Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks #12)
When librarian Charlie Harris' daughter is falsely accused of murder, he and his faithful feline Diesel must leap forward to crack the case in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series. Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he's not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel's help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.

Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks #12) Details

TitleCareless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks #12)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 21st, 2020
PublisherBerkley Books
ISBN-139780451491152
Rating
GenreMystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Careless Whiskers (Cat in the Stacks #12) Review

  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Careless Whiskers is the 12th book in the Cat in the Stacks cozy mystery series written by Miranda James. I've previously read all of these books plus another full series in the author's canon. It is one of my favorite series, and I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on this latest one. The series revolves around librarian Charlie Harris, who lives in Athena, Mississippi and has two grown children. He's dating a woman who runs a bistro in town, and he works on a college campus. Between his cat Careless Whiskers is the 12th book in the Cat in the Stacks cozy mystery series written by Miranda James. I've previously read all of these books plus another full series in the author's canon. It is one of my favorite series, and I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on this latest one. The series revolves around librarian Charlie Harris, who lives in Athena, Mississippi and has two grown children. He's dating a woman who runs a bistro in town, and he works on a college campus. Between his cat Diesel and a few other friends, they usually figure out who killed the victim in each book. Sometimes, they get a little too close for their own good too.In this caper, Charlie's daughter is acting in a theater performance with a famed Broadway actor she used to know. Her husband is the director, and when the new star's entourage arrives, all craziness breaks loose. The star aggravates a lot of people, and he has a connection to several folks in town. When the playwright shows up... I mean when all of them show up, things get even more confusing. It's up to Charlie to help protect his daughter, as she looks way too guilty. We all know she didn't do it, but the story takes us all over to figure this one out!This series is just as strong as it was in the beginning. The characters are fleshed out nicely, and we have visits from my favorite Ducote sisters (they always steal the story). Charlie's friendships are tested, and he must balance what he wants to do versus being an overprotective father. As the mystery unfolds, we see lots of side arcs, but figuring out which one is pertinent to the murder is definitely difficult. I loved the French theme included in this book, and the ending is quite a nice surprise. Only... what does it mean for the future?I highly recommend this series, and this book is one of the stronger ones. Although the murder doesn't happen right away, things keep you very focused on the drama, and when it does occur, it's a shocking place. Can't wait to see what others think!
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda James has done it again with this charming cozy series with a cat and librarian as main characters. I read this on a chilly, cloudy day, perfect for a cozy mystery. While I love Charlie, Diesel is at the center for me. I just love how James writes his character. It’s nice to take a break from thrillers and read a mystery every once in a while.Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary copy.
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  • Mark Baker
    January 1, 1970
    This spring, Athena College’s theater department is debuting a new play from a local playwright. Charlie Harris is looking forward to it since his daughter, Laura, is going to star in it, and her husband, Frank, is the director. While most of the cast and crew are college students, the college is bringing in a big name for Laura’s co-lead – Luke Lombardi. Unfortunately, he is arrogant, rude, and demanding. And those are his good qualities. Soon he is irritating many people in town. He is also This spring, Athena College’s theater department is debuting a new play from a local playwright. Charlie Harris is looking forward to it since his daughter, Laura, is going to star in it, and her husband, Frank, is the director. While most of the cast and crew are college students, the college is bringing in a big name for Laura’s co-lead – Luke Lombardi. Unfortunately, he is arrogant, rude, and demanding. And those are his good qualities. Soon he is irritating many people in town. He is also the victim of some pranks, but when things turn deadly, Laura finds herself in the spotlight as a suspect. Charlie has sworn off sleuthing after a recent close call, but with Laura’s reputation and freedom on the line, he and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, begin searching for the real killer. Will they be able to clear Laura?Fans are in for another great ride with this book. As if often the case, the murder takes place later in the book, but the time it put to good use introducing us to suspects, motives, and red herrings. I was never bored, and kept turning pages until Charlie figured everything out. All the characters we love are here, both two legged and four legged, and they are a delight as usual. The suspects are strong as well. I continue to enjoy watching how the police are portrayed in this series as smart and competent. This book will please Charlie and Diesel’s many fans and even earn them new ones.NOTE: I received a copy of this book.