Book Review: The Pawful Truth by Miranda James

The Pawful Truth

Miranda James

Cat in the Stacks Mystery #11

July 16, 2019

The Pawful Truth by Miranda James is book number eleven in the Cat in the Stacks cozy series featuring college librarian Charlie Harris and his Main Coon cat Deisel.

The Cat in the Stacks books are written by Miranda James, who is also the author of the charming Southern Ladies mysteries. So, naturally, I was thrilled to see Miss Ang’el and Miss Dickce visiting Charlie and Deisel.

Deisel is quite a proud Main Coon (aren’t they all?) and trots along on his leash like a dignified gentleman as he and Charlie walk around the Athena College campus, or stroll through town. Let me tell you, Deisel is well aware of the admiring glances he gets from passersby. His attitude alone is enough to keep me reading the Cat in the Stacks books all these years.

Another thing I find intriguing is that, for an amateur sleuth, Charlie Harris is the nicest man—kind to everyone and rarely loses his cool. In fact, he is so decent and thoughtful that one might wonder how he could possibly get involved in the many murders that seem to come his way. Well, I will tell you my hunch.  I think that Charlie has the insatiable curiosity that is an admirable trait of every good librarian. And when something arouses his curiosity, well, who knows where that could lead. And it is Charlie’s long-time curiosity of, or shall we say, interest in Medieval History that leads him to enroll to audit a course for the pure pleasure of learning more about those long ago societies. Once registered, Charlie is as nervous as a brand new kindergartener on the first day of school. I’ll let him tell you:

What did you get yourself into?


That thought had run through my mind several times for the past few days, but never so often as it had during the ten minutes I waited for class to start.


Staring at the eager young faces and listening to the chatter of voices rise and fall around me, I felt increasingly out of place. I had not failed to notice the covert glances, the occasional grimaces, and the what is he doing here tilts of the head in my direction. Not much subtlety.

Charlie does take some comfort that there is another older student in the class. Charlie presumes that she, too, has a yen to know more about the world of Medieval History.  Since the professor, Dr. Warriner is reputed to be one of the best in his field, this would definitely be the class to audit. So it is a bit of a shock to Charlie when, at the end of class, he overhears Dr. Warriner and the woman exchange bitter words. Charlie is even more surprised when the woman, Dixie Belle Compton, shows up in his office to talk to him. A strange turn of events.

When Dixie Belle goes missing from the next class, Charlie begins to feel a surge of curiosity. What exactly is going on? Before Charlie has much time to wonder, his friend Chief Deputy Kanesha Berry comes looking for him and she is all business.

Kenesha shrugged. “That’s what I want you to tell me. Do you know a woman named Dixie Belle Compton?”


I suddenly felt sick to my stomach all over again. Something had happened to her after all.


It took me a moment to find my voice. “I’ve met her a couple of times,” I said. “she was enrolled in the history course I’m taking at Athena. I saw her in class on Wednesday.” I took a moment for a deep breath. “I saw her again yesterday when she came to my office to see me.”


“What did she want?” Kanesha asked when I failed to continue right away.

The Pawful Truth continues the series tradition of presenting the reader with a suspenseful mystery while keeping us happily involved in the lives of Charlie, Deisel and their family and friends. This is definitely another engaging addition to the Cat in the Stacks series. Don’t miss it!

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