4 out of 5 Hoots!
If you have not had the chance to read a cat in the stacks mystery you really need to either go buy it on amazon, or rent it from your local library. This series is incredibly well written and the main character and his Maine Coon cat are written well. No, the cat does not help solve any mysteries, but he is pretty awesome.
File M for Murder is book 3 in the series and once again Charlie, the local librarian, finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation. How does a librarian get involved with yet another murder investigation you ask? Well, technically he isn’t, it turns out that his daughter is a suspect so naturally he wants to try and figure out who the actual murderer is!
Miranda James (this is actually a pen name) does an amazing job catching new reader up on who each character is just in case they haven’t read the other books. Even Diesel, the cat, has his time in the spotlight. But what really makes this book stand out is how much of a southern gentleman Charlie is. It really seems like it is a whole different world when you read it. I mean all of the men actually stand up when Kanesha, the police chief, walks into the room because that is the respectful thing to do. Plus there is the focus on family which is so sweet! Seriously, the southern charm of this book is honestly irresistible.
The pace of this book was excellent as well. Just as you think you are getting something figured out something else happens to throw you for a loop. There are so many layers to the murders in this book and Charlie doesn’t necessarily solve every piece of the puzzle. That is another reason that I enjoy this series! The police are never the last to know things. Yes, Charlie is able to provide some information to Kanesha, but she solves the crimes. She is actually a very good detective which is not always the case in some cozy mysteries.
As far as cozy mysteries go, this is one of my absolute favorites. The only reason it did not get 5 stars is because Charlie’s daughter was a little annoying. She was a bit manipulative and put Charlie in a bad situation. Granted, without her stealing something from the crime scene we wouldn’t have found out the while story behind why the one character was murdered. All in all the book was great, you just have to tolerate Charlie’s daughter for a portion of the book, but it was worth it.