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America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert
Careless Whiskers by Miranda James
Catstronauts: Digital Disaster by Drew Brockington Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
Dehaunting by J.A. White
Family Tree, Volume 1: Sapling by Jeff Lemire and Phil Hester
The Forest of Stars by Heather Kassner
Gargantis by Thomas Taylor
Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger and Emily Woo Zeller
Malamander by Thomas Taylor
A Man and His Cat, Volume 1 by Umi Sakurai
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Parachutes by Kelly Yang
Restaurant to Another World Volume 1 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami
River of Dreams by Jan Nash
Sandhill Cranes by Lynn M. Stone
School-Tripped by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle
Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates and Amy Rubinate
Still Life by Louise Penny
Time for Bed, Fred! by Yasmeen Ismail
Valley of the Lost by Vicki Delany

Miscellaneous
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3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Careless Whiskers: 09/09/20

Careless Whiskers

Careless Whiskers by Miranda James is the twelfth book in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series. Charlie has washed his hands of amateur sleuthing after that close call. His focus is on his family, especially his daughter and son-in-law's play being performed at the university. That is until the last minute replacement for the lead suffers through a bunch of unnerving pranks and then ends up dead!

There are essentially three things going on in this mystery. First there's the dubious ownership of the play, with two different men claiming to have written it. Then there are the non-fatal pranks. Finally there is the murder.

Murders set during plays isn't a new thing. This particular novel is the fourth example I can think of from recent mysteries I've either read or watched. The one I'm most reminded of is Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham (1989), although there the prop in question was a knife.

With Charlie choosing not to investigate, until near the very end, much of the novel has to contrive reasons for him to be present. That means sitting through many different rehearsals, and reading (or hearing in the case of the audio) the same strands of fictional play dialog and stage direction. It borders on dull and repetitive and the requires commitment to the characters/ fictional world of Athena, to continue reading.

The next novel is Cat Me if You Can (2020).

Four stars

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