My latest read as a Book Nerd Review Crew member….:)

silence in the library

5 stars

Teresa Farmer, Director of the Athena, Mississippi public library, has managed quite a coup.  Athena Public Library’s celebration of National Library Week will include a visit from Electra Barnes Cartwright, author of the Victoria Thane mystery series.  Victoria Thane was a young sleuth along the lines of Nancy Drew though not quite as famous.  Rumors of unpublished manuscripts, overzealous collectors, a desperate small publisher, and a murder quickly rub the luster off Teresa and Charlie’s excitement.

Have you ever met someone or gone somewhere and felt an immediate sense of familiarity and comfort?  This was my experience with THE SILENCE OF THE LIBRARY, my first Cat in the Stacks mystery.  The surprising connection with Charlie and Diesel allowed me to easily slip into the mystery and events surrounding APL’s celebration of the beloved girl detective and her creator.

Charlie is older, a former librarian who inherited his aunt’s home and extensive book collection.   He’s enjoying a romance with Helen Louise, the owner of the town’s bakery and his almost constant companion is an abnormally large rescued Maine Coon cat, Diesel.

I like Charlie’s maturity and the calm loving nature of his relationship with Helen Louise.  Diesel’s personality is as unique and charming as the cat himself while his warbling and chirping are adorable.  I’m now officially a Diesel and Charlie fan.

Charlie uses his enviable librarian super powers to solve the conundrums set before him.  Fortunately Charlie never goes haring off half cocked into a “danger of his own making situation”, he’s far too smart for that.   The mystery is a true cozy with danger but the sense that it’s at a safe distance.  Also in true cozy fashion the clue or key to the villain/solution is often in an offhand remark.  Happily this one clicked with me when I discovered the identity of the victim.  SILENCE OF THE LIBRARY is interspersed with excerpts from Victoria Thane’s first mystery, The Mystery at Spellwood MansionCharlie is re-reading the mystery for the umpteenth tine and it fires his little grey cells leading him to the murderer’s identity.

Whether that wonderful sense of ahhh I experienced was nostalgia, the warmth and comfort of the characters, location, