"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Murder Past Due by Miranda James


This is a brand new series featuring Diesel, a Maine coon cat rescued by  Charlie Harris, the kindly librarian, who takes Diesel almost everywhere he goes in a halter with a leash.  Maine coon cats are huge, they can weigh as much as 25 pounds and it is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.  They are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities.

Diesel and his owner reside in Athena, Mississippi where Charlie, who has recently lost his wife to cancer returns to his hometown to live in a home left to him by his aunt. He works in the Archive Department of the college library and  Diesel is well known at the library but stays pretty close to Charlie. Charlie also rents out rooms in his home to college students just as his aunt did. Diesel has a unique trait, in that he knows when people around him need a paw, a head bump or a cuddle, and is especially close to Justin, a freshman at the college who is rooming with Charlie.

Charlie is immersed in his work when he learns that famous author and former classmate, Godfrey Priest, is returning to Athena to promote his current book and take care of some personal business.  Charlie remembers his classmate as an arrogant jerk would thought he was better than anyone else and there are quite a few people who agree with that assessment.  His homecoming is very eventful, by lunch he had put one man in the hospital, turned some of the town's residents lives upside down, and by dinner he is found dead in his hotel room. 

Charlie finds himself pawing through all the information he can find to determine who killed a man not very many people liked, most of whom are his friends and co-workers.  It is quite a "purr-plexing" mystery.

This book had me from page one, I fell in love with this cat and the rest of the story very quickly. I was at a high school basketball tournament and couldn't put it down.  Charlie and Diesel make a formidable detective team in their purr-suit of the truth. The characters are so well developed you become invested in their lives without any effort at all.  This is a wonderful debut to what I know will be a paws down successful series. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Some Thoughts

I was never a cat person and was quite allergic, then my kids brought home Felix. I never sneezed once and like Diesel he knew my feelings and was always there for me, especially after my accident, the cat hardly left my side.  After brightening our lives for several years, he suddenly passed away.  I was crushed.  Then a friend of my daughter's came to help us bury Felix. On his way home he stopped by a gas station and this little kitten just walked up to him.  He knew exactly where to go with that kitten.  He brought him right back to me and this kitten acted just like Felix, the cuddles, the head bumps, it was like a reincarnation of my beloved cat.  His name is Wiley and he is a very special and rare cat, he has a flank curled tail,  a lovable disposition and is very intelligent, just like the feline in the story above. I am so happy he came into our lives when he did.

Wiley spends many hours sitting right here on my desk watching me type, sometimes trying to help.  He takes his afternoon nap on the top of the living room sofa, and spends his evenings pawing my husband's stomach and then curling up on our bed to sleep, sometimes as close to my pillow as he can get. He makes the dogs quite jealous, but some days you can find them all sleeping on our bed, as close together as they can get. 


I don't want to leave out our other cat Oscar but his main residence is in the basement apartment with my son and daughter-in-law and their cat Jack.  Felix and Oscar were our first family cats, and while Felix did very well when we added two puppies to the family, Oscar is not a fan of the dogs and decided the basement was his home.

Maybe this little peek into my life explains why I love cozy mysteries that feature cats and dogs so much.  

Be sure to pre-order Murder Past Due right away, it is definitely a must read, especially for all the cat lovers of  the world.   


katsrus said...

Sounds like a really good book. I love cat ones so am always looking for those. Your kitties are beautiful.
Sue B

Kris said...

This is another I have on tbr pile at home, so glad to read a positive review.

Amanda M. said...

Hey there! I just read your comment on my blog! Thank you so much - then I came over here and read all about you and you have GOT to be from WI! I was born and raised in WI. We just moved to TX in June, but I am a Dairyland girl at heart. :)