A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: Claws for Concern

Mysterious Monday

On this Mysterious Monday, we return to Athena, Mississippi, to bring you our review of Claws for Concern, the latest Cat in the Stacks mystery by Miranda James. This volume finds Charlie Harris and his Maine coon named Diesel working on a 20-year-old multiple-murder case from a nearby town. The twist is that these killings might have been committed by a man who claims to be Charlie’s cousin by marriage.

The plot

Claws for Concern, by Miranda James
There’s been a stranger hanging around the public library where Charlie volunteers. That in itself isn’t such a big deal, but things get weird when the stranger, whose name turns out to be Bill Delaney, comes to the desk and asks about Charlie’s late Uncle Del—not realizing Del’s relationship to Charlie. Bill reveals that Del was his father, and to Charlie, the story has the ring of truth. Surely there must be something he can do to help his newfound cousin … but before he goes too far down that road, Charlie learns of something disturbing.

Twenty years ago, four people (two of them children) were shot to death in their home, and Bill was the main suspect. Police never could break his alibi, though, and the crime was never solved. Now, Charlie has been contacted by true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants to write a book about Charlie’s involvement in solving local crimes. But before they get started on that road, Jack and Charlie decide to team up to work on the 20-year-old case and determine once and for all whether Bill was the killer. The trouble with that is, people who may have thought their secrets were safe won’t take kindly to someone digging things up.

The cat

Just in case you are not familiar with Diesel, he is a large Maine coon who is Charlie’s near-constant companion. We enjoy his repertoire of warbles and chirps that he uses to communicate, and we love his fascination with Charlie’s baby grandson. Diesel is a real “people cat,” and he accompanies Charlie to the library and many other places. He does not like to be left alone; if Charlie is going someplace where he can’t take the cat along, he has to arrange a babysitter so Diesel won’t get lonely. While Diesel doesn’t solve the crime or save the day, he is nevertheless a magnificent cat—easily one of our favorite fictional felines.

Our verdict

Claws for Concern is superbly written, with a believable and compelling story and characters that we just can’t get enough of. Really, it is hard to imagine how James’s stories or characters could get any better. Charlie Harris is the sort of person you want to spend time getting to know. He is a southern gentleman of the best kind, and he loves cats and books, so he is pretty much perfect. We read so many books with female protagonists that it’s a nice change to have a male as a lead character. The Cats in the Stacks books don’t have the sense of fun quirkiness that we enjoy in many other series, but there are plenty of cozy vibes from the way Charlie treats others and his devotion to his family and Diesel. And speaking of vibes, this series is southern through and through, and we love it. We could almost feel the humidity and taste the iced tea.

Highly recommended!

Two Paws UpI A Great Read!

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good read; two paws is for a great read. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

We received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. We wouldn’t tell you it was good unless we really liked it!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the book through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!


  1. Kitty has a flower in his mouth on the cover! How cute!

  2. This sounds like a great book, and series too!

  3. Great review. Sounds like my kind of book!

  4. We loved this book *so * much. The series just keeps getting better and better. And the next release is set at Christmas!!! I can barely wait.