Claws for Concern by Miranda James

Claws for Concern

Miranda James

The latest book in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series follows Charlie Harris and his cat, Diesel, as they investigate an unsolved murder.

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Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, are embroiled in a new mystery when a cold case suddenly heats up in the latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie's family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder...

Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town's public library. He's too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book--and who won't take no for an answer.  

A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigate the library's genealogical database. But he's shocked when he learns that the visitor's search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt's husband.

Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he's soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie's new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home...

Advance Galley Reviews

Another great installment in the Cats in the Stacks mystery series. Once again, Charlie and Diesel are pulled into a murder. In a new twist, they tackle a cold case from twenty years earlier. I received a copy of this book from the First to Read program.

Although the book was okay once I got into it, it felt like it took me forever to read. I started slow, and although I am hesitant to put a book down before I finish, I put it down a couple of times and finally went back to finish, hoping it would get better. There was really nothing to keep the reader interested, the story was mediocre at best, and the characters, although well developed just didn't leap off the page like you would hope. I am a true fan of cozy mysteries and that's why I felt compelled to finish the book and review, sadly, if there was a star rating attached, I would have to give it a 3. I have not read any other books in this series and am really not so inclined to after this one.

I found the pacing far too slow, and the subplots with Charlie's family and friends just didn't help make up for what was missing. The narrative was quite basic, often plodding. The main characters were all too polite and too average to make for an interesting read. Should have been an easy, unchallenging read, but I found it hard to get through simply because there was nothing there to engage me.

I received an ARC of Claws for Concern from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. This was the first Cat in the Stacks Mystery series book that I've read. However, it wasn't very difficult to get into the story and understand the characters. The other cozy mysteries I have read had middle aged women as the main characters, it was neat having an older male with a grandson as the main character in this book. I really liked Charlie and Diesel and look forward to reading more books in this series!

This was a great, fun cozy mystery. I have not read the books in the series, but I did not have any trouble getting into the mystery. Charlie, the librarian, and Diesel, his cat, must solve a years old unsolved murder. I enjoyed this book and would definitely read others in the series.

When I requested this book, I didn’t realize it was part of a series. I dislike reading out of sequence but was able to follow along without trouble. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the earlier books. The cozy mysteries I usually read are bakery, coffee/tea shops, and B&B/Inn and usually have a female lead. I really liked the switch up with the male lead and his kitty partner. I would recommend this book.

Claws for Concern by Miranda James is A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It is July in Athena, Georgia and we find Charlie Harris along with his Maine Coon cat, Diesel volunteering at Athena Public Library. Charlie notices the gentleman, who has been coming into the library for the last week, has returned. The man wants to look at the local phone books to locate Delbert Collins. Delbert was married to Charlie’s Aunt Dottie. Charlie discovers the man is Bill Delaney, and he is the son of Delbert Collins. Del never knew about Bill, and Bill did not find out about his birth father until after his mother passed away three months ago. Charlie wants to get to know Bill better and is going to invite him to stay with him. Then Charlie learns that Bill was entangled in a murder investigation. The multiple homicide investigation went cold and was never solved. Charlie teams up with true crime writer, Jack Pemberton to resolve the twenty-year-old case. Jack wants to write a book about Charlie (and Diesel) regarding a few of his past cases (his sleuthing prowess). Accompany Charlie, Jack and Diesel as they delve into the case and uncover a killer. Claws for Concern may be the ninth book in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, but it can be read as a standalone. I like the author’s writing style (conversational and comfortable) and the characters are developed. Diesel is a smart, lovable cat who enhances the book (I enjoy his manner of speaking and interacting). I do not understand, though, why Charlie feels the need to have someone watch Diesel (a catsitter) when he cannot take the cat with him. This happened a couple of times in the book. I thought the pace, though, was a little slow (especially in the first part of the book). The mystery does not start until the halfway mark. The first half of the story is devoted to Charlie’s daily activities (eating, walking, spending time with girlfriend, volunteering at the library, talking with daughter, watching grandson, etc.) as well as meeting Bill Delaney and talking to Jack Pemberton about his book idea. There was a lack of action through the whole book. There is questioning, looking up records and speculation (ho hum). The mystery had some interesting points, but it was not compelling. There was a lack of suspects which made identifying the culprit a simple matter. The wrap up at the end could have used a few tweaks (it was lacking). I had eagerly been anticipating Claws for Concern after reading Twelve Angry Librarians last year. Unfortunately, Claws for Concern was not of the same caliber as its predecessor. If you are new to A Cat in the Stacks Mystery series, then I suggest starting with Murder Past Due. Readers looking for a light, pleasant cozy mystery will be pleased with Claws for Concern.

