Charlie has gotten used to his uncanny knack for finding himself in the middle of murder investigations, but he has always been careful to stay out of the media spotlight and let the local police take the credit for solving the crime. He has after all only played a (mostly) small part in each of the investigations, and he isn't keen to ruffle any feathers by claiming more than his share of the credit. With the arrival of his first grandchild, and a second one on the way, it seems like a good time to slow down with the mystery solving anyway. When an author, Jack Pemberton, approaches him about being the subject of a new book he is writing Charlie is sure he will turn the offer down, but then he discovers a surprising connection between himself and a new person in town.
Investigating a cold case is never easy, especially when some of the people involved are no longer around to talk to - and it is especially difficult when people refuse to speak to you at all. Luckily for Charlie he has a secret weapon, there are very few people who can refuse the charm of his cat Diesel and while Diesel may not open every door, he certainly helps in most cases. As Charlie and Jack dig into the cold case murder they discover that the conspiracy goes further than they thought. As they stir up the past it becomes clear that people are keeping secrets - and some of the secrets could get them killed. After lying as a cold case for twenty years, the unsolved murder is becoming a hot case again, and if Charlie and Jack aren't careful the body count may rise as the murderer is determined to keep their secret no matter what it costs.
Saying that I adore the Charlie and Diesel books may be something of an understatement - and luckily for me my mother also reads the series so I have someone to talk to about them! This series has a wide appeal, not only because Charlie is a librarian (my chosen profession) so there are a lot of subtle moments that feel familiar, but also because Diesel reminds me very much of a Maine coon I used to have and a little moggie I own now. The two characters together are what make this series so charming and endearing, and the family and cast of characters that has grown around Charlie and Diesel mean there is lots of interest and realism to keep the series real and engaging.
This was an interesting departure from the usual format for this series, with another strong character coming in, and with the case being a cold case rather than an active case - but it was an interesting and very rewarding departure. It's always a challenge to try and figure out whodunnit first - but the ride is what makes it good and this was a very good ride indeed.
I read Claws for concern as an ebook because my local public library had it listed months ago and in some ways I liked it more because it's harder to tell how far through a book you are when you are reading an ebook so I was able to suspend the "there's only so much of the book left" thoughts and just read the story. Now all I have to do is wait for the tree book copy to arrive so I can talk about this story. There is already the promise of the next book in the series and I can't wait until it comes out so I can see what is next for Charlie and Diesel.
- Murder past due by Miranda James
- Bless her dead little heart by Miranda James
- Dipped, stripped, and dead by Elise Hyatt
- French polished murder by Elise Hyatt
- Lending a paw by Laurie Cass
- Books can be deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
- Pies and prejudice by Ellery Adams
- One for the money by Janet Evanovich
- Death of a kitchen diva by Lee Hollis
- Death of a country fried redneck by Lee Hollis