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Careless Whiskers by Miranda James is the twelfth A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It can be read as a standalone courtesy of the background information provided by the author. Charlie Harris and Diesel are back along with the adorable Ramses. Charlie has sworn off investigating after a close call, but, when his daughter is in the line of fire, he must dive in once again. Luke Lombardi is the guest actor for the performance of Careless Whispers written by a local playwright using the name Finn Careless Whiskers by Miranda James is the twelfth A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It can be read as a standalone courtesy of the background information provided by the author. Charlie Harris and Diesel are back along with the adorable Ramses. Charlie has sworn off investigating after a close call, but, when his daughter is in the line of fire, he must dive in once again. Luke Lombardi is the guest actor for the performance of Careless Whispers written by a local playwright using the name Finn Zwake. Luke has an ego the size of Texas and an insufferable attitude to go with it. Laura and Luke have a series of altercations during the week of rehearsals with Laura stating more than once that she would “kill” him if he did such a thing again (she was frustrated). When Luke ends up dead on the stage after drinking from the glass handed to him by Laura, she finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Charlie knows his daughter is innocent and begins nosing around searching for answers. There are several suspects from Luke’s paramour to his understudy. I liked following Charlie’s investigation. There are good clues and misdirection to distract readers from the solution. In addition, there is the prankster in the theater and two men who both claim to be the playwright Finn Zwake. I thought Careless Whiskers was well-written with steady pacing. I appreciated the addition of my what my father termed ten dollar words (sangfroid and inamorata are two examples). The words suited the education of the characters. I thought that the characters were developed and realistic. The authors descriptions allowed me to visualize each one especially Finn Zwake with his shaggy mane of red hair and ridiculous mustache. Charlie continues to develop as he grows older. It is nice to see him slowing down at work and enjoying time with his grandchildren. I especially love the scenes with Charlie at home with Diesel and Ramses. I find Diesel’s little chirps and trills delightful. It is cute that Ramses tries to imitate his older brother. I laughed often while reading Careless Whiskers thanks to the abundance of humor. The ending was very special and left me smiling. Careless Whiskers is a diverting cozy mystery with an arrogant actor, a frisky feline, disquieting disputes, a phony playwright, and puzzling pranks.
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  • LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL
    January 1, 1970
    Dollycas’s ThoughtsCharlie Harris is enjoying his life and is excited that his daughter, Laura, has a starring role in a local play at Athena College. Careless Whispers is a new play written by a young man with a local connection, Finn Zwake. Laura’s husband, Frank is directing the play. The college has brought in an actor of some fame to boost sales for the event. Laura has worked with Luke Lombardi before and she is not looking forward to playing opposite him in this play. He along with his Dollycas’s ThoughtsCharlie Harris is enjoying his life and is excited that his daughter, Laura, has a starring role in a local play at Athena College. Careless Whispers is a new play written by a young man with a local connection, Finn Zwake. Laura’s husband, Frank is directing the play. The college has brought in an actor of some fame to boost sales for the event. Laura has worked with Luke Lombardi before and she is not looking forward to playing opposite him in this play. He along with his entourage rub almost everyone involved in the production the wrong way.Rehearsals have had their up and downs with Laura trying to keep Luke in his place. There have also been some incidents/pranks against the Hollywood actor. With a “show must go on” attitude the show opens to a full house. All the actors hit their marks until Luke drinks from a glass at the beginning of the second act and he collapses and dies. The glass was filled and handed to him by Laura. Charlie rushes to the stage to be sure his daughter is okay. It is then that he realizes she is going to be the prime suspect.Charlie had a close call recently with a case and vowed to let the police handle any future investigations but that was before his daughter was in the middle of a case. He knows she had nothing to do with Lombardi’s death. So he flips the script and dives right into another murder investigation with his loyal sidekick, Diesel in the quest to catch a killer._______One of the best things about this series is the genuine characters. They are strong in their values, have huge hearts, and are full of southern charm. I could easily