cover image Twelve Angry Librarians: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Twelve Angry Librarians: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery

Miranda James. Berkley Prime Crime, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-425-27776-8

James’s engaging eighth Cat in the Stacks mystery (after 2016’s No Cats Allowed) finds affable Charlie Harris, the interim director of the Athena College library in Athena, Miss., looking forward to chairing a discussion panel and giving a short opening speech at the Southern Academic Library Association’s conference that his college is hosting. A glance at the list of attendees turns up the names of old friends from his days at library school, but it also reveals someone else from Charlie’s past: Gavin Fong, one of the most despised men in the SALA. Even the usually mild-mannered Charlie ends up taking a swing at Fong, who has made it clear that he’s after the permanent job of library director at Athena College. When Fong is found dead, poisoned with a bottle of water from his private stock, Charlie steps up to investigate, accompanied by his leash-trained Maine Coon cat, Diesel. James (the pen name of Dean James), a Mississippi native, has a real knack for evoking a small Southern town with a strong sense of community. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary. (Feb.)