Rating: I Really Like It!
Description: Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself in handcuffs...
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie s old nemesis from library school.
It s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So, when Gavin is found dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin after the speech, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library..."
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I had seen this series around for years and even read the first one forever ago and really wanted to continue with it.
My Impression: I don't really consider myself a cat person but I really want a cat like Diesel! I love his personality and how he interacts with Charlie. I really just want to snuggle him though I'm not sure how happy Diesel would be about that!
This series is a little unusual in that the main character is a man and at retirement age. He's a true Southern gentleman in the best possible of ways and of the kind you don't see much anymore. He's unfailingly polite, quick to open the door, pull out a chair or make a tactful remark all while staying incredibly nosy!
The mystery was intriguing and followed the Agatha Christie rules of the most unlikable character being the victim. I think the 12 angry librarians in the title was an understatement! The convention center was crawling with angry librarians all with a very real reason to dislike the victim but is that the same as wanting to kill him? Since Charlie has experience in murder investigations and a less than friendly interaction with the victim shortly before Gavin died he finds himself unable to resist following the clues and finding the killer. I really appreciated Charlie's respect for the police - especially for Detective Kanesha Berry and that he encourages everyone he questions to go to the police with their information. There are no TSTL do-it yourself moments in this book!
As some of you know I spend quite a bit of time in Mississippi and so it was an extra treat reading a mystery set in the state. While this is the 8th book in the series I had no problem jumping in here. Since this particular book involves a lot of non-regular characters I'm not sure this would be the case with every book. There are a handful of side characters sprinkled through the book including Charlie's children, their spouses, and a handful of friends. All this brought this little Mississippi town to life - my only complaint is that Helen Louise's Bistro isn't a real place!
If you enjoy a good cozy mystery with entertaining and likable characters (and a delightful cat) this is a must read series!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! I'm glad I have the next book ready to go.
Would I Recommend this Book? Yes! I think cozy mystery readers would really enjoy this!