Thursday, July 11, 2019

Book Review: The Pawful Truth by Miranda James (Cat in the Stacks Mysteries #11)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Charming characters we love to see
Cons: Plot a little weak for this series
The Bottom Line:
Charlie takes a class
Student becomes history
Charming characters

As the Campus Turns

It’s hard to go wrong with a visit with Charlie and Diesel the stars of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.  The books are filled with charming characters and cute pets.  The Pawful Truth is another such wonderful visit.

It’s the start of the semester, and Charlie Harris has decided to enroll in a class.  No, he’s not considering leaving his job working in the Athena College library archives, but he’s decided to indulge his love of history with a course in medieval history taught by one of the most popular professors on campus.  In his first day in class, Charlie can see why Dr. Carey Warriner is so popular.  Yes, the man is handsome which is an obvious draw for some of the ladies, but his passion for the subject comes through in his lectures, and Charlie is fascinated by all he has already learned.

However, as Charlie leaves class that first day, he hears part of an angry exchange between Dr. Warriner and Dixie Bell Compton, the only other non-traditional student in the class.  He doesn’t intend to give it much credence, but he begins to hear rumors about Dr. Warriner and his relationship with his wife, a professor in the English department.  When Dixie turns up dead under mysterious circumstances, Charlie can’t help but wonder if his professor is also a murderer.  Will his position in the class give him an opportunity to come up with a clue?

Now, I know I haven’t mentioned Diesel, Charlie’s Maine Coon cat, in my recap at all.  While Diesel isn’t attending class with Charlie, trust me, he is still very much an active part of the book as always.  If you are a fan of this cat (and who isn’t if they’ve read any of the books in the series), you’ll be quite satisfied with his antics here.  I have to give a special shout out to Ramses, the newest kitten in Charlie’s life, who steals quite a few scenes of his own and made me laugh a few times as I was reading.

And the human characters?  They are just as real and charming.  We’ve got a large cast of characters, and they all put in appearances, with extra page time for Charlie’s two grandchildren.  Since this is now the eleventh book in the series, it’s hard not to feel like these are all close friends, and getting to spend time with them is a delight.  And yet they don’t take away from the suspects.  There are only a few of them, but they are as fully realized as the series regulars.

Unfortunately, I did feel the plot was a little weak.  In some ways, it felt a bit more like a soap opera than a usual cozy mystery plot.  And we spent a bit more time speculating than we do uncovering any helpful information, although we do reach a logical conclusion in the end.  Now, this isn’t to say I wasn’t entertained – see my above comment on the characters.  I just feel like some of the twists we normally see were missing here.  Still, I don’t regret my time with this book in the slightest.

Eagle-eyed readers will spot some clues about the next book in the series, coming early next year.  I thought that was a fun bit buried in the book.

The Cat in the Stacks is one of the coziest series out there, and The Pawful Truth is another delightful visit with Charlie, Diesel, and the rest of the gang.  Fans will savor every page and be left anxious for their next visit.  And if you haven’t started this series yet, don’t wait another minute to meet these wonderful characters.

Need to catch up?  Here are the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries in order.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of this book to give away.  Because it is a physical book, the contest is limited to residence of the US.

Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.  I will pick the winner Thursday July 18th, so please leave your comment before midnight Pacific Time on 7/18.  You will have until midnight on 7/23 to get back to me, or I will choose a new winner on 7/24.


  1. This is one of my favorite series, and I am looking forward to reading The Pawful Truth. Thanks for the chance. cking78503(at)aol(dot)com

  2. Love this series very much. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I am very eager to read this series - love the covers! Thanks for the great review and the giveaway. aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Thanks for your thoughtful review and for the chance to win a copy of the Pawful Truth. salvatoresmom71(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. I love this series and I can't wait to read this one. I love Charlie and Diesel.

  6. Love Charlie and Diesel and would love to win!

  7. I'm about halfway through this one and do have to agree about the plot. Really not all that much has even happened yet but I'm so enjoying seeing the characters again I don't mind too much!

  8. I love this series! Can't wait to read "The Pawful Truth". Thanks for the chance.

  9. I love this series and enjoyed your review. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  10. Love the series. Love Diesel, he is a first date cat. Thank you

  11. This sounds really good! Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  12. I own six of the books in the series and would kill to be the lucky winner of "The Pawful Truth".

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. Sounds like I need to read it..thank you for the contest.

  14. I love this series! I'm looking forward to reading more about Charlie and Diesel. vickik(at)umich(dot)edu

  15. Thank you for your honest review on "The Pawful Truth" by Miranda James.

    Adorable cover and a book that I would love the opportunity to read. Greatly appreciate the chance to win a copy! Shared but would love to be the fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  16. This is a fun series. I need to get caught up on it.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  17. I love Diesel! Thanks for the contest. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  18. I have one other book by this author and would very much like to read this one.

  19. This one of my favorite series....have read all of them.

  20. I need more books in this series. I have a few, maybe three, and just borrowed one in audio from Hoopla - Claws for Concern.