Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James

This is another fine entry into the Cat In the Stacks mystery series. Charlie Harris is a part-time cataloger in the Archives Section at Athena College in Mississippi. When Mayor Long donates 4 volumes of a Civil War Diary of an ancestor to the college, a rivalry between a college professor on a last bid for tenure and a free-lance newspaper writer ensues. Who gets a first shot at the diaries becomes unimportant when the diaries are stolen from Charlie’s office and someone is the victim of a hit-and-run. To further thicken the plot, both candidates in the bid for State Senator have an interest in the diaries: Beck Long, who wants to confirm his family’s illustrious history in Athena and Jasper Singletary, who claims that the author of the diaries killed four of his ancestors.

When the diaries eventually resurface, Charlie begins to read them and piece together the truth. His hope is that the mystery will be solved before the murderer strikes again.

I enjoy this series because all of the characters are such normal people. They could be your next door neighbors. Charlie is a nice, even-tempered man and his Maine coon cat Diesel is a delight.  If you like a nice cozy read with a nuanced solution to the mystery, I suggest you try out this series.

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