Murder Past Due: Cat in the Stacks #1
by Miranda James
(cozy cat mystery)
This is a very cute story, with some great points and some okay points. I love the cat, and unlike some other reviewers I did not have an issue with the fact that Diesel (the cat) is not the talking, mystery-solving cat you will find in some other cat mysteries. I thought his portrayal was more enjoyable as a smarter-than-average cat who is STILL A CAT.
The main human character, Charlie, I had more issues with. (Actually, I had more issues with all the human characters.) I’m guessing that a lot of the things which didn’t sit well with me were regional, but it’s hard to say. The portrayal of how people treated the deputy in charge of the murder (who happens to be an African-American woman) was one of the things that bugged me. However, I do think that at least some of that is because I’ve lived on the West Coast all my life, and haven’t really experienced the Deep South. I know there are different cultural issues in both locations, so I’m guessing that is where a lot of my discomfort comes from.
I enjoyed the setting, too. Charlie works in a library as the archivist, and that was fun. (Though it did get a bit tedious at times; the author seemed to take the archivist-as-narrator a little too much to heart, and so sometimes we got more detail about unneeded things than I’d prefer.) The small-town setting was also nice, though it’s typical for a cozy mystery.
It’s an enjoyable read, though not perfect. I liked reading it, though I’m glad it was a library book. I haven’t decided yet if I like the world and the characters enough to go back for Book 2. On the other hand, it only took me a week of casual reading to finish. So it’s not as if reading Book 2 would take that much time away from other books I want to read.
This is book 3 of 10 for my Purrfect Cat Mystery Reading Challenge.
Rating: 4 stars