imagine sharing a glass of sweet tea and catching up on all that is happening in their lives. Having Diesel and his new buddy Ramses chirping right along is just icing on the cake. Ms. James’s characters continue to grow and evolve. Their dialogues are realistic and crisp. I love the way Azalea keeps everyone in line and their stomachs filled. As always Diesel is my fave. I just can’t get enough of that Main Coon Cat!I really enjoyed that Laura and Frank were featured in this story. It gave the perfect excuse for Charlie to jump into another investigation. It was a twisted investigation too. Mr. Lombardi’s entourage, his dresser, and his lover, formerly husband and wife, really made things very interesting. A playwright conundrum also adds to the mystery.With a perfect pace, this story unfolds with the mysteries entangled with everyday life. The family dinners, Charlie spending time with his grandchildren every week to give their moms a little break, Helen Louise and Charlie’s late-night calls as they try to keep their romance going while she devotes so much time to her bistro, all give the story definition and keep it based in reality. While the number of murders and mysteries pushes the reality the Harris family and friends are always up to the task of solving them. This time Melba, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are along for the ride.Careless Whisker is an excellent addition to this series. The author takes the time to add background so new readers can jump into the series at any time. It is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend all 12 books.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Careless Whiskers is exactly what I expect from a Cat in the Stacks book and still I’m delighted every time! It was packed full of a smart and well-developed plot. The characters just won’t quit and personalities that make you want to call them friends. They have no problem showing love, morals, protectiveness and a trust in each other that binds, me, the reader to their plight. And, if that wasn’t enough, Miranda James just writes great mysteries. Mysteries that glue you to the pages and supply Careless Whiskers is exactly what I expect from a Cat in the Stacks book and still I’m delighted every time! It was packed full of a smart and well-developed plot. The characters just won’t quit and personalities that make you want to call them friends. They have no problem showing love, morals, protectiveness and a trust in each other that binds, me, the reader to their plight. And, if that wasn’t enough, Miranda James just writes great mysteries. Mysteries that glue you to the pages and supply a sleepless but well enjoyed night, because you just don’t want to put it down.I received this ARC copy of Careless Whiskers from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review. Careless Whiskers is set for publication Jan 21, 2020.My Rating: 5 starsWritten by: Miranda JamesSeries: Cat in the Stacks Mystery (Book 12)Hardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Berkley (January 21, 2020)ISBN-10: 0451491157ISBN-13: 978-0451491152Genre: MysteryAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/Careless-Whisk...Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/care...Itunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/carel...
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  • Christa
    January 1, 1970
    Careless Whiskers is another great Cat in the Stacks book. This series is great because of Diesel, the Main Coon cat. He is a fantastic character. I didn't feel like he was as prominent in this book as some of the others, but he was still there enough to add charm to the story. In this installment, a costar in a play Laura is in is murdered after they've had some rather nasty run-ins. Charlie has to figure out the identity of the murder before someone he loves is either arrested or targeted by Careless Whiskers is another great Cat in the Stacks book. This series is great because of Diesel, the Main Coon cat. He is a fantastic character. I didn't feel like he was as prominent in this book as some of the others, but he was still there enough to add charm to the story. In this installment, a costar in a play Laura is in is murdered after they've had some rather nasty run-ins. Charlie has to figure out the identity of the murder before someone he loves is either arrested or targeted by the killer. I enjoyed seeing the normal cast of characters that is made up of Charlie's family and friends. Charlie was at his best here, protective, ethical, and courageous. I really liked the direction he took things at the very end of the book.
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  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating crimes after his last and dangerous encounter. But in Careless Whiskers by Miranda James, he soon lapses especially when his daughter Laura is involved. An egotistical, not very good actor has been hired to star in a play Laura is acting in and her husband is directing. When small incidents turn into a big one, Charlie can't help but get involved.
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  • Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
    January 1, 1970
    This was the 12th book in this series! I haven't read them all but quite a few! I loved this one so much! A great mystery that I enjoyed as a stand alone even though it's in a series! Thank you Berkley Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review! Can't wait to read the next book!