Claws for Concern was the first book that I read in this series but that did not lessen my enjoyment in any way. Perhaps there were some nuances I might have missed but it did not interfere with the story at all. The book centers around librarian Charlie and his very intelligent Maine coon cat, Diesel. Charlie is an amateur sleuth and fairly quickly gets involved in a cold case mystery. The characters are likeable and the plot is easy to follow but still leaves you guessing until the end. If you are looking for a warm cozy mystery this is the book for you.

This book just was too slow for me. I couldn't get into it that I DNF after 60%

Oh, this was such a wonderful cozy mystery! Though this is the ninth installment in the series, it's the first book in it that I've read. I feel like I may have missed some nuances, but overall, I think it can be read as a standalone. I loved Charlie and Diesel! It was so refreshing to read a mystery with an older male lead, especially one who's a grandfather! Even though the actual investigation doesn't start until about halfway through the book, the pacing was excellent, and I had fun trying to figure out which of the many suspects was the guilty one! I also loved that Charlie used Diesel to vet the suspects. Overall, quite fun, and I've already put a hold on the first in the series at my library!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written, way to follow, yet not too easy to solve. I enjoyed the protagonist as well as the plot line. I also enjoyed that the protagonist was a retired male as opposed to a younger character. I would definitely recommend this book for others.

Claws for Concern was enjoyable - it features amateur crime solver Charlie and his Maine Coon Diesel. The pair, along with writer Jack Pemberton, come together to solve the mystery of a murder that happened 20 years prior. The characters are wonderful and the suspense will leave you guessing right until the end. I was glad that I could jump right into this novel without feeling like I was missing any elements from prior books. I would definitely read more of this series!

I really enjoyed this installment. I was a couple of stories behind so I read those first prior to reading this one. Really did not need to as each story stands alone. I liked the addition of Jack Pemberton and that they join forces to solve a cold case versus a new murder. Jack and Charlie work well together to solve the old case. Charlie is working at the Athena Public Library when he notices a gentlemen and he seems familiar and cannot quite place him. Charlie is always curious. When this man Bill Delaney asks for assistance for old phone books and is looking for his Uncle Del then he really becomes intrigued. Cousins by marriage only it is nice to know Charlie feels some family responsibility to help Bill who was a suspect in this 20 year old cold case. I like that Diesel is a good barometer of whether someone can be trusted or not and that is helpful in weeding out suspects. Good entry in this series. Maybe Jack and Charlie will continue to work together ...

I have read several books in this series and always found them to be enjoyable, light reads. Claws for Concern is no exception. Retiree and part-time librarian Charlie Harris discovers an unknown family connection when a man starts showing up at Charlie's library. He seems quiet and unassuming, but somehow familiar to Charlie. It turns out that he is the son of Charlie's uncle Del, a son that no one knew existed. Charlie would like to be of assistance to him but is cautious. In the course of checking him out, Charlie discovers that he was the primary suspect in a multiple murder 20 years before. Charlie and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, need to solve this long-ago mystery. Charlie's family and friends all make an appearance, along with a new character or two. The series is charming, and Diesel is a treat for the cat-lovers like me.

A nice mystery and I fell in love with Diesel. Charlie and his crew are likeable and interesting. Charlie finds out that his uncle had a son. As he gets to know his cousin, Charlie thinks he may invite him to come and live at his house. But, he finds out quite a few unsavory things about his cousin that makes him think that might not be the right decision. He meets a man who wants to write about some of Charlie's adventures and they decide to unravel the mystery surrounding Charlie's cousin with the help of Diesel.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review. Retiree and amateur gumshoe Charlie Harris and his famous Maine Coon cat Diesel are back in the ninth episode of their adventures. Harris is minding his own business as a volunteer at the library when he notices a stranger. It is not unusual for people to seek shelter from the heat in the public library, but this fellow seems different. As it turns out he is a distant relative of Harris with a shady past. Why has he felt the need to make contact now? Harris feels a tenuous connection as well as an obligation to help the stranger. But the more he finds out about him, the more uneasy Harris becomes. Coincidently, an author of true crime books contacts Harris requesting to write about some of the crimes he has helped solve in the past. Reluctant at first, he is unsure about returning the author’s calls. Eventually, his curiosity gets the better of him, so he agrees as long as the author gives credit to the police department as the real heros. This arrangement with the author pulls Harris into a new investigation of an old crime that may have a big connection to the newly found relative. James’ characters are delightful. How could you not love a Maine Coon cat that is as big as a bobcat and a perfect judge of character? It amuses me that Harris has to find a cat sitter because Diesel did not like to be home alone. The entire Harris family weaves in and out of the story adding depth, emotion and humor. I can’t wait to see how little Charlie grows in the next book. Harris’ friends and love interest pop on and off of the pages as well as his delightful house keeper Azalea. The plot is interesting and holds a few surprises, ticking all the boxes of a great cozy mystery, Claw for Concern has a super supporting cast as well as interesting main characters. This is the first book I have read in the series, even though it is the ninth in the series. I was not confused or lost at any point during the tale as it works well as a stand-alone cozy mystery. Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

