Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Series #4)

Out of Circulation (Cat in the Stacks Series #4)

4.4 34
by Miranda James
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Librarian Charlie Harris's hometown of Athena, MS, is steeped in the culture of the South, along with old family dramas. With the location of the library's fundraising gala quickly becoming a point of contention between the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity, Charlie would rather be in the stacks than stuck in the middle. It seems that everyone has had conflicts with Vera, including Charlie's unflappable housekeeper, Azalea. But even though the gala becomes affected by Vera's mean-spirited words, no one expects them to be her last. When Azalea is found with Vera's body, Charlie knows he can't stop sleuthing (along with his cat Diesel) until her name is cleared. VERDICT For Charlie's fourth outing (after File M For Murder) the story delves deeper into the background of some secondary characters. The old southern charm recollects Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie series (without the talking animals), while Charlie's investigative techniques may bring some of Agatha Christie's characters to mind.
Publishers Weekly
Humor and plenty of Southern charm buoy James’s fifth Cat in the Stacks mystery (after 2012’s File M for Murder). At the annual fundraising gala for the Friends of the Library, attended by the cream of Athena, Miss., society and held at the Ducote sisters’ stately antebellum mansion, someone does in Vera Cassity, the least popular belle of the ball. Enter widowed librarian Charlie Harris and Diesel, his Maine coon cat with an attitude. Was there a witness to the murder? Charlie’s maid, Azalea Berry, saw something, but she’s reluctant to say what. And since the sheriff considers Azalea a suspect, the maid’s deputy sheriff daughter, Kanesha, has been warned to stay off the case. Cozy fans will hope James (a pen name of Dean James) will keep Charlie and Diesel in action for years to come. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Humor and plenty of Southern charm buoy James's fifth Cat in the Stacks mystery." ---Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101619117
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Series:
Cat in the Stacks Series , #4
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
25,064
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Miranda James should soon be on everyone's list of favorite authors."—Leann Sweeney, author of the Cats in Trouble Mysteries

"[A] kind-hearted librarian hero...and a gentle giant of a cat that will steal your heart."—Lorna Barrett, New York Times bestselling author

"Courtly librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine coon cat, Diesel, are an endearing detective duo."—Carolyn Hart, author of the Bailey Ruth Mysteries

Meet the Author

Miranda James is a pseudonym for Dean James, the Agatha Award-winning author of several works of mystery nonfiction as well as four mystery series including the New York Times bestselling Cat in the Stacks series.

