Murder Past Due
Berkley, Aug 3 2010, $7.99
College librarian architect Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat Diesel live in Athena, Mississippi. Charlie walks the larger than normal sized cat on a leash as the feline is his friend and books are his only companions since his aunt died. However, recently Charlie has found he cares for his boarder Julian Wardlaw, a student at the school.
A former classmate of Charlie arrives at his house. Charlie never liked arrogant Godfrey Priest, Athena’s favorite son as a noted author of gore. Julie Wardlaw informs Godfrey that Julian is his son and the man who raised him is dying. Godfrey gets into a fight with Ezra who thinks of Julian as his son. Soon after their tussle that sent Ezra to the hospital, someone kills Godfrey. Charlie realizes everyone in town seemed to hate haughty Godfrey with several having strong motives, but he ponders who had the opportunity and the ultimate desire as he and Diesel try to help the police who want no help from him or his cat.
Eighteen year old Justin finds the key that opens up Charlie’s heart, which makes him feel again as they empathize with one another encouraged by Diesel. Great characterizations make for a fine regional amateur sleuth whodunit; as Charlie fears the cops are going after the wrong person in this entertaining small southern college town murder mystery.