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityI’ve generally enjoyed the whole Cat in the Stacks series, starting with Murder Past Due. And I’ve always felt that the amateur detective around whom this series is based, Charlie Harris, is very much, “one of us” librarians. Which seems totally right, because his creator is also a real-life librarian.So it seemed particularly appropriate to pick up Careless Whiskers while I was attending the recent American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Originally published at Reading RealityI’ve generally enjoyed the whole Cat in the Stacks series, starting with Murder Past Due. And I’ve always felt that the amateur detective around whom this series is based, Charlie Harris, is very much, “one of us” librarians. Which seems totally right, because his creator is also a real-life librarian.So it seemed particularly appropriate to pick up Careless Whiskers while I was attending the recent American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, as I’ve also always said that Charlie is someone I’d love to catch a drink or a cup of coffee with at a conference.I also picked this book because of Charlie’s “large and in charge” sidekick, his 35-pound Maine Coon cat named Diesel. I always miss our kitties when we are away, so I felt the urge to settle in with a feline book baby as my own were too far away too snuggle.There are plenty of hints dropped at the end of the previous book in this series, The Pawful Truth, to let the reader know that this story would be focused on Charlie’s daughter Laura and son-in-law Frank and the next production of the college’s theater department.And so it proves, with Frank directing and Laura co-starring in Careless Whispers by Finnegan Zwake. This particular production is a big part of the department’s annual fundraiser, an event where they get a relatively big name star to come to tiny Athena Mississippi for a couple of weeks to star in a play in the usually correct assumption that the big name star will draw big donor fans.This year is not going to be their best year. Possibly their most dramatic, but even though some of that drama does occur onstage it is not of the type that contributes to a long run of any play.Not that either Frank or Laura is all that eager to see once-upon-a-time Tony nominee Luke Lombardi “grace” their stage or their town. Laura has worked with the overacting thespian before and has no real desire to deal with him again – ever.But as much as she can’t wait to see the back of him – she doesn’t want to see him dead. For real. On stage. On opening night.Especially not when it looks like she’s either the prime suspect – or the next victim.Escape Rating B-: I really, really, really wanted to get into this and love it because this series is such a comfort read for me. I adore Diesel, especially because he’s so himself and so cat at the same time – and he’s just a sweet boy and a smart cat at the cat level of smart. Not that I don’t love Joe Grey in his series, but Joe is human-smart and sometimes human-confused and human-conflicted and it’s a different experience.Diesel is just big and perfectly cat. He’s not ordinary, but he’s not extraordinary in any way that is outside his species norms. And he’s adorable with it.And, as I said at the top, Charlie just seems like “one of us” librarians in ways that writers don’t always get right. So when I settled in to read I thought I’d be all in – and I just wasn’t.This entry in the series fell a bit flat for me. As I look back I’m not quite sure why, either, but it just didn’t zing or gel or any of the things that usually happen when I visit Athena.I think that a lot of that was the theater setting. If I wanted a murder mystery crossed with Noises Off, I’d have found one. I wanted Athena and got locked in a playhouse instead. Another way I keep looking at it is that there was too much show business and not enough murder business. Or it went too far over the top in more than one direction.First there was the business with Lombardi’s dresser and his mistress, who happened to be married to each other. And were both French and seemed more like characters from one of Moliere’s farces than even half-real people.Especially when combined with the two men pretending to be the playwright Finnegan Zwake – accompanied by the equally farcical goings-on surrounding that red herring. Their rivalry, at least, made more sense than the French farce, but it added more comic relief than this particular story needed.Although, now that I think about it, the real reason this didn’t work for me was its lack of dramatic tension. The blurb lures you in, as I did above, with the idea that Charlie’s daughter Laura is going to be the prime suspect in the murder. But she never really is. Even the police detective admits that she doesn’t actually suspect Laura – just that she has to investigate her enough to cross her off her list. And, while Charlie torments himself with the possibility that Laura could have been the next victim, by the time his brain starts going down that path the possibility is already over.So color me disappointed with this entry in the series. But I’ll still be back for Diesel’s next adventure, Cat Me if You Can. I just hope that 13 turns out to be a luckier number for the series!
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  • Jaymie
    January 1, 1970
    [I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]I always enjoy time with Charlie and Diesel and the rest of the characters in this fun series! There was a slow build to the mystery this time - I don't think the murder happened until I was 40% or so into the story. The motives for the suspects weren't ultra strong, either, so Charlie had to really dig for nuances. There are - as always - some great animal moments in the [I received an electronic review copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]I always enjoy time with Charlie and Diesel and the rest of the characters in this fun series! There was a slow build to the mystery this time - I don't think the murder happened until I was 40% or so into the story. The motives for the suspects weren't ultra strong, either, so Charlie had to really dig for nuances. There are - as always - some great animal moments in the book and there was one scene that cracked me up because it was so unexpected in some ways. I was mostly satisfied in the end - I didn't feel like the "pranks" were well resolved in the end. Remember that I read an early copy - there were still some edits done after the fact, so this might have been addressed already. But technically there were 3 pranks, yet the first one was often forgotten. I thought maybe that was a plot device and in the end the "forgotten" prank would be a big part of the reveal, but it wasn't. In fact, I felt like the prankster was never really tied to the first prank very well. It felt like an unresolved thread for me and I was distracted by it. Hopefully that was tightened up in the final edits.Overall, this was a satisfying Charlie and Diesel story - this has been a must-read series for me since book one, and it remains so. (LGBTQ+ - both for the ongoing series characters and also for this particular story.)
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  • Daniele
    January 1, 1970
    Charlie and Diesel solve an interesting case with steady pace and challenging puzzle to solve.
  • Lady Galaxy
    January 1, 1970
    I always enjoy a visit with Charley and Diesel and the Ducote sisters, but this book just didn't quite come together for me. There were a couple of weird continuity errors in this book, almost as if the author rushed to finish it and changed or for forgot details she(he) had previously mentioned. The mystery itself was fairly obvious. The motive seemed to come out of left field.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you @netgalley for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. Careless Whiskers is book 12 in the Cat in the Stacks cozy mystery series. Release date is set for 1.21.20. Charlie is definitely not going to sit by quietly when his daughter becomes involved in a suspicious death. Laura and her husband are hard at work on directing and staring in a play. When a well known, pompous, actor joins the cast as a lead role, you know drama will surely follow. Pranks begin occurring on set Thank you @netgalley for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. Careless Whiskers is book 12 in the Cat in the Stacks cozy mystery series. Release date is set for 1.21.20. Charlie is definitely not going to sit by quietly when his daughter becomes involved in a suspicious death. Laura and her husband are hard at work on directing and staring in a play. When a well known, pompous, actor joins the cast as a lead role, you know drama will surely follow. Pranks begin occurring on set until one day, the actions are taken too far and the actor is killed very shockingly during the productions. Charlie must sort through the numerous clues, help identify who the real playwright is and clear his daughter’s innocence all while keeping out of the way of the detective. I’m new to this series, having only read The Pawful Truth earlier this summer. I rarely jump in reading the latest books, but I’ve had no problem distinguishing the character and following along with their storylines. It’s clear that Diesel, the cat, is by far the star of this series. His antics make me smile each and every time he appears in a scene. I’m quite fond of Charlie too. As I’ve stated before, I don’t typically read books where the protagonist is a mature, male sleuth, but I really love his perspective. His actions and responses show his wise experience. I love how he dotes on his family and friends. He did seem to doze off a lot throughout this story though, lol. The chapters are fairly short and the storyline was very engaging. There were definitely a lot of characters involved so the reader really had to pay close attention to everyone - especially when several were going by the same identity. It was enough to keep me guessing because I didn’t figure out the culprit until close to the end. Talk about a sweet ending too!!! Can’t wait to see how the characters will handle these new, exciting changes as the series progresses.
