Blurb: Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He's returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but when a feud erupts between the town's richest ladies, the writing on the wall spells murder.
The Ducote sisters are in a tiff with Vera Cassity over the location of this year's library fundraising gala, and Charlie would rather curl up in a corner than get into the fray. It seems everyone--even his housekeeper Azalea--has it in for Vera. And at the gala, she gives them good reason, with a public display of rancor aimed at anyone who gets in her way.
But those bitter words wind up being her last. When Charlie discovers Azalea standing over Vera's dead body, it's up to him--with a little help from Diesel--to clear Azalea's name, and catch a killer before his last chapter is finished.
My 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 installment war has broken out amongst the society ladies of the library board over the locale of this year's fund-raising gala, culminating in one of them murdered - pushed down the stairs on the night of the gala - in her Scarlett O'Hara gown. Charlie's cherished housekeeper Azalea is found with the body - one of many with an ax to grind with the victim. As Charlie investigates it becomes apparent these old southern families are hiding generations of sordid secrets.
My favorite characters in Out of Circulation are the Ducote sisters; I picture them as the Baldwin sisters in The Waltons. The revelations that come out of their mother's journal are straight out of an historical romance novel...I couldn't get enough!
This is the best book yet in one of my favorite cozy cat series...Charlie and Diesel are a couple of charmers that I enjoy spending time with.
FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher with the request for a review.