Pros: Strong characters
Cons: Plot a little weaker than normal
The Bottom Line:
Offer and stranger
Visit with great characters
Delights series fans
Fans Will be Happy to Get Their Claws on this Book
It was just four years ago that I started reading the Cat in the Stacks series by Miranda James. I was behind at the time, and I quickly made getting caught up a priority, and with each book, I’ve fallen more in love with the characters. I was thrilled to catch up with them again in Claws for Concern.
In between books, Charlie Harris has become a grandfather. While he is thrilled to have little Charlie in his life, his cat Diesel has taken to the baby and stands watch any time they are together. The biggest issue in Charlie’s life is that Helen Louis, his girlfriend, doesn’t seem to be letting go of her bistro like she should now that she’s hired some more employees.
Of course, bigger trouble has a way of finding Charlie, and it appears on a couple of different fronts. First, he gets a letter from a Jack Pemberton, a true crime writer who wants to write a series of books on amateurs who get involved in solving crimes, including Charlie. Then there’s the mysterious man down at the public library who is digging into something from the past. Where might these two things lead?
This book in the series took a little while to get going. I could tell these two threads were leading somewhere, but it wasn’t apparently just where things were going for a while. Once it did, I became more interested in the mystery aspect of the story, and I ultimately found it satisfying.
I’ve mentioned the characters at the beginning, and I am glad to say they are at their best here. With baby Charlie being new to the series, we get to see a lot of his parents, Laura and Frank. The rest of the recurring characters get a scene or two to shine, and I loved spending time with all of them. The new characters are strong and fit right into the book.
A few months ago, the author announced that the spin off Southern Ladies series wouldn’t be continuing. But since they are spin off characters, they can appear here no problem, and that’s just what happens. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce manage to work their way into a couple of scenes, which I was delighted to find.
Speaking of which, this book also brings in some characters from a previous series written under a different pen name. I haven’t made it to that series – yet. I still had fun getting a taste of the characters and setting for that series.
Claws for Concern provides another chance to meet these characters that we’ve come to know and love. I savored the pages for just that reason, and I’m already looking forward to the next visit with them due to be released later this year.
Need more Charlie and Diesel? Here are the rest of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.
NOTE: I received a copy of this book.