Thursday, August 8, 2013


Publisher:   Berkley
Date published:   May 30, 2011
ISBN:  978-0425241578
Genre:   cozy mystery
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Librarian Charlie Harris finds himself with two unexpected surprises in one day. First is the appearance of eccentric James Delacorte appearing at the library. Not that his appearance is a surprise, but what he wants from Charlie is. It seems the wealthy elderly gentleman has quite a collection of rare books and he wants Charlie to catalogue them. What appears to be several missing volumes prompted Delacorte to seek Charlie out. Intrigued, Charlie accepts the job.

Before he can make sense of Delacorte’s job offer, upon his return home, Charlie sees his son, Sean, has shown up from Houston. Glad of Sean’s visit questions begin to pop up when Charlie learns his son has quit his job as an attorney in Houston. Despite Charlie’s attempts to learn what prompted the move, Sean maintains a confusing distance.

When Charlie heads off to the Delacorte house he brings his constant companion, Maine Coon cat Diesel with him. Thrilled with the scope of Delacorte’s collection Charlie digs right in. He returns home briefly for lunch but upon his return he makes a shocking discovery—the elder Delacorte is dead, apparently murdered in his own library. Charlie quickly calls 911 and in minutes Deputy Chief Kanesha Berry is there to investigate. Given the eccentric Delacorte family, Kanesha asks Charlie to finish the inventory and keep her posted on anything he finds suspicious. Despite his emotional distance from his father Sean is determined to go along. Together Charlie and Sean dig into the investigation. Can they discover the killer before he or she finds them?

Miranda James has such a great writing voice.  James’s characters are believable in their relationships and approaches to living their lives. Even the sometimes over-the-top Delacortes in his latest Cat the Stack mystery, CLASSIFIED AS MURDER, are believable in their eccentricities. While butler, Truesdale is presented in a stereotypical way, he is wonderfully lifelike in the story.

I enjoyed how Charlie unravelled the mystery in the first book I this series, MURDER PAST DUE, and his sleuthing is even more absorbing in this second book. The introduction of Sean into the series is a nice bonus and having already read book 3, FILE M FOR MURDER, I know his daughter, Laura, brings an added dimension to the series. Characters are introduced in a smooth fashion so the reader isn’t overwhelmed with a host of them to figure out who is who yet at the same time you are caught totally off guard when the murder is revealed.

A bit more of the town of Athena, is revealed in CLASSIFIED AS MURDER and it is a charming backdrop to some good mysteries.

Each book is a stand-alone and you do not to read them in order to know the characters and get involved in solving the mystery. That said, you don’t want to miss a one.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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