Saturday, December 4, 2010

Readpawty Review of Murder Past Due

Murder Past Due by Miranda James is one of the books I read for the upcoming #readpawty on Twitter. It is a cozy mystery written under a pseudonym. The author's real name is Dean James, author of the Simon Kirby-Jones mystery series. For this series, Cat in the Stacks, James took on a female name.

In "Murder Past Due" Charlie Harris is a librarian who takes his cat, a Maine Coon named Diesel, with him everywhere, walking him on a harness and leash. An old classmate, Godfrey Priest, comes back to town to be honored for being a best-selling novelist, but ends up dead-the victim of a brutal murder. Charlie is asked by the lead investigator's mother to poke around for information to help her daughter solve the case. As it turns out, the investigator doesn't really need the help and Charlie (already on her bad side) seems to only irritate her.

The story has several potential killers, all with motives to murder the not-so-nice author. There are a couple of twists, but nothing that is all too surprising. Diesel is ever-present throughout the story, greeting people and hanging out with Charlie.

The most noticeable difference between this cozy and others I have read is that the main character is a man. Typically, the antagonist is a woman in cozies, so this was a change. Also, the main character didn't actually end up solving the crime in this book. It was nice to have things mixed up a bit from other cozies I have read, instead of the same format I have read previously.

If you are a cozy mystery fan, you will probably enjoy the book. I know I did!

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