Sunday, April 3, 2016

No cats allowed by Miranda James

No cats allowed is the seventh book in the Cat in the stack mysteries so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the first six books in the series.  While you can read this series as standalone books it is best enjoyed read in series order so if you have not read the first books - Murder past dueClassified as murderFile M for murderOut of circulationThe silence of the library, Arsenic and old books - then you may want to read them first before reading anymore of this review.

Life is never boring for Charlie and his Maine Coon Diesel - it seems that wherever they are there is a murder mystery waiting for them just around the corner.  Since a sudden change in the leadership of the library, things have been rather unpleasant at work for Charlie as the interim director Oscar Reilly seems determined to make waves.  Charlie knows he has a job to do, but it seems as though Oscar is determined to do what he needs to and damn the consequences.  It seems easy to stay out of the pettiness at first, although Charlie seems to be a source of comfort and advice for some of the people Oscar has annoyed or threatened the most - but then Oscar sets his sights on Charlie, or more correctly on Diesel.

Charlie is all ready to resign, despite how much he loves his job and the people he works with, but suddenly Oscar Reilly turns up dead!  It seems as though there is no shortage of suspects in this case, but the number one suspect is Melba!  Charlie has a nose for sniffing out suspects in cases like these, and this time the case is hitting just a little too close to home - especially when someone makes Charlie the target of some rather nasty pranks.  It is time for Charlie to make some choices - with his children settling down with their respective partners and a grandchild on the way fighting the good fight may be more risky than normal.  Can Charlie figure out who the murderer really is before it is too late?

I have not been shy about raving about the Cat in the stack mysteries - they are brilliantly written, have engaging characters you can really connect to, and there are a lot of in jokes for a librarian to enjoy here!  With each new book there is another layer of characters you get to know, so while the cast of characters is now quite complex and interesting, it doesn't feel like you are overwhelmed because they have been introduced so gradually.  This is a brilliant series and it feels like there are going to be some truly wonderful adventures for Charlie and Diesel over the next few years, because although the storylines so far have lead us in a certain direction we are not yet painted into a corner - it feels like there could be many more adventures to come.  

A fun read that will keep you glued to your seat from start to finish - a fine addition to the Cat in the stacks mysteries (fondly known as Charlie and Diesel in our house).

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Reviewed by Brilla

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