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review 2020-06-09 06:33
Six Cats a Slayin' (audiobook) by Miranda James, read by Erin Bennett
Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James
Charlie has an uncomfortably flirtatious new neighbor, Gerry, who seems interested in buying up homes in the area. When she invites him to her big Christmas party, he decides to go in order to be polite but makes sure to take Helen Louise, his girlfriend, with him. Both of them are shocked when the party ends with Gerry's death, quite likely due to poison.
 
Kanesha's in charge of the investigation, and Charlie does his best to stay in her good graces by keeping his nose out of it. Mostly. It helps that he has a lot on his plate. His daughter-in-law is running herself ragged trying to take care of her new baby and might land herself in the hospital soon if she doesn't accept help. Also, in addition to Diesel, Charlie now has five mystery kittens to take care of. Someone, quite possibly a scared child, left them on his doorstep, and he's determined to find out who it was and see if they can be reunited.
 
Content warning for this book:
Transphobia, although not on the part of the main character or any of his friends.
(spoiler show)
 
The only other book I've read in this series was the first one. I normally like to read series in order when I can, but this was the only audiobook in this series that my library owned, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Honestly, skipping eight books wasn't too much of an issue. I could tell character relationships had changed: Kanesha has softened towards Charlie, Charlie now had a girlfriend, and his relationship with his son was better. There was even a part where Charlie thought back to what his life was like at the beginning of the series, so if there were any gaps in my memories of him and his relationships, they were filled in pretty neatly.
 
I read the paper version of the first book, so this was my first audiobook experience with the series. Bennett was a good cozy mystery narrator, but maybe not the best choice for this particular series, which features a first person male POV. Most of the secondary characters are female, so maybe that was a factor, but I still think a male narrator would have been better.
 
Anyway, now for the story itself. Oddly enough, the primary mystery seemed to be the kittens and the identity of the person who dropped them off. The murder was more secondary - although Charlie chatted with friends about it and did a little bit of research, he did mostly stay out of it, and as a result, most of the resolution happened off-page. While it was certainly a tragic story, I found it to be a bit weak.
 
The kitten storyline, on the other hand, was nice. Diesel got multiple opportunities to act as their adorable giant babysitter, and Charlie tried to resist being charmed by Ramses, the only one of the bunch with a distinct personality. I enjoyed Charlie's efforts to figure out who left the kittens, and the whole thing was resolved in a very warm and fuzzy way.
 
All in all, this made for a decent listen. I wish my library owned more audiobooks in this series, although thankfully I do own a used copy of Book 8 that I haven't read yet.
 
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
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text 2020-06-09 05:11
Reading progress update: I've listened 520 out of 520 minutes.
Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

Finished!

 

So, there's a murder in this, but weirdly enough I'd say that the "mystery kittens" storyline was actually the primary one and the murder was secondary. Charlie did his best to stay out of the murder investigation as much as possible, and all of it was resolved off-page, to the point that I had a little trouble following the threads.

 

The kittens were cute, and that storyline was resolved in a way that was warm and fuzzy but not to a completely unbelievable degree. Although I did have trouble believing that someone who didn't initially want pets would say "sure, I'll take all five kittens." Five kittens turn into five cats, and that is a LOT to take on all at once

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text 2020-06-08 21:19
Reading progress update: I've listened 367 out of 520 minutes.
Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

"I knew some would think me foolish for buying Christmas presents for the cats, but I probably wouldn't like those people anyway."

 

I'm not a "buy Christmas presents for my cat" kind of person, but this still made me laugh.

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text 2020-06-04 22:05
Reading progress update: I've listened 294 out of 520 minutes.
Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

I just stopped to look at the book description again, because what's currently happening doesn't quite match what I recalled from the description. Whoever wrote that must have been working off an earlier draft of the book or something, because it's way off base on one key aspect. It says that Charlie's girlfriend, Helen Louise, ends up suspected of murder because several party guests overheard her having a loud argument with the victim. In reality, it was the local pharmacist's insanely jealous wife who had the loud argument, and she hasn't yet been brought up as a major suspect because her husband dragged her home well before the murder happened.

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text 2020-06-04 15:17
Reading progress update: I've listened 121 out of 520 minutes.
Six Cats a Slayin' (Cat in the Stacks Mystery) - Miranda James

No one's been murdered yet, but we do have some mysterious kittens dropped off by someone the main character, Charlie, thinks is probably a frightened child, and a new neighbor who insists that she has a long history in the area but who no one seems to know anything about or even fully remember (one person thinks she looks somewhat familiar, but that's it). There have been several scenes of Diesel acting as the kittens' adorable babysitter, letting Charlie know when the tiny idiots were doing something that might get them hurt.

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