Claws for Concern is book 9 in the Cat in the Stacks series. This is my first book I've read in this series but I had no issue figuring out what was going on. I'll be honest, I grabbed this because it's a mystery and I've been enjoying the genre lately and also because it featured a cat quite heavily in the story. I'm a sucker, but I'm glad I tried this book out because I really did enjoy it! We start off meeting Charlie Harris, he's an older gentleman that's semi-retired but helps out at the library each week. He brings his Maine Coon cat, Diesel with him almost everywhere and has a knack at helping solve mysteries. While he's working at the library, a man asks Charlie a few questions and it leads to finding out he's a relative no one knew about. There's a cold case related to Bill Delaney though and it has Charlie questioning if he should offer assistance to his new cousin. While all that is going on we also have a true crime author in contact with Charlie that wants to hear more about the other cases he's helped unravel. Jack Pemberton, the author is intrigued by the cold case and with Charlie's help they're going to figure out who really was behind the murders. Claws For Concern is an entertaining mystery that had me guessing whodunit until it was revealed. The writing style is a bit different than I'm used to but the story flowed well and I was entertained by Diesel (the cat) while reading. If you enjoy mystery novels with male leads, you might love this series!

This is my first Charlie and Diesel book, and I agree with what others have said. The book started out too slowly for me, and the writing was very simplistic. The idea of a librarian detective and his cat is very charming, but the writing and plot just couldn't hook me.

Charlie Harris is an almost retired librarian with a Maine coon cat, an adorable grandson, a part time girlfriend, and a penchant for assisting (not necessarily by invitation) in solving murders. This cozy mystery involves a 20 year old cold case into which he is drawn by a stranger who reveals a previously unknown family connection. Charlie is intelligent and affable and Diesel, the Maine coon cat, is a worthy companion. There are quite a few characters in the book who play somewhat extraneous roles but may be participants in other books in the series. Overall, an enjoyable, light read. I will look for others by this author. I received an advance copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. This was a really cute book. I liked Diesel, of course - what a character! He's not like the cats in other mystery series - at least not in this book. Diesel gets involved and "comments" on what is happening, but he did not solve the case. His human companion (Charlie Harris) figured that out! The beginning was a bit slow, and it took me awhile to engage in the plot, but about 1/2 way through it as moving faster and was much more interesting. to This is the first one I've read in this series, and I enjoyed it enough to go back and start at the beginning (this one is #9).

As a first time reader of this series, I had a hard time engaging with this book. The pace was slow and there was an overabundance of detail. I felt the story plodded along and that the it took too long for events to unfold. I may have been more invested if I had started with the first in the series.

This was the first time I’ve read a book by this author. It interested me because it was about a cat. I thought the book started out very slow. The first chapter seemed like it was written by a juvenile. Sorry, I don’t want to be mean but that is what entered my mind as I was reading it. It was almost Chapter 20 before anything really started to happen. After that, it held my attention enough for me to want to read on. Definitely not one of the best books I’ve read or one of my favorites. If I had to rate it 1 to 5, I’d give it a 2 or 3.

