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Murder Past Due

(Cat in the Stacks #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  6,943 ratings  ·  935 reviews
There's a cat in the stacks...

...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth.

Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris-and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous bestselling novelist, Godfrey Priest.

But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the bestseller lis
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Kathy Pierce I started reading this series out of sequence but I love it so far. Who would not love Diesel? Very perceptive and intelligent.
Carlie C There are characters that you see throughout all of the books, but they can be read out of order and be treated like stand-alone novels. I do think th…moreThere are characters that you see throughout all of the books, but they can be read out of order and be treated like stand-alone novels. I do think that I would recommend reading them in order because I think that enhances the reading experience. (less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  6,943 ratings  ·  935 reviews

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Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I chose this one because it takes place in the south and in a library setting. I was curious where the author would go with it given I read another series with a main character who is a cat (Lilian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who Books") and another one with a library setting (Jenn MCKinlay's "Library Lovers cozy series")... fits right in.

I like the main character but I'm not overly fond of him where I feel the need to continue reading the next book in the series immediately. I would read more of
Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommended to lethe by: Alannah Davis
This was my bedtime reading for the past week. I made it to page 172 before I started skimming. I found both the writing style and the (human) protagonist extremely annoying.

Just 3 pages in we get an exposé of what a Maine coon cat is. Furthermore, every. single. action is described in minute and often redundant detail. Some examples:
After logging in to the cataloging module of our integrated library system (or ILS, in library parlance), I began to examine the book. (…)
I turned to the computer a
Lois Bujold
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers of cozy mysteries
Well, I enjoyed this one, too, being in the mood for a cozy mystery, which this very much is.

Written first person from the POV of a gentlemanly 50-something small Southern town college librarian (widowed male with adult kids). It was very much the same headspace and tone as the much more over-the-top gentlemanly Southern gay vampire in small-town England series by the same author (under a different name), except without the vampire, gay, and England parts, and adding a cat. ( https://www.goodrea
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
A fun cozy mystery with a good ending. I read this book in only two sittings. Not a real brain-teaser, but a perfect curl-up-and-read mystery.

A few things bored or frustrated me enough to consider putting the book down (though obviously I didn't, so they weren't too bad ... still a good read)
In the third quarter of the book (between the halfway point and the climax), the novel hits a dead spot. The plot moved very slowly. There are pages about the main character gardening (which has nothing to
Dec 21, 2011 marked it as unfinished
I tried. I was only 11 pages in when I realized I really didn't like the protagonist, Charlie. He comes across as a fussy old coot. When his college freshman border leaves the kitchen a mess, he takes that and a few days of moodiness to assume that something is wrong and that the kid may have turned to drugs. Because God knows, when I was messy and in a bad mood for a few days my freshman year it was because I turned to drugs. Or something.

When Justin, his border, returns, Charlie deals with th
DNF 35% and as is my personal policy I don't rate books unless I have read at least 50%.

Everyone in this book is too stupid to live. Except the cat.

Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Is it a coincidence ‘James’ has twice been a pseudonym for males posing as female? ‘Rebecca James’ was another. If it is to stop readers from overlooking them: it worked and I'm glad. I don't often read male authors, especially 50 year-old male protagonists but DEAN James (as per copyright credits) is talented and his character 'Charlie', a delight. I adore cats, libraries, and mysteries and am rewarded threefold.

Widowed, with a grown son & daughter out-of-state, Charlie works part-time in an ar
Dawn Michelle
WOW!! What an amazing first read of a series for me. WOW.

I have had this book for quite some time and with all the other series that I read, I had just not gotten around to it. I think I have started 6 new series this year alone and 2 were really complete duds, one I enjoyed immensely and three I have loved completely from the beginning sentences; this was one of those three.

What I love about this book/series:
1. The main character is a man.

