is quickly becoming one of my favorite female sleuths!  The plot is clever and Theo and company are in top notch form.  I also found the idea of a "Rat Tea" interesting!!!!!!  If you weren't able to get the hardcover, get the paperback now!  Five Stars!


WIN ROCCO'S REVIEW COPY OF CLAIRVOYANT AND PRESENT DANGER!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:


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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, Feb. 16!