Careless Whiskers: 09/09/20
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).