2. The main character is not a willy-nilly school
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, mystery
Murder Past Due is a reasonably fun but unremarkable cosy mystery. The main draws would be the cat, Diesel, who is a main character, and the fact that it’s set partially in a library. But the cat isn’t the detective and isn’t the main character, and the library is just where the main character works, so it’s not that niche. I didn’t find any of the characters or their relationships particularly compelling, though the small-town USA atmosphere was kind of interesting — I kept being surprised when ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting for awhile to finally read this and I'm so glad I did, actually thanks to a book club I'm in. This book definitely didn't disappoint. I just love Charlie and his cat Diesel, such a great team. Diesel is probably the most interactive cat of any series I've read so far. He doesn't really help with the mystery but I love how he senses when people need him. The mystery had my interest from the get go, the twists had me definitely not sure who the killer was, although I did guess an ...more
Carlie C
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was such a light and fun read! Now, I'm going to start this book by saying that I read what is technically the second book in this series first, and I had no issue when reading this book, so they can be read out of order. I enjoyed getting to revisit these characters and I liked getting to see where everything started. I still like the characters as much as I did when I first read about them, and I thought that this mystery was decently interesting. Now, I will admit that this is far from a ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Was sucked in from the very first page and it held my interest right to the very last page!

I thought I knew who it was from the half way point - and still had them picked right up until the arrested the murderer - who wasn’t on my radar!

Great book
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first in the series, CAT IN THE STACKS. I had started it with a later book and then went to the beginning. I liked Charlie Harris, the main character and archivist at a college in a small town in Mississippi and his LARGE Maine coon cat, Diesel who goes everywhere with him--and on a leash too.

The mystery revolves around a best-selling author, an alumnus of the college and old "pal"--make that an old enemy of the main character--who comes to town. But he doesn
Murder past due by Miranda James is the first book in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series. A famous author returns to his hometown to meet a son that he had not known about only to be murdered. The book introduces us to librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel. It was a nice introduction to the various characters and an interesting mystery although a bit slow and formal. A typical cozy mystery although unusual as it was solved by the police , with the main character remaining clue ...more
Lorna Barrett
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A Cat In The Stacks, Miranda James' debut in the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, combines a kind-hearted librarian hero, family secrets in a sleepy southern town, and a gentle giant of a cat that will steal your heart. A great beginning to a promising new cozy series. ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a great start to a cozy mystery series. it is very entertaining and well written. the protagonist and amateur sleuth is a middle-aged librarian named Charlie Harris. he a kindhearted, likeable hero. he's also a book and animal lover. he works in the archives at the college library in his hometown of Athena, Mississippi. he also volunteers at the public library and frequents the towns only independent bookstore, the Atheneum bookstore. he also has a Maine Coon cat named diesel that he rescues as ...more
Nov 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Charlie Harris is a part time collage librarian in Mississippi. He's a recent widower with a pet Maine Coon Cat named, Diesel, who walks on a leash everywhere with Charlie. Charlie also boards a couple of students from the college.

When a former classmate, Godfrey Priest, comes to town to promote his latest bestselling book, not everyone is pleased with his visit. Godfrey is a bit of an arrogant bastard who has hurt and angered a number of people. He's also coming to claim a son who is rooming w
Jun 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
This wasn't a bad book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea either. A cozy mystery set in a small Mississippi town: a local man, disliked by many, has made it big as a writer and gets murdered when he comes back to town. Charlie Harris, a widowed librarian, and his cat Diesel set out to help the authorities solve the crime. If you enjoy books where you get to read about the many mundane details of daily life: who pets the cat, who accepts or decline refreshments, when someone changes clothes, the c ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
I certainly don't need to add more cozy book series to my life but alas, I did just that with this one. I had this on my TBR pile and finally checked it out at the library. There's a librarian, a cat and a small town so I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this one. And I did. I liked it but have to admit that this isn't my favorite cozy ever. I liked the mystery of the murdered part but I just didn't find any of the characters that likely will be our main townspeople to be well enough defined. They're a ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
An easy, light read. I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to the rest of the series. It was a simply written murder mystery, set in a small town, with the typical crowd of suspects as you constantly ask yourself, "Whodunit??" I enjoyed Diesel's presence as a character; he garnered so much respect within the story he may as well have been a human! ...more
a nice cozy mystery. also contains cute cat.
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, all-ages, cozy
I picked this book up at one of my library's book sales and it turned out to be one of my online book club's books. I'm glad it worked out that way, because I really enjoyed it! Unlike every other cozy mystery I've read, the main character in this series is a man. It's a nice change to have a different point of view about some things and see how other characters interact with him. Charlie is his name and I found him to be very smart, kind, wise, thoughtful, and not too unpredictable or daring... ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. After falling in love with Sofie Kelly's superlative Magical Cats series, I've been looking for other cat mysteries to fill the gap once I catch up to the MC release schedule.