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    Miranda James marks the twelfth book in the Cat in the Stacks series, Careless Whiskers, by bringing in all the beloved characters, including the Ducote sisters, while staging an entire play. A librarian, cats, theater, some humor, and a murder. What more could a cozy mystery reader want?When Laura Harris, librarian Charlie Harris' daughter, throws a tantrum, she scares Diesel, his Maine Coon cat. Charlie realizes she has a reason to be upset. The star who was to be her leading man in Athena Miranda James marks the twelfth book in the Cat in the Stacks series, Careless Whiskers, by bringing in all the beloved characters, including the Ducote sisters, while staging an entire play. A librarian, cats, theater, some humor, and a murder. What more could a cozy mystery reader want?When Laura Harris, librarian Charlie Harris' daughter, throws a tantrum, she scares Diesel, his Maine Coon cat. Charlie realizes she has a reason to be upset. The star who was to be her leading man in Athena College's spring production of Careless Whispers, had to pull out for medical reasons. Now, she has to appear with a man she detests, Luke Lombardi. He might be a Tony-nominated actor, but he's not a good person. Charlie assures her that her husband, Frank, who is the director, will be able to handle Lombardi.Once he sees Lombardi and his entourage at the welcome reception, Charlie is afraid only the Ducote sisters have the clout to handle the arrogant actor. And, as he attends each rehearsal, Charlie watches Laura and Lombardi spar. Then, someone starts to pull pranks on the actor. Charlie knows Laura wouldn't try to ruin the play, but someone wants to put Lombardi off his game. And, Laura could top the list of suspects when Lombardi dies on stage.Although Charlie promised his children and Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry that he wouldn't stick his nose in, he worries about Laura, and his curiosity gets the better of him. In fact, that curiosity leads to one of the funniest scenes I've read in any of these books as Charlie tries to hide from the police.Careless Whiskers, despite the murder and a few obnoxious characters, is the kind of mystery story that stands for cozy. There's all kinds of talk about food. There are playful cats and a dog. Charlie's family and family love has grown in the course of the series. And, Charlie himself has a woman he loves. As I said, what more could a cozy mystery reader want?
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  • Susan Obryan
    January 1, 1970
    A Maine coon cat and its inquisitive owner take center stage in “Careless Whiskers,” the latest novel by Miranda James. It is the 12th installment in the New York Times best-selling author’s “Cat in the Stacks” series. Miranda James is the pseudonym of Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian who recently returned to his home state after 30 years in Texas, according to his website (catinthstacks.com). Whether writing under the pen name or his own, Dean James has fans eager for mystery and A Maine coon cat and its inquisitive owner take center stage in “Careless Whiskers,” the latest novel by Miranda James. It is the 12th installment in the New York Times best-selling author’s “Cat in the Stacks” series. Miranda James is the pseudonym of Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian who recently returned to his home state after 30 years in Texas, according to his website (catinthstacks.com). Whether writing under the pen name or his own, Dean James has fans eager for mystery and suspense with down-home heart and humor.Charlie Harris is a librarian at a small college in fictional Athena, Miss. The widower is passionate about his family and friends, justice for all, and an arrogant cat named Diesel. The cat goes everywhere with Charlie, including the college theatre where his daughter, Laura, is co-starring in a play directed by her husband, Frank Salisbury.It is there that Charlie and Diesel are caught up in their latest adventure, even though Charlie has sworn off crime fighting. A guest performer, Luke Lombardi, whose fame is fading faster than a falling star, is poisoned on stage. The cast of suspects include Laura who handed him the poisoned drink, a mysterious stranger sneaking around backstage, an odd playwright with location connections, and two French followers (one a lover, one an employee) of the now-dead actor. Is one of these people also threatening Charlie’s daughter, or is there someone else lurking in the wings?James keeps readers entertained with an easy-flowing dialogue and well-developed characters. Readers can identify with the cast and settings. As befitting a well-educated character, Charlie Harris has a way with words and literary references. Recurring characters, such as the Ducote sisters, Melba and Azalea, and developing relationships between humans and pets bring home the small-town feel of neighborhoods and family dinners. And although this novel is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone with easy-to-follow throwbacks to earlier stories. The series began with “Murder Past Due” in 2010, and a new novel has been released each year since then. The next – and 13th - novel, “Cat Me if You Can,” is due out in August 2020.ARC provided by NetGalley
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Another really fun and enjoyable mystery in the Cat in the Stacks series. This is another great example of a typical cozy mystery. Charlie Harris is such a lovely amateur sleuth to follow. He's smart and loving and will do anythingfor his family. Including insert himself into the murder investigation when he fears for his daughter's safety. His Maine Coon cat Diesel is a wonderful sidekick and makes me wish I had a furry friend that I could take everywhere with me and who had good sense of Another really fun and enjoyable mystery in the Cat in the Stacks series.  This is another great example of a typical cozy mystery.  Charlie Harris is such a lovely amateur sleuth to follow.  He's smart and loving and will do anything for his family.  Including insert himself into the murder investigation when he fears for his daughter's safety.  His Maine Coon cat Diesel is a wonderful sidekick and makes me wish I had a furry friend that I could take everywhere with me and who had good sense of judgement when it came to people.  I especially love the cast of characters that surround Charlie and support him even when they wish he would stay away from murder._This series is well written and easy to read; and this book is no exception.  As a reader, you are easily pulled into the story because of the flow and the mix of every day happenings with the dramatic suspense of murder. The over the top new characters balance the logical recurring ones.  I was surprised by the ending and how everything played out.  I am already looking forward to the next installment._Thanks to the publishers for a free copy; I am happy to give my honest thoughts.