This is only the second Cat in the Stacks Mystery I have read, but I really enjoyed it and had no trouble following this story. Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon Cat Diesel are well known for helping the police solve crimes. He receives a letter from Jack Pemberton, a writer of true crime, asking if they can meet to talk about a project. Charlie is not really interested. Meanwhile, Charlie meets a lonely gentleman at the library where he volunteers. It turns out that this man's father was married to Charlie's aunt. As more facts come out, Charlie finds out that he was a suspect in a multiple homicide 20 years earlier. It also occurred in the town where Jack Pemberton is from. When Bill Delaney is the victim of a hit and run that appears to be deliberate, Charlie and Jack begin investigating the cold case to see if they can either clear Charlie, or prove that he did it. Charlie and Diesel are a delightful pair who love people, food, Charlie's grandson and justice. They work well together as Diesel is an excellent judge of character. The secondary characters are also charming. Charlie's two lodgers and house keeper who often keep an eye on Diesel when Charlie can't take him somewhere and his family who pop in and out of his home. He also had a female friend who he is hoping will slow down at her Bistro and spend more time with him. I have read many cozies where the amateur sleuth is intrusive and often rude putting themselves at risk, but not so with Charlie and his friend Jack. They work well together and both have good intuition. Will they find out who killed the family? Will Bill be guilty? Is Bill in danger? This is a well paced story with a good plot line. The investigation did not occur until about halfway through the book, but I still very much enjoyed this story and the characters in it. I will definitely look for more books in this series and from this author.

I really enjoy this series! The plot moves along quickly and the mysteries are interesting. I really enjoy the characters as well and enjoy seeing the family grow. The one part of this book that sort of bothered me was when Charlie made a big deal about leaving Diesel at home and him saying about cancelling plans if he couldn't find a sitter. I understand that Diesel is important to Charlie, but he is a cat and can be by himself.

Claws for Concern is a sweet and cozy mystery novel. Main character, Charlie Harris, is an endearing older man, motivated to help others and pursue justice with his lovable cat, Diesel, by his side. If you're looking for an easy, enjoyable read with likable characters and just enough plot twists to keep you reading, this is for you. My one complaint about the novel is the overabundance of unnecessary details, nearly all of which made the pacing of the story drag. Sadly, these details weren't absent until the end of the novel when the true story behind the murder mystery comes out. Aside from that, it was a pleasant read, though I doubt this will be a series I'll seek out in the future.

I used to roll my eyes at cozy mysteries but I'm so glad I stopped that nonsense and gave them another chance! These books are so much fun, this newest no exception. The characters are wonderful to spend time with and feel like real friends. The plot kept me guessing and was delightfully engaging. It was just what I wanted to read and a whole lot of fun.

I was absolutely enthralled by this book. Diesel, a Maine coon cat, acted like a dog. He was an excellent judge of character. The character development was excellent. I haven't read any of her other books. I recommend this one. It kept me guessing as plot was revealed.

A wonderful story with great characters. Kept me guessing until the end who was the murder and the reason behind it. With a lot of twist and turns.

Claws for Concern Miranda James This is a cozy mystery, a retired librarian with his cat, who much like Jessica Fletcher finds a murder and solves it. It was a quick and easy read, it is something to sit back and relax with when you want something light. I received this from Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.

A cute little cozy mystery featuring an almost retired librarian and his cat. A long lost sort of cousin shows up in town under the shadow of suspicion from a twenty year old murder case in small town Mississippi. Charlie, his cat Diesel, and a true crime writer team up to solve the old murder case. Likable characters, decent mystery, a library, a kitty cat. A good book for curling up in front of the fire with a mug of hot cocoa.

Having been owned by a cat for five years now, I decided it was time to read a book in the popular pet fiction genre. I enjoyed the presence of Diesel, an overweight but personable Maine Coon cat, whose language of chirps, twitters, and warbles was more like a bird than a cat. Diesel accompanies his owner Charlie Harris, a retired librarian, almost everywhere he goes. When a mysterious stranger visits the library where Charlie volunteers, he is drawn into an unsolved murder case. He teams up with an author of real crime books to solve the mystery and bring the killer to justice. It wasn't as suspenseful or twisty as others, but it was a nice cozy mystery which I needed after a string of deep, depressing novels.

I have read other books in this series and enjoyed them, so I was looking forward to this one. Liked the idea of a cold case that involved a family member. And I like the idea of a male POV, especially with Diesel at his side. The story was a slow build to the actual murder. I would rather get to know my MC as he is solving the murder from the start and seeing their interactions with others in their circle and world. I felt he acted a little out of character because family was involved. Despite this the mystery was solid and interesting as it played out. Plan to read the others in the series I missed.

If I could recommend only one cozy mystery, it would definitely be "Cats in the Stacks". I truly enjoyed this book. I love Diesel and his interactions with Charlie and other character. Also, as a library volunteer, I enjoy reading about Charlie's work at his library. I will be looking forward to the next book in the series.

