Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cats and Books-Two of My Favorite Things!

"Murder Past Due" by Miranda James was my 26th book for 2010. I read it for a book club I am part of on Twitter. It is a cozy mystery written under a pseudonym. The author's real name is Dean James, author of the Simon Kirby-Jones mystery series. For this series, Cat in the Stacks, James took on a female name.

In "Murder Past Due" Charlie Harris is a librarian who takes his cat Diesel with him everywhere, walking him on a harness and leash. An old classmate comes back to town to be honored for being a best-selling novelist, but ends up dead-the victim of a brutal murder. Charlie is asked by the lead investigator's mother to poke around for information to help her daughter solve the case. As it turns out, the investigator doesn't really need the help and Charlie (already on her bad side) seems to only irritate her.

The story has several potential killers, all with motives to murder the not-so-nice author. There are a couple of twists, but nothing that is all too surprising. There were times when I didn't want to put the book down, and other times when I wasn't all that interested in what happened. I had mixed emotions about the story all throughout my reading of the book.

The most noticeable difference between this cozy and others I have read is that the main character is a man. Typically, the antagonist is a woman in cozies, so this was a bit odd for me at first. Also, the main character didn't actually end up solving the crime in this book. It was nice to have things mixed up a bit from other cozies I have read, instead of the same format I have read previously.

If you are a cozy mystery fan, you will probably enjoy the book. If not, this may not be the best one to start with to check out the genre.

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