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  • TC
    January 1, 1970
    There are many reasons I really like this cozy series. Set in a small university town, the “regulars” remain part of each book but the ever changing university atmosphere introduces us to different groups within the university. This time the action centers on the theater department. While sleuth Charlie Harris is occasionally called Jessica Fletcher, I enjoy that the cozy sleuth in this series is a man with a Maine Coon cat named Diesel. I also like the Old South, small town setting of the There are many reasons I really like this cozy series. Set in a small university town, the “regulars” remain part of each book but the ever changing university atmosphere introduces us to different groups within the university. This time the action centers on the theater department. While sleuth Charlie Harris is occasionally called Jessica Fletcher, I enjoy that the cozy sleuth in this series is a man with a Maine Coon cat named Diesel. I also like the Old South, small town setting of the series. Others have given a good synopsis of the story, so I’d like to encourage you to read this delightful series. The books are standalone so feel free to jump in the middle of the series.
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    As much as I love my dog, Diesel cat would make a great addition to the household.(or even a Ramses cat) Or to my library.The Cat in the Stacks cozy mysteries make wonderful entertainment to animal loving librarians. Careless Whispers is no exception.This installment adds college theater to Charlie's life.Erin Bennett did a nice job if narrating the audiobook.
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  • Homerun2
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsAnother appealing adventure with Charlie, the mostly retired librarian and his Maine Coon cat Diesel. Fans of the series know these are mostly light-hearted adventures with a familiar supporting cast: Charlie's lodgers, his grown son and daughter and families, his lady friend Helen, his work friend Melba, and his housekeeper Azalea and her daughter Kanesha (who happens to be the chief of police).In this outing, Charlie's actress daughter Laura is starring in a local play. The leading 3.5 starsAnother appealing adventure with Charlie, the mostly retired librarian and his Maine Coon cat Diesel. Fans of the series know these are mostly light-hearted adventures with a familiar supporting cast: Charlie's lodgers, his grown son and daughter and families, his lady friend Helen, his work friend Melba, and his housekeeper Azalea and her daughter Kanesha (who happens to be the chief of police).In this outing, Charlie's actress daughter Laura is starring in a local play. The leading man is an egotistical male diva, and it isn't long before he becomes a murder victim. But as he is poisoned onstage in a scene with Laura, she falls under suspicion, so naturally Charlie involves himself in finding the real culprit. The situation is complicated when two different men claim to be the author of the play.These characters are like old friends to fans of this gentle series and this one is an entertaining read. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC.
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  • Patricia Tucker
    January 1, 1970
    I’m never disappointed with Cat in the Stacks mysteries! Love this series.
  • Laura Chase
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series of books. Love the main/ reoccurring characters both human and feline. However this novel seemed to be forced and the secondary characters not as "true to life" as the others
  • Marci
    January 1, 1970
    If you like your cozies with a cast of eccentric characters in a charming small Southern town, than the Cat in the Stacks series is for you. This latest mystery focuses on a a college production of an unknown playwright. The lead actor, Luke is brought in from NYC, and he is not a likeable guy. Trouble ensues for Charlie, his daughter Laura who is playing opposite Luke, and Charlie's son-in-law directing the play. Of course, Diesel must play an important role in the book. Thanks Netgalley for If you like your cozies with a cast of eccentric characters in a charming small Southern town, than the Cat in the Stacks series is for you. This latest mystery focuses on a a college production of an unknown playwright. The lead actor, Luke is brought in from NYC, and he is not a likeable guy. Trouble ensues for Charlie, his daughter Laura who is playing opposite Luke, and Charlie's son-in-law directing the play. Of course, Diesel must play an important role in the book. Thanks Netgalley for eprepub.