Unfortunately, despite a promising premise (widower librarian in small-town Mississippi, big lovable cat companion, a famous author murdered), Murder Past Due just fell really flat for me. The characters all felt more like caricatures than fleshed out individuals; the depiction of Justin,
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
What an unusual cozy! A Male protagonist! And Charlie Harris is a librarian who has a Maine Coon cat named Diesel who chirps and loves attention especially when he is on his leash walking with Charlie everywhere in Athena, MS. Charlie has returned home after his wife's death, and he and Diesel have become permanent fixtures about town. Diesel is even allowed in the library where Charlie works.

An old friend of Charlie's is also back in Athena. Godfrey Priest is a bestselling author and is rememb
A hurricane slammed through my kitchen this morning, and his name was Justin.

I originally read this book in 2011 and did not review. Having the opportunity to read the first twelve books in the series for this year is a pleasure.

Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon, Diesel live in Athena Mississippi where Charlie works as an archivist in the university library. Charlie has continued the tradition of renting out rooms in his home that he inherited from his aunt. A former classmate returns to Athena
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon, Diesel, live in Athena, Mississippi. Everyone in town knows the widower who walks his cat on a leash. When a local author is murdered, Harris discovers that a lot of people in town had a motive to kill the arrogant, underhanded man. With so many people having a score to settle with the murdered man, Charlie and Diesel have to reveal the murderer before an innocent person is arrested.

I enjoyed this book. The characters are likeable, and the plot is en
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
What started out as simply a search for a book cover featuring a cat on it in an attempt to fulfill a Goodreads Book Cover Bingo "stamp" requirement has instead introduced me to a fun series! This book is part of A Cat in the Stacks Mystery and is the first of the series.

The book is told from the perspective of Charlie, who works with rare books at the local college. He inherited a house and always has a couple of college boarders living there. He is also the friend and provider for a wonderful
Book Concierge
Charlie Harris is a librarian at Athena College, working in the rare books archives. He’s well known in the town, especially because he walks his Maine Coon cat, Deisel, on a leash. An old school acquaintance, Godfrey Priest, has made it big as an author of thrillers, and he’s in town for a reception and book launching. He may be famous, but Godfrey is basically an arrogant, manipulative jerk. He seems bent on picking fights and upsetting everyone. By lunch he’s sent one man to the hospital, and ...more
Amy Holland
I found one of the books in this series in my library's book sale, and I was all like: "A mystery about librarians AND cats?!? GET IT." so then of course I had to order the rest of the series from Amazon. I think there are three so far, and this is the first one. It was cute! I was actually surprised by the ending - it was nice not being able to spot the culprit from a mile away. And I loved the little details about library life, and of course I loved the fact that the main character walks his c ...more
Barbara ★
Books and cats what's not to like? Apparently the main character! I just did not like Charlie Harris. He was almost fifty but acted much older - fussy and was too condescending to 18 year old Justin, his boarder. Come to think of it, I didn't much like Justin either. Maybe because he didn't act like an eighteen year old guy. He was very deferential and polite which is so not my impression of a teenage boy.

The mystery itself was well done with quite a few red herrings. I figured out who but not
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Cat in the Stacks (Murder Past Due) by Miranda James 13 51 Feb 03, 2020 02:06AM  

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Pen name of Dean James, who also writes as Honor Hartman and Jimmie Ruth Evans ...more

Other books in the series

Cat in the Stacks (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Classified as Murder (Cat in the Stacks, #2)
  • File M for Murder (Cat in the Stacks, #3)
  • Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks, #4)
  • The Silence of the Library (Cat in the Stacks, #5)
  • Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks, #6)
  • No Cats Allowed (Cat in the Stacks, #7)
  • Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks, #8)
  • Claws for Concern (Cat in the Stacks, #9)
  • Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks, #10)
  • The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks #11)

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