Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Book Review: Cat Me If You Can by Miranda James (Cat in the Stacks Mysteries #13)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Lovely series regulars, engaging mystery
Cons: Suspects could be stronger
The Bottom Line:
A death out of town
Mystery group hides killer?
Charming and fun book

Get Away with Murder

Sometimes you have to feel sorry for series sleuths.  Even when they take a vacation, they still find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery.  That’s exactly what happens to Charlie Harris in Cat Me If You Can.

In this case, Charlie, his fiancĂ©e Helen Louise Brady, and his cat Diesel (of course) are heading to North Carolina for a week in Asheville.  They are going with the mystery group from the Athena Public Library.  The Ducote sisters organized the trip, and the idea is to spend a week touring the area and discussing their favorite mystery writers.

Unfortunately, their group has been crashed by an unwelcome visitor.  Not only does he show up unexpectedly, but he picks fights with several members of the group.  Then he dies mysteriously.  There’s an obvious suspect in their group, but Charlie isn’t buying it.  Can he figure out what really happened?

Pulling off a vacation entry in a long running series can be hard since part of the charm of a series is the supporting characters.  In this case, enough of them are present and we have contact with some of the others, so it doesn’t feel like we are missing too many of them.  Plus, this series is really about Charlie and Diesel.  While taking Diesel on this trip is a stretch, I would have really missed him if he hadn’t been part of the book.  (Besides, how can you have a Cat in the Stacks mystery without the cat?)  We get plenty of Diesel’s antics over the course of the book, so I was plenty satisfied.

And the supporting characters we do get?  I was thrilled to see Helen Louise along for the ride.  I really enjoy her character, and it was nice to see her have a large presence in this book.  I also really enjoy the Ducote sisters and their ward, Benji, who had their own spin off series for a while.  I was thrilled to see so much of them, too.

In typical fashion for this series, the tension starts almost right away.  We get to know a little about the victim and his relationships with the rest of the group before he dies, and then Charlie spends the rest of the time building on what he already learned until he figures out who did it.  While some of the suspects could have been stronger, the plot comes together for a logical climax.

I did feel the climax was heading toward the judgmental.  It was just a few lines in the narration that I didn’t feel needed to be there, and most people probably won’t give them a second thought.

That issue aside, there is much to enjoy about this book.  Diesel’s many fans will race their way through Cat Me If You Can and then join me in waiting anxiously for his next adventure.

Be sure to catch the rest of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

1 comment:

  1. I am woefully behind on this series. I need to get more of them under my belt. Great review!