Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: Arsenic & Old Books by Miranda James


Blurb: In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature—and for his Maine coon cat Diesel that he walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head…
 
Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long’s husband. The mayor would like Charlie to preserve and to substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.

Beck’s biggest rival is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck’s, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He’d like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly…

Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter…

"Can you help me read Diesel's latest adventure, Mommy? I just love him!" --Truffles

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

How much trouble can a set of four Civil War era diaries cause? Quite a lot! Charlie and Diesel's 6th adventure - their 1st in hardcover - begins when Athena's Mayor Long donates the family diaries to the archives of Athena College hoping they will benefit her son Beck's state senate campaign. Before Charlie knows it people are practically lined up ouside his door wanting to get their hands on the diaries, including a history professor desperate for tenure and Beck's political rival Jasper Singletary who thinks the diaries contain evidence of wrongs the Mayor's family perpetrated upon his 150 years ago. It contains scandalous information - but not what anyone expected - and before long the diaries are stolen, the professor is dead, and everyone is a suspect.

This book is a fast and fun read. What I enjoyed most was the "mystery within the mystery" of what transpired between the Long and Singletary families during those awful days of the Civil War. I found the diary entries to be riveting and the entire mystery compelling. The only thing missing was a "big reveal," just a brief explanation of what transpired.

For those of us who have followed Charlie and Diesel from the very 1st Cat in the Stacks mystery, this book contains an extra treat - the short story "When Charlie Met Diesel". Here's hoping these two have many, many more adventures yet to come!

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Monday, February 9th, for your chance to win a hardcover copy of Arsenic and Old Books. (US entries only, please.)

49 comments:

  1. I cannot wait to read this! I read all of Miranda James' books in the past 2 weeks while snowed in! I can't wait to read this one! sarah2323 at gmail dot com

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  2. I love James's work—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of this book!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  3. Cute title and looks great; hope to get a chance to read it :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. Peeking into secrets from the past is always fascinating. This is a terrific series!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  5. I love this series, and I really appreciate the opportunity to win a hardcover copy. My eyesight isn't what it used to be ! kathambre@yahoo.com

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  6. Love the cover, I can't wait to read it. Thank you for a chance to win. weluvdopey@sc.rr.com

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  7. A wonderful feature and great series. Thanks for this giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. Mystery sounds fascinating. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I have just recently discovered Charlie and Diesel and am enchanted. I would destroy love to win their latest adventure.

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  10. I love following Charlie and Diesel's many escapades. I would enjoy having a copy of their new book to devour. Thanks for the chance. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  11. Charlie and Diesel totally ROCK! I love the series and am thrilled that the publisher has finally seen fit to print them in hardcover for those of us who collect books.

    NoraAdrienne at gmail dot com

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  12. Charlie and Diesel are the bomb! They have such a great relationship and they get into such adventures. Plus the secondary characters are such a hoot! I especially love Charlie's relationship with the "police"...Thanks for the giveaway

    maria63303 at gmail dot com

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  13. Another good book to look forward to reading.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  14. I have started this series and love Diesel. Thanks for the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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  15. So looking forward to this. I love the series.

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  17. Haven't read this series yet but this would a great place to start.
    rjprazak6@gmail.com

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  18. That is a great title and I'm sure the book is good too!

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  19. That sounds like a great read. I have always been more into non-fiction, but I am getting into mysteries more and more- as long as they have a cat :)

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  20. What a great pic, Truffles! Like you (and Mommy), I love, Love, LOVE this series! patucker54 at aol dot com

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  21. I love these books. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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  22. Looking forward to Charlie and Diesel's latest adventure - as are William Shakespeare and Slinky, two of my cats!

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  23. Love the title and the cover! Thanks for the chance! angelhwk68@yahoo.com

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  24. This looks like another good read. Thanks for the chance to win! mamamoongrrlie at gmail.com

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  25. This is one of my favorite series. I'm looking forward to reading this one.

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  26. I love this series. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  27. Ask Truffles to "pick me" :-) Would love to read the next Diesel in the series! Great series - enjoy it! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot)com

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  28. Any book with Diesel in it is a book I MUST read. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  29. I love this series and I can not wait to read this one. Diesel is awesome.

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  30. Oh Wow! Mes going to has to read this one!
    Thanks for the review.
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  31. Thank you for the review~Sounds great! I love the cover and the title!
    woodrumbetty@gmail.com

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  32. Sounds like a good book. Would love to read it. :)

    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  33. Love the cover. Sounds like a wonderful book.
    Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. Secrets, cats, looking forward to a new mystery! Thanks!
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. I love this series! Thanks for the chance!

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  36. Cool title. Wonderful for you to sponsor this giveaway

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  37. I really enjoy this series and would love to read the new book!

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  38. I have all of the other books in this series. I want this book. I love mysteries with cats in them.
    Email: norbert8bubba@yahoo.com

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  39. I have all of the other books in this series. I want this book. I love mysteries with cats in them.
    Email: norbert8bubba@yahoo.com

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  40. This series is a new one to us!! Will check it out. Thanks for the review :)

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  41. Love these stories. Cant' wait to read the new ones. sclickner@juno.com

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  42. It sounds like a really interesting story. I love the tie to the Civil War. Thanks for having this giveaway.

    ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

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  43. Can't wait for the next installment of The Cat in the Stacks Mystery series. Love Charlie and Diesel.

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  44. Charming series. Bobbipad at gmail dot com

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  45. I love this series, and Charlie and Diesel

    kaye.killgore@comcast.net

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  46. would love to read this!!
    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  47. Sounds like a story I would enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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