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Classified as Murder by Miranda James

Classified as Murder (2011)

by Miranda James

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2011658,418 (3.7)12



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Bless Her Dead Little Heart is the first book in the A Southern Ladies Mystery series.

If the first book is any sign, then this series will be a very entertaining one. Readers first had a chance to read about the Ducote sisters in Out of Circulation, fourth book in the Cat In The Stacks Mystery series by James.

Just as An'gel and Dickce, who are cat sitting Diesel, Charlie Harris' cat. As they are beginning to settle in with their houseguest, Rosabelle Sultan, a former sorority sister who they haven't seen in 15years, comes to their door. She ask the sisters if she can stay a few days, as someone in her family is trying to kill her. Rosabelle has always been one to exaggerate things and they figure this is just another one of those times. But soon the whole family begins to arrive, Rosabelle's two daughters, her son and his wife, two grandsons and a granddaughter. Rosabelle is soon accusing everyone of trying to kill here for her money, the children are in turn making their case that mom is mentally unstable and needs to be committed to a mental health facility. Then, when Marla, the daughter in law slips on water on the marble stair case and falls, breaking her neck, the sisters begin to wonder if she was the intended victim or Rosabelle. So they begin to watch everyones action and report their information to Kanesha the deputy in charge of the investigation.

The sisters are a very fun and interesting couple of ladies. They try and not hurt each others feeling, but are more than willing to share with the reader, their feelings. Clementine, their housekeeper/cook is delight and very flexible with the large influx of guests.

A very fun read and I highly recommend it, especially to the fans of Diesel. Looking forward to the next book. ( )
  FredYoder | May 9, 2015 |
Accompanied by his feline companion, Diesel, Charlie Harris finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery when a wealthy collector of rare books hires him to inventory his collection under the suspicion that some are missing. Harris, mild-mannered librarian, also finds additional difficulties when his son comes into town unexpectedly and under mysterious circumstances.

Though the writing could be a tad stilted at times, and maybe the mystery wasn't quite as polished as Lillian Braun's Cat Who mysteries, Charlie and Diesel are a delightful sleuthing team, and I enjoyed it as a fast, fun read (I will admit to being biased toward cozy mysteries, particularly of this ilk, as I myself work in a library and live with two cats who have never, to my knowledge, helped me solve any crimes). It's not a classic, but perfect for curling up with under a blanket during a rainy day. If you have a cat who chooses to curl up next to you, well, all the better. In short, Classified as Murder upheld the genre's name: it was cozy - a comfortable, diverting read, filled with Southern charm, a precocious Maine Coone, and a librarian who finds himself constantly in over his head.

( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
As I was about to write my book review for the first two (2) novels in “A Cat in the Stacks” Mystery I read a question from one reader who asked if the series by Miranda James is merely a “rip-off” of Lilian Braun’s “The Cat Who…” series.

A comparison chart would portray...
• Author Lilian Jackson Braun vs. Miranda James (one of the pseudonym names used by author Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian that currently works and resides in Houston, TX);
• James Qwilleran (former newspaper reporter) vs. Charlie Harris (librarian);
• Qwill-Divorced and recovering alcoholic vs. Charlie-Widower with a grown son and daughter;
• Koko and Yum Yum (2 Siamese cats) vs. Diesel (1 Maine Coon cat);
• Inheritance from Aunt Fanny of the Klingenschoen fortune provided Qwill lives in Moose County for the next 5 years vs. the inherited old family home from Aunt Dottie who always had college student boarders and the tradition is continued by Charlie.
• Setting of fictitious small town of Pickax located in Moose County "400 miles north of everywhere" (generally accepted to be modeled after Bad Axe, Michigan, where Braun resided with her husband until the mid-1980s) vs. college town of Athena, Mississippi (small, sleepy, Southern town).
• A series of 29 titles (The first novel was written in 1966, with two more following in 1967 and 1968. The fourth appeared eighteen years later, after which at least one new novel was published every year until 2007.) vs. A series of 6 titles to date (05-Apr-2015) with first publication in 2010. The 7th title – “No Cats Allowed” is planned for release around 01-Feb-2016 and is sure to brighten the spirits during a reader’s winter hibernation.

Considering the years of publication, titles in both series are ‘contemporary’ for their time. If you love mysteries and cats that are central to the delight of the main character’s life with unique personalities of their own and wonderful private investigators in their own right, I think you can be thoroughly enamored with both series. The writing styles are distinctive to each author and I can’t wait to read more novels in each series.

This title has copy edit errors that are distracting to me as a reader which is reflected in my star rating as well. I am hopeful for improvement as the series continues. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Apr 6, 2015 |
A nice second installment in the "Cat in the Stacks" series that manages to be fresh and natural-feeling continuation of Charlie's and Diesel's life without falling into a rut. Obviously there is still a murder involved, but the manner, focus, approach, and result are different. Charlie the Librarian's personal life and his involvement with the murder all twine together nicely. My only complaint is that the dialogue between Charlie and his broody son Sean is a little too on-the-nose when they have an argument and the resolution wraps it up a little too neat. Also, the wealthy and eccentric Delacorte family is a little TOO weird...in the sense that they aren't quite believable as characters, feeling more one-dimensional than the others. But it's a minor complaint in an otherwise quite enjoyable cozy mystery. It's also nice that, while you really should read the first book beforehand, I could see someone picking up the second book first and not getting lost. I look forward to continuing the series. ( )
  Starsister12 | Dec 25, 2013 |
Classified is the second book in this series by Miranda James(also writes as Dean James). This has joined my list of Favorites Series.

Libarian, Charlie Harris, has returned to Athena, MS where he volunteers at the local library and works at Athena College as cataloger and archivist. In this book Charlie comes to find that his son, who lives in Texas has come for a visit. But Sean doesn't seem to want to share why he has showed up with out warning. Then at the library the next day, aging and eccentric James Delacotte engages Charlie to do an inventory of his his extensive rare book collection. Delacotte feels that one of his relatives that lives with him is stealing some of his books. The family is about as disfuntional as they come. Then Monday Charlie starts his first day on the inventory. He breaks for lunch with his son and upon returning an hour later finds that Mr. Delacotte is dead and more than likely murdered. An unlikely request comes from deputy sheriff, as she askes for him to keep his ears and eyes open wide while he is working on the inventory.

The books are just straight forward great stories. Not a lot of twists and turns, just good plotting and enjoyable reading. And just maybe in future books maybe a little romantic interest for Charlie and his son.

I'm not famliar with Maine Coon cats, but if ther is one negative thing I will say and or ask, do they chirp and warble? Diesel, a Maine coon cat in the book does and I shake my head when I read that. ( )
  yoder | Sep 20, 2013 |
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In loving memory of my cousin, Terry James (1955-2009), who left us far too soon.
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When I was a boy growing up in Athena, Mississippi, forty-odd years ago, the public library occupied a large one-story house built in 1842.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Aging eccentric James Delacorte asks Charlie the librarian to do an inventory of his rare book collection-but the job goes from tedious to terrifying when James turns up dead. Relying on his Maine Coon cat Diesel to paw around for clues, Charlie has to catch the killer before another victim checks out.… (more)

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