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  • Jacque
    January 1, 1970
    After Charlie’s recent dangerous encounter with a murderer, he has no intention of doing any investigating. But when his daughter is both close to being a victim and one of the suspects, nothing is going to stop Charlie from finding the murderer. His involvement is more low-key, but the characters (human and feline) are as charming as ever. The mystery revolves around a play his son-in-law is directing and his daughter is starring in, being produced at the local college. The lead actor dies on After Charlie’s recent dangerous encounter with a murderer, he has no intention of doing any investigating. But when his daughter is both close to being a victim and one of the suspects, nothing is going to stop Charlie from finding the murderer. His involvement is more low-key, but the characters (human and feline) are as charming as ever. The mystery revolves around a play his son-in-law is directing and his daughter is starring in, being produced at the local college. The lead actor dies on stage, but who had the opportunity to kill him? Charlie must sort through the motives to make sure is daughter is safe. Charlie and his cat, Diesel, are favorites of mine, and this is a great addition to the series.
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    James delivers another charming installment of his long-running Cat in the Stacks series. This time the unfortunate victim is a semi-famous actor coming to grace Charlie Harris’s small town with his presence on stage for the debut of a new play. The best part of long series is spending time with characters one has known for several years, and this series is no exception. A truly cozy mystery, this is a sure bet for fans of Berkeley’s other cozy offerings.Netgalley provided me with an arc in James delivers another charming installment of his long-running Cat in the Stacks series. This time the unfortunate victim is a semi-famous actor coming to grace Charlie Harris’s small town with his presence on stage for the debut of a new play. The best part of long series is spending time with characters one has known for several years, and this series is no exception. A truly cozy mystery, this is a sure bet for fans of Berkeley’s other cozy offerings.Netgalley provided me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pam Walker
    January 1, 1970
    I love this series and have read all the previous ones. When I had a chance to get an ARC from NetGalley, I jumped at the chance and was not disappointed. The main characters, as well as the secondary characters, continue to be developed with a surprise happy ending. Charlie is delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers in the theater department at Athena College. The play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's I love this series and have read all the previous ones. When I had a chance to get an ARC from NetGalley, I jumped at the chance and was not disappointed. The main characters, as well as the secondary characters, continue to be developed with a surprise happy ending. Charlie is delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers in the theater department at Athena College. The play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots. Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder. Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he's not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to find the killer with Diesel's help.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    I'm glad that Charlie isn't focusing too much on Diesel and is able to leave him alone now. I do like the characters. I thought Laura came off a little rude at times. I liked the mystery and it did keep me guessing until the end. I look forward to the next book in this series!
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  • Anna Fox
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read for a Charlie and Diesel adventure. The characters are interesting and people you'd like to know. This is book 12 in a series and seems like it would be fine as a stand alone as the author doesn't refer too much to prior happening. That being said, it is a fantastic series and is well worth getting the previous books and reading in order. .Thank you to the publisher, the author and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. - Please keep these books coming! Just Another great read for a Charlie and Diesel adventure. The characters are interesting and people you'd like to know. This is book 12 in a series and seems like it would be fine as a stand alone as the author doesn't refer too much to prior happening. That being said, it is a fantastic series and is well worth getting the previous books and reading in order. .Thank you to the publisher, the author and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. - Please keep these books coming! Just such great cozy mysteries.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this cozy mystery. If you like cozies, I would recommend this series. The main characters are people you'd like to call friends, especially Charlie. They are genuinely nice, caring people who love one another. It's a relaxing and soothing read.The mystery itself was quite well plotted and planned. I will look for more in this series as I haven't read them but found this one fine as a stand alone.I'd like to thank the publisher for an advance copy. It's great to be able to honestly I enjoyed this cozy mystery. If you like cozies, I would recommend this series. The main characters are people you'd like to call friends, especially Charlie. They are genuinely nice, caring people who love one another. It's a relaxing and soothing read.The mystery itself was quite well plotted and planned. I will look for more in this series as I haven't read them but found this one fine as a stand alone.I'd like to thank the publisher for an advance copy. It's great to be able to honestly recommend it to others.
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  • Jean Utley
    January 1, 1970
    There is nothing like family and Charlie Harris and his daughter find themselves plunged into another mystery on the Athena college campus. Their sleuthing at the production of a new play bring all the characters together again, including Diesel, Charlie's Maine Coon Cat. Lots of fun and a surprise ending.
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