Cats, books, libraries, civil war history; what's not to love about Arsenic and Old Books (Cat in the Stacks #6) by Miranda James? Nothing is the right answer. I adored it to pieces and tomorrow February 2nd it becomes available in mass market paperback.
From the back of the book:
In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature—and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head…
Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long’s husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.
Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly…
Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter…
My very first thought is that the lead is a man and that is wonderfully refreshing! It may well be the very first cozy I have read with a male lead. In addition to Charlie, who was easy to like, there were several supporting characters that were equally as much fun to get to know and I hope to see them more. There were also a handful of suspects who were fun to not trust/like. Of course, you know I have a weak spot for cats, and Diesel was absolutely one of my favorite parts of the whole story.
The mystery was a lot of fun for me because I really love Civil War history so that added a special element for me. The diary entries were just so much fun to read. In the back of the book you find a fun and charming short story that adds to the intimacy you will feel with these characters.
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