Wednesday, December 14, 2011

File M for Murder-Miranda James

File M for Murder

Miranda James

Berkley, Jan 31 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425246184

Renowned playwright Connor Lawton returns home to Athena, Mississippi to teach for two semesters as a writer in residence at Athena College. He is an acerbic individual whose boorish behavior angers school archivist and rare book cataloguer widower Charlie Harris. However, Connor helped bring home Charlie’s daughter Laura, a Hollywood actress, who teaches drama while the professor is on maternity leave.

Connor makes it clear he wants his former fiancée Laura back in his life while another female Damitra Vane makes it clear she wants him back in her life. After alienating everyone including Diesel the Maine coon cat, someone murders Connor. Athena County’s Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Berry investigates the homicide. Laura is a prime suspect as she found the corpse and stole a thumb drive from the crime scene. With her brother Sean, her father and the cat trying to protect her from an adversary’s dangerous assaults, the clues to the author’s murder lies on the thumb drive, if the Harris family can figure what they mean.

The latest A Cat In The Stacks mystery (see Murder Past Due) is an engaging regional cozy in which the murder occurs off page about a quarter of the way into the whodunit. The leisurely paced storyline is fun to follow as someone wants to insure that the secret that Connor uncovered remains interred with him. Mindful of Alexander McCall Smith’s Corduroy Mansions though a different setting, fans will enjoy this tale of the Harris family that sleuths together stays together.

Harriet Klausner

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