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review 2017-07-30 15:55
The Silence of the Library - Miranda James

The library where Charlie volunteers is setting up a classic girl detective display when they discover that the author of the Veronica Thane series is not dead. They visit her to see if she is able and willing to come to the library to give a talk. She agrees and collectors of her books are coming out of the woodwork to meet her. Then the president of her fan club is found dead. Why?

I love Charlie and Diesel as they solve mysteries. I, once again, failed to discover the murderer before Charlie explained it. I enjoyed the story and would love to see what Diesel looks like. Everyone has an opinion. The characters are an interesting lot. The side mystery was fun especially when solved. I like the recurring characters as well as the new ones brought in for this book. I learned a lot about the girl detectives series of the past.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-27 10:15
The Bedlam Stacks
The Bedlam Stacks - Natasha Pulley

Set in the same universe as The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, this book is not a sequel although one of the main characters from the previous books makes a couple of quite lengthy appearances - while that book was set in London, The Bedlam Stacks takes place mostly in Peru, as our protagonist is part of a mission sent to try and steal cuttings from cinchona trees in order to help produce quinine for the East India Company. 


We first meet Merrick Tremayne when he's recovering from a serious injury at his family home in Cornwall, which is literally falling apart around his ears. Against his better judgement, he agrees to take part in an expedition to Peru and follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. With Merrick and his companions, we spend a lot of time travelling and eventually arrive at New Bedlam, in the company of its priest, the taciturn Raphael. The village itself is on the border of a mysterious forest, the shortest route to the cinchona but also both the village and the forest are guarded by the markayuq (who Merrick mistakenly believes are clockwork).


Anyway, matters come to a head, Merrick and Raphael end up travelling into the forest regardless and Merrick subsequently discovers there is much more going on in darkest Peru than just the cinchona. In a flashback sequence, we discover that Merrick's injury was deliberately engineered by a much-younger Keita in the hope that it would stop him going into the forest, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if the aftermath of all Merrick's actions comes back to have significant consequences in a future novel.


Unlike both of the main characters in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, I found it difficult to empathise with Merrick - he comes across as quite weak and frightened of social consequences a lot of the time, even when he is doing things he knows are morally reprehensible. Raphael is a more interesting character, facing his own immortality in many ways, but he still didn't quite work for me either. As a result, while I'd said in my previous review that I felt it was unlikely I'll re-read The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, in hindsight I think I was wrong about that just on the basis of the relationship in it between Thaniel and Mori and it's probably The Bedlam Stacks I won't want to re-read.


I'm still looking forward to seeing what Natasha Pulley writes next, but it'd be nice to see her write about women too. Grace Carrow got fairly short shrift in the previous book and women are very much supporting characters here too, either devoted wife to Merrick's fellow explorer or helpful villager and that's just about it. 

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review 2017-07-05 16:57
The Bedlam Stacks - Natasha Pulley

Reminiscent of a H Rider Haggard or H G Wells novel, his book deals with a pair of English explorers in Peru to bring cinchona bark to India to make quinine and prevent a malaria epidemic. They travel to "Bedlam" of the title and meet a variety of local characters as well as encountering "magical" phenomena.

With 1st person narration, this perhaps overlong novel is quite entertaining and interesting, incorporating the sort of magic realism of Marquez. The characterisations and descriptions are elaborate and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good yarn.

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review 2017-05-24 19:19
The Nightmare Stacks, Charles Stross
The Nightmare Stacks - Charles Stross

The gazillionth Laundry File confirms that the success of its predecessors depended heavily on the voice of Bob Howard by again not using it. Instead we get Howard-lite in the form of newbie vampire and Laundry recruit, Alex. Alex is the kind of nervous, out of his depth nerd Bob was way back in the mists of time, without the wit or distinctive turns of phrase. This makes the first half of the book a little dull. Circa p200 however, things start to go crazy, the viewpoint widens and war breaks out. After that it's a gallop all the way to the end.

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review 2017-02-20 02:20
Twelve Angry Librarians (Cat in the Stacks #8) by Miranda James











The "New York Times" bestselling author of "No Cats Allowed "and "Arsenic and Old Books" is back with more Southern charm and beguiling mystery as Charlie and Diesel must find a killer in a room full of librarians...
Light-hearted librarian Charlie Harris is known around his hometown of Athena, Mississippi, for walking his cat, a rescued Maine Coon named Diesel. But he may soon be taken for a walk himself in handcuffs...
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie s old nemesis from library school.
It s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So, when Gavin is found dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin after the speech, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library..."


This book tickled me pink from beginning to end. I loved the whole which librarian is guilty duck, duck, goose circling of who is guilty and who isn't?

12 Angry Librarians is the 8th book in the Cat in the Stacks series and the first one I've read but I didn't need to read the previous books to enjoy this one and I didn't need to study the series to jump right in to the fun. I love that because I liked it so much that I can't wait to pick up the previous books and add them to my collection.

Although I'm not a librarian - as someone who works in a popular bookstore I can relate to this story so well and was entertained even more.

It was fun, it was entertaining, and it was written very well. I would highly recommend this book.

Miranda James






This title will be available for purchase on February 21, 2017!


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Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley.


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