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Out of Circulation 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
the cat in the stacks mysteries are the best i've read in a long time. this one is no exception. charlie harris is a middle-aged part time archivist for the library and his cat diesel is a maine coon cat, that goes every where with him. vera cassity is a caustic woman no one likes, and she is murdered. charlie is asked to help find the person responsible. he does, and many secrets are uncovered. he is very resourceful and smart about where to go to check records out. he finds a jouornal no one realizes is in the archives and the info in it is very surprising. this story will keep you reading to see what will happen next. what secret or discovery will turn up next. if you haven't read any of the cat in the stacks books, you owe it to yoursself to do so. they are thoroughally enjoyable. i love them!!!
DogGuardian More than 1 year ago
Love this series & I can't wait for the next installation. The author does a wonderful job of character development and the writing flows in a warm, natural and easy-to-read style. Each book in the series includes plenty of juicy surprises. I hope to see more of the household members as future plots develop; and of ourse we're all waiting to learn more about lovable Diesel's antics. 
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down once I started. I always get a sense of home coming every time I make a visit to Athena where I get to spend time with Charlie, Diesel and the rest of the gang, especially when there’s a murder mystery to solve. The author did a great job in keeping me glued to the pages as I had to know what was going to happen next. A lot of warm felt emotions were played out in this story, especially when the killer was revealed. This is the best book ever in this magnificent series and I can’t wait to see what adventures the Harris clan will have on our next visit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't like a feel good mystery with ghosts from the past to haunt you with a furry sidekick to help you unravel the clues? I just absolutely love these books, a quick read but I'm always drawn in immediately and my attentionn is kept to the very end. It definitely doesn't hurt that Diesel is the fantastic sidekick
chefdt More than 1 year ago
Out of Circulation is the fourth book in the A Cat In The Stacks Mystery series. I'm not really a cat person, but I love this series and really enjoy reading about Diesel and his owner, Charlie. The library board of directors is meeting to select where their annual Holiday event will be held. As usual it turns into an "old money"-"new money". Miss An'gel and Miss Dickcee, who pretty much have run the social events of Athena and feel their home should host the event. Whereas, Vera Cassity feels that her home is better suited. As always, Miss An'gel and Miss Dixie come out on top. As folks are gathering for the gala event, Sissy Beauchamp, who reportedly is having an affair with Morty Cassity, and Vera Cassity as seen in a discussion. Later, Miss An'gel calls everyone together to honor Vera with a plaque for her years of service to the community and adding that Vera will be retiring from her social activities. This is Misses An'gel and Dickee way to put to rest further confrontations with Vera. As the party is winding down, Charlie notices that Vera has been around for a while. As he is heading to kitchen to visit with his housekeeper, Azalea, he hears muffled yells and pounding. He finds the door and notices a doorstop wedged into the bottom of the door. Behind the door he finds Azalea and the body of Vera lying on the pantry stairs coming from the second floor. Even though there was some bad blood between Azalea and Vera, Charlie knows she couldn't have pushed Vera down the stairs. Earlier, Vera had asked Charlie to look at the family archive for Dickcee and An'gel family, he certainly hoped that there wasn't something in the past that the sisters wanted to kept secret. Charlie has been asked by the sisters to look into Vera's death and to find the murderer. So he is off to talk with his romantic interest, Helen Louise and his boarder Stewart, gathering information about the conflict between the sisters and Vera. But in the end, Charlie is able to realize who the murderer is. All the enjoyable characters are back to help Charlie uncover the guilty person. Kanesha quite naturally has to stay in the background, as her mother, Azalea, is person on interest. And Charlie gets a wonderful present from his daughter, Laura. Looking forward to book 5.
QMBOOKS More than 1 year ago
James has written another wonderful book in the Cat in the Stacks series. Actually the best one thus far. Not only is the writing exceptional, the mystery keeps you guessing. With each book his characters show growth and you gain more insight into each one. Pick up any of the books in the series and I guarantee it will refuse to be put down.
DarkAngelCT More than 1 year ago
This books goes back to Athena Mississippi where we catch up with Charlie Harris, his Maine coon cat Diesel, his kids Sean and Laura and the various people in their lives.  In this book Charlie is joining the other members of the library board to get donations for the library with a fundraising Gala.  Not long into this Charlie finds everyone seems to have a passionate dislike for Vera Cassity, including his maid Azalea, what Charlie can't figure out is why?  That is until Vera goes head to head with Charlie about trying to access the Ducote files, which can't be accessed without permission being granted by the lawyer of the estate or surviving family members. The night of the Gala shows so many things going on like a heated argument between Vera and Azalea, Vera and her husband get into a heated fight over his having an affair.  Later in the night when everyone is packing up to go home Vera is found murdered the question is who had the most to gain by shutting down Mrs. Cassity and why? This book was great I love going back to Athena to see what everyone is up to, and this book didn't fail in this one we also saw more of Stewart which was nice seeing him interact with the family I enjoyed it a lot.  Cat in the Stacks won't disappoint anyone in the slightest!
Carstairs38 8 months ago
