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Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks, #1)
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Murder Past Due

(Cat in the Stacks #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,490 ratings  ·  720 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
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Beverly Rakowski One thing in your favor is there is NO foul language and no graphic violence. There is a little romance for the main character but not in every book…moreOne thing in your favor is there is NO foul language and no graphic violence. There is a little romance for the main character but not in every book and it is more referred to than described. Diesel is a great cat character who loves everyone, especially children.
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,490 ratings  ·  720 reviews


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James
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
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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
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Julia
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
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C.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: up-to-2012
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 a
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Schnaucl
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
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lethe
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
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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 b
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Ian
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.

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Tari
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
Lyn
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
...more
Nikki
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, crime
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
Sharon
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-2018
I was in two minds about this book, I got to the halfway mark and it was not really grabbing me but I decided to stick with it. I am glad I did as the story gained more momentum as it got closer to revealing who the killer was. With a variety of characters, all with a motive for murder, it makes for an interesting mystery to solve, as usual, I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed.

If you like cozy mysteries and cats then this book is a great start to hopefully an interesting seri
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Ryan
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
Ronna
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
...more
Brittany
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
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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.
Amber
a nice cozy mystery. also contains cute cat.
Amanda
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-ages, cozy, mystery
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
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 remembe
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Samantha
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
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
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
...more
Lou Robinson
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it
If there was ever such a thing as a 'feel good' murder story, this is it. A little like an American based Midsomer Murders? Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys? Being a cat person myself, the only reason I picked this up was James showing it to me when we were in Barnes and Noble in Florida. it was a quick read and I did enjoy it, but don't expect any literary piece of art here. The star of the show is a Maine Coon cat called Diesel, but he's unlike any cat I've ever known...he seems to do what he's t ...more
Laura Lee
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book a lot. Instead I only liked it a little. The mystery was pretty good, but the cat in the book was boring. It was a nice cat who gave comfort to the victims, but that's it. It had a cat on the cover so I was tricked! First in a series, I am committed to read the second with my cozy reading buddy, but it wanted more of the cat! I guess I am used to the talking, mystery solving cat, more than the calm, collected cat. He did walk on a lease and went everywhere with his own ...more
Betty
This is the first book in Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks series, reprinted. Let me say first that I loved the interaction between Diesel, a rescued Maine Coon cat, and the other characters in the story. So much so, that I want a Maine Coon cat! The book is well-written and characters fully formed, not always found in the first book of a series. There appears to be a good balance among the characters.

The storyline was full of suspense and twists right to the end. When best-selling author Godf
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Jonathan
I had high hopes for this book after reading this author's other series, but I was disappointed. Though this book was good, it also lacked in some areas with inconsistencies popping up every so often.

First of all Justin. He was flat, to say the least. He was supposed to be an eighteen year old man but he acted like a twelve year old boy. The other characters didn't help any by calling him a boy, and he honestly annoyed me every time he said Mama or called Charlie sir, which he did in almost ever
...more
Jodi
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, 2015-read
I'm a sucker for books with libraries or librarians and this has both. Plus a Maine Coon cat. Charlie Harris, part time archivist, finds himself at the center of a murder investigation when a famous author offers his alma mater all his papers and is promptly murdered. The problem is the author wasn't very likable so the list of potential murderers is long. Charlie is especially involved because his young boarder has recently discovered that he is the author's son. Their first meeting didn't go w ...more
El Hodgin
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Over all, I liked this book. I spent most of my afternoon curled up with my Maine Coon cat reading this book.

Sometimes I found it hard to believe Justin as a character, but as he received some pretty hefty shocks in the book, I'm willing to overlook that.

Several male characters, and female characters, called out certain characters as misogynists, for which I was eternally grateful. Which is a thing I tend to look at in books.

Diesel was probably my favorite by far, but that's because he was a cat
...more
Sheila Beaumont
This cozy mystery has an irresistibly attractive cover, and I'm happy to report that the story inside is just as good! I liked the characters, including the good-natured, compassionate librarian Charlie Harris, the delightful small-town Southern setting, the way all the supporting characters were so well portrayed, and the clever whodunit plot. Most of all, I loved Diesel, Charlie's friendly Maine coon cat, who loves attention, walks on a leash, and chirps and warbles rather than meowing. A fun ...more
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Other books in the series

Cat in the Stacks (1 - 10 of 11 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)
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  • The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks #11)
“With their broad chests and muscular bodies, maine coons are the defensive tackles of the cat world.” 20 likes
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