Charlie Harris and Diesel, his Maine Coon companion, are a charming amateur sleuthing duo. The fact that Miranda James skillfully creates realistic interaction between the semi-retired librarian and his feline partner makes these cozy mysteries terrific stories and engaging adventures. In this book Charlie finds himself involved in a cold case, possibly involving a new found relative, he agreed to investigate with a true crime writer. What’s so nice about following a series, like Cat in the Stacks, is how comfortable you become catching up with the community of characters the author has created. And it is especially rewarding when the writer is as proficient as Ms. James in developing interesting characters and relationships, balancing dialogue with narration, and keeping the pace moving. I don’t think Ms. James will run out of ideas for plotlines, so I hope she doesn’t get tired of writing about Charlie and Diesel. I, for one, would really miss their adventures.

This was a fun story in the genre of Murder She Wrote. This is a story of a widowed retired man who solves murder a as a hobby while accompanied by a very large cat. It was a quick and entertaining read.

A thoughtful book about a lovable cat named Diesel and his owner Charlie. Charlie has a way of finding himself in the most unusual places a t the right time, and Diesel tags happily along. This time Charlie finds himself in the middle of a family mystery that unravels a long kept family secret waiting to be told.

This series a first for me, I had never read a book with Charlie and Diesel. I found it fast to read, and it kept me interested until the end. It is a good book to de-stress.

I am very on the fence with this rating. This book is the ninth in the series but the first that I have read. I immediately liked it. The writing was really comfortable and the characters felt easy and familiar. My problem, which almost made me give up around 70 pages, is that nothing happened in that first third of the book except the main character's wanderings through his everyday life. The murder, in this case an old one from 20 years ago, didn't come out in the story until almost the halfway point. This is a pet peeve of mine. Cozies are short and I want my murder right up front. My other pet peeve is when the murder to be solved is in the past. I like my dead bodies fresh :) But, I forged on, and in the end, I wound up really liking this. The mystery was actually very solid and the outcome surprised me.

Charlie and Diesel the Cat are such an entertaining pair of gentlemen! I loved their plausible rambles -from the both of them-as they went about their day. I hope one day I happen to run in to them at the library. What a fun cozy this was to read!

This is the first book that I've read written by Miranda James. I enjoy reading books about books, about libraries, and oh yes, books! There was so much to look forward to before I even started reading the first page. Claws for Concern was a fun read. It's everything I expect from a cozy mystery: kind people who muck about in mysteries, a sense of place in Athena, and a satisfying resolution. It doesn't hurt to add in an adorable sidekick, Diesel the cat! Another plus for me is that this mystery involved family history, and I'm a genealogy buff so this twist added another pleasant addition to my like of a cozy mystery.

After meeting the son of his late uncle, Charlie considers asking him to move into his home. Prior to extending the invitation, Charlie checks the man's background and discovers the man was suspected of killing a family twenty years ago. With the help of a true crimes book author, Charlies investigates the cold case. Well written, nicely paced cozy that keeps one turning the pages.

This is the best cozy mystery that I have ever read. Great characters. Even Diesel the Maine Coon cat has a developed personalty. The story line is well developed also. I had trouble tearing myself away. I definitely recommend this book to everyone.

James once again presents a good mystery mixed with fun characters. Charlie and Diesel find themselves looking into a cold case when a mysterious man arrives in town claiming to be the son of Charlie's aunt. Charlie soon finds out that the man has always been suspected of killing a family in his home town but had a solid alibi. As Charlie struggles with his innate desire to help the man, he finds himself partnering with a true crime writer to solve the family killing. These books are just fun. You feel like Charlie and his cat Diesel are old friends. I am generally not a cozy reader, but I make an exception for this delightful series.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I had not read anything by this author before and usually don’t often read mystery. That said, I enjoyed this book. Having the cat, Diesel, as one of the characters made the story more enticing for me as I am a long time cat lover. I thought it was well written and did not reveal clues to the ending until the last few pages which kept my interest throughout the book. I am looking forward to reading more from this author and would certainly recommend this one for anyone looking for a good mystery.

Claws for Concern. Since this was a “cat” mystery I didn’t think I would like it, but I found it to be very enticing. It had a good plot and warm characters and it wasn’t told from the point of view of Deisel the cat but his owner. To make a story interesting without using violence and gimmicks is an accomplishment in these times. Miranda James did a wonderful job telling this story through good writing and excellent plot lines. I would read another book by this author.

As a reader of the Cat in the Stacks mysteries, I was excited to join Charlie and Diesel on their next adventure. Claws for Concern did not disappoint. I was immediately drawn back into Athena and Charlie and Diesel's world. I kept turning the pages and couldn't put this down. An excellent read, Miranda James did it again.


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