FILE M FOR MURDER by Miranda James
Date published: January 31, 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Laura Harris has returned to her home town of Athena to visit her father and brother as well as substitute a class at the local college. Charlie, her dad is thrilled to have her and her brother Sean back home again. Before Laura can settle into her teaching and theatre workshop a former boyfriend, Connor Lawton, arrives in town. Connor and Laura have a past and it’s not a pretty one. Oh it has its ups and downs and Laura is still compassionate when the erstwhile playwright hits a few bumps on the road, but she’s not about to rekindle their romance. Connor, however, has other ideas about his future with Laura. While she holds him at arm’s length he pushes her buttons. Still, Laura has a kind heart and continues to try to help Connor. Unfortunately when Connor turns up dead Laura is the obvious suspect.
Charlie isn’t about to let his daughter be accused of something she didn’t do, especially murder so he begins to poke around asking questions. With a librarian’s curiosity Charlie begins to delve into Connor’s past and the potential suspects who also would have loved to seen him dead and buried. With his Maine Coon Diesel by his side Charlie is quickly on the killer’s trail. Unfortunately the killer has something else in mind for the entire Harris family.
The best part of Miranda James Cat in the Stacks series is Maine Coon, Diesel, Charlie Harris’ cat. His role in FILE M FOR MURDER is no exception. Ms. James has cats and cat behaviour down pat and portrays Diesel in a loveable and entertaining manner. Even non-cat people will enjoy Diesel’s parts in the stories. In this, the third book of the series he even gets to do a little crime solving of his own. Diesel is a cat’s cat as seen through Charlie’s eyes.
I didn’t warm up to Laura very much and I didn’t care for Sean’s smoking. In many ways the characters are somewhat two dimensional. That could be in part because the story is told in first person point of view and the other characters are there to support Charlie as he tells the story.
The Shakespearean quotes interspersed through the story are fun and, like Diesel, you do not have to be a fan to enjoy them.
Ms. James presents an intriguing mystery and how Charlie tracks down the killer is well done. As a side treat an older murder comes into question. I was completely surprised by the ending and look forward to more books in the Cat in the Stacks mysteries.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.