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  • A charming cozy mystery featuring Diesel & Charlie

    Careless Whiskers by Miranda James is the twelfth A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. It can be read as a standalone courtesy of the background information provided by the author. Charlie Harris and Diesel are back along with the adorable Ramses. Charlie has sworn off investigating after a close call, but, when his daughter is in the line of fire, he must dive in once again. Luke Lombardi is the guest actor for the performance of Careless Whispers written by a local playwright using the name Finn Zwake. Luke has an ego the size of Texas and an insufferable attitude to go with it. Laura and Luke have a series of altercations during the week of rehearsals with Laura stating more than once that she would “kill” him if he did such a thing again (she was frustrated). When Luke ends up dead on the stage after drinking from the glass handed to him by Laura, she finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Charlie knows his daughter is innocent and begins nosing around searching for answers. There are several suspects from Luke’s paramour to his understudy. I liked following Charlie’s investigation. There are good clues and misdirection to distract readers from the solution. In addition, there is the prankster in the theater and two men who both claim to be the playwright Finn Zwake. I thought Careless Whiskers was well-written with steady pacing. I appreciated the addition of my what my father termed ten dollar words (sangfroid and inamorata are two examples). The words suited the education of the characters. I thought that the characters were developed and realistic. The authors descriptions allowed me to visualize each one especially Finn Zwake with his shaggy mane of red hair and ridiculous mustache. Charlie continues to develop as he grows older. It is nice to see him slowing down at work and enjoying time with his grandchildren. I especially love the scenes with Charlie at home with Diesel and Ramses. I find Diesel’s little chirps and trills delightful. It is cute that Ramses tries to imitate his older brother. I laughed often while reading Careless Whiskers thanks to the abundance of humor. The ending was very special and left me smiling. Careless Whiskers is a diverting cozy mystery with an arrogant actor, a frisky feline, disquieting disputes, a phony playwright, and puzzling pranks.

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  • I loved it!

    This series is up to book twelve and it continues to excel as a first rate cozy mystery series. It is one of my all time favourites and this latest does not disappoint. It is always a delight to visit with Charlie, Diesel and the rest of the characters. They are written full of personality and are interesting. As always, the whodunit was top notch. I highly recommend this series!

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  • Diesel and Charlie make a great team

    Always look forward to another Diesel and Charlie story. This one took awhile to get into the meat of the story but after that it moved along very nicely.

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  • Careless Whiskers

    A complicated story and impossible to do a brief summary in a review. Laura and Frank, Charlie’s daughter and son-in-law, are involved in a play written by a new playwright and the actors are their students—except Laura has the lead female role and Frank the director. They have acquired the services of a C-list actor in the leading male role. During rehearsal week, someone plays pranks on the actor, leaving a dead snake in his dressing room and spiking his tea with hot peppers. These pranks were supposed to scare the actor from doing the play and allow one of the students, his understudy, to take over the leading role. These pranks did not work. In addition to these bizarre pranks, two men show up claiming to be the young playwright. During the first act on the night of the performance, the actor is poisoned when he drinks his tea, causing Charlie to fume in anger because Laura could have been killed as well as she was also supposed to drink the tea as well. There are so many suspects and Charlie’s brain has to work overtime to sort out the killer.

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