Fundraising Galas are Murder I was quite anxious to get to Out of Circulation, the fourth book in Miranda James’s Cat in the Stacks Mysteries. Since I’m already up to date on the spin-off Southern Ladies series, I wanted to read the book where Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote, the stars of that second series, were introduced. Plus, of course, I’ve been enjoying this series, and I wanted to continue it. This entry didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce are both on the Friends of the Library board in the college town of Athena, Mississippi, and Charlie Harris, our main character in this series, has joined the board as well. They are currently working on the library’s major gala held each December. As always, this gala creates conflict between the Ducote sisters and Vera Cassity, who thinks she should be the grand dame of Athena society, injecting herself in every fundraiser in the community. The ironic thing is, if she weren’t so pushy, people would actually welcome her help. As always, the Friends of the Library fundraising gala is being held at the Ducote mansion, much to Vera’s dismay. However, the evening ends with Vera at the bottom of the mansion’s back stairs – dead. Charlie finds the body along with his housekeeper Azalea. There was no love lost between Azalea and the victim, and the sheriff is quick to zero in on Azalea as the prime suspect. But why does Azalea hold such a grudge against Vera? Was her death a tragic accident? Or did someone push her down the stairs? Those familiar with the series will quickly wonder why the police are considering Azalea as the prime suspect. See, in the past books in the series, we’ve dealt with Kanesha, who happens to be Azalea’s daughter as well as the local detective. It’s her boss that zeroes in on Azalea as the prime suspect, leaving Kanesha off the case. I actually enjoyed this aspect of the book since it gave us a chance to see Kanesha in a different light, really enhancing her character. We are getting a large cast of characters in this series, and I enjoyed getting to catch up with all of them again. Naturally, the book is also filled with new characters to be the suspects, and I found them all interesting characters as well. Obviously, that includes the Ducote sisters, who are as delightfully fun here as they are in the series they star in. While the murder comes later than in many of the books I read, the time is filled with setting up suspects and motives. Believe me, the tension is there for the entire book. The climax surprised me while being completely and perfect logical. I loved it! And I can’t forget about Diesel, Charlie’s Maine Coon cat (and the cat of the series title). Of course, he’s a regular part of the action. I did get a little tired of the constant talk about how adverse he is to tension and conflict since, as always, the book is filled with it, but that is a minor issue. Out of Circulation is a fabulous book that will please any lover of cozy mysteries. If you haven’t started this series, you need to fix that today.
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GenevieveTX More than 1 year ago
Lot of fun reading. It's nice to read a light , humorous, friendly story after reading mean nasty murder mystries. I have enjoyed all of the Cat in the Stack stories that are currently out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hildajp More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in this series and loved them all would read any more books in this series
wineisme More than 1 year ago
These books are a pleasant read...nice the way the author ties two story lines together!
NancyLibrarian More than 1 year ago
A bitter and ambitious woman, Vera Cassity, is losing her battle for social pre-eminence to the Ducote sisters. At the library fund-raising gala, someone pushes the malicious woman down some steep stairs to her death, and the first person found on the scene is Azalea, mild-mannered librarian Charlie Harris' housekeeper. Charlie and his big Maine coon cat Diesel get to work to clear Azalea's name, actually egged on this time by Kanesha, tough policewoman and Azalea's daughter--and therefore kicked off the case by her less competent boss, Sheriff Tidwell. Charlie is a gentle man, but he's detail-oriented, as an archival librarian needs to be, and he is dogged at going after the truth, and seeing wrong-doing punished. The author tries to be a little too politically correct by having some gay characters in the series, but their sexual proclivities have little to do with the story lines in general. This particular story does feature some homosexual characters key to the plot, but they aren't the regulars, just some characters brought in for this particular story. They are well-drawn, and their habits are key to the plot, but Charlie's one gay boarder is unnecessarily saddled with stereotypical homosexual behaviors and mannerisms that detract from the ambience of Charlie's home overall. James would do better to mention the character is gay and then move on, instead of making a big deal about it. However, despite this gripe about the series, I love Diesel and enjoy Charlie and his household, and found this story a worthy addition to the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kristak More than 1 year ago
Charlie solves another case! This one was as interesting as the previous 3, always keeping you trying to figure out who could have done the deed! I was so surprised at the end to find out who actually the "murderer"was, never considered that one! Stewart is always good for some comic relief and lots of helpful input this time! Nice also that Charlie has a girlfriend, but, like Qwilleran of the Cat Who books, isn't really interested in marriage but likes to have a love in his life. Rounds him out and seems to make him livelier. As in the other books, you glean tidbits into Charlie's profession--always nice to learn something when you are reading for fun.
ljethrogibbs46 More than 1 year ago
Another great mystery with Charlie & Diesel!  As a guy I like these stories better than some of the "cozies" which have more chick-lit kinds of plots -cookie shops, women talking about feelings all the time, etc.  While Diesel is not a "magical" cat like in some series, he certainly holds his own as companion & best buddy.Have now read all 4 books & can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this series. Literate and well written. Well rounded, believeable characters.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of these books. The plots are generally well crafted. The characters are enjoyable. However, I find the main character Charlie Harris, totally unbelievable. He is so effeminate that I often see him as a female character, which makes many other aspects of the book fall apart. I like his character, I really do, but his mannerisms, feelings, and gut reactions are not that of even the most gentlemanly of southern men. That said, the mysteries are fun and very enjoyable. I would however, tell the cover artist that Diesel is a Maine coon cat NOT a tabby. .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend for anyone who loves mysteries and cats; great characters; eagerly looking forward to the next installment!