Welcome to this week's edition of Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday!
We hope you enjoy our choices.
Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) by Miranda James
From the publisher: 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 drops dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, 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...
Tortie Shorties Review: I don't read a lot of books where a man is the protagonist, but Charlie Harris of Miranda James' Cat in the Stacks Mystery series is something special. Over the course of this series I've watched Charlie grow from a lonely librarian to a beloved member of the genteel town of Athena, surrounded by family and friends - and a very special cat, Diesel.
In this 7th book in the series, Charlie isn't looking forward to delivering the welcome speech at the Southern Academic Libraries Association's annual conference, and when he discovers that Gavin Fong, an unwelcome ghost from his past is also attending, he finds reason to dread it even more. It doesn't take long for the two men to be at each other's throats once again, but Charlie soon learns his feelings towards Gavin are felt by many. The next morning Gavin steps up to the podium to make his speech and drops dead moments after taking a drink from his water bottle. Gavin had hosted a party for the librarians in his room the night before, the most likely time for the water to be poisoned, meaning there's a killer loose among the conference attendees. While investigating the crime Charlie also has a lot of change going on in his personal life to complicate matters further for the sleuthing librarian. The mystery is very fast paced and the resolution turned out to be a big surprise.
Unlike many cat cozies, Charlie and Diesel aren't a crime-solving team. Diesel has no special powers that enable him to help solve the mystery. He's simply Charlie's best friend and companion with kitty quirks that we all witness in our own beloved pets...and that's exactly what makes their relationship (and this series) so special.
For Whom the Bread Rolls: A Pancake House Mystery by Sarah Fox
From the publisher: Tourist season’s in full swing in the small seaside town of Wildwood Cove, and Marley McKinney couldn’t be happier. Since taking over the Flip Side restaurant, she’s made a few close friends, adopted a cat named Flapjack, and started dating her childhood crush. The only cloud on the horizon is local nuisance Ida Winkler, who blames Marley for landing her nephew in prison. Trying to get a rise out of Marley, Ida’s been making crank calls and even vandalizing the pancake house.
The police can’t do much about the pranks, so Marley sets out to bury the hatchet once and for all. But someone’s beat her to it—in the most shocking way possible. After stumbling across Ida’s dead body, Marley’s suddenly the number-one suspect in her murder. Clearing her good name is going to be a tall order, but Marley’s not about to let Ida keep ruining her life—especially from beyond the grave.
Tortie Shorties Review: The summer tourist season sees business booming at The Flip Side pancake house. As Marley continues to settle into Wildwood Cove life is pretty much perfect except for the ongoing acts of vandalism and crank calls made by cranky Ida Winkler. When Marley has finally had enough of the harassment she pays Ida a visit, only to find her dead in the garden shed, whacked over the head with the base of an antique lamp that Ida stole from Marley's front porch. Before long Marley starts to worry that business is going to suffer if she doesn't clear her name of suspicion, and she ends up discovering that many people in town had reason to hold a grudge against Ida. From blackmail to illegal dumping at the river to a local meth lab, there's a lot of illegal activity going on around Wildwood Cove, and Marley takes it upon herself to tie up the details.
Great characters, a picturesque setting, yummy food descriptions, and an adorable cat...what more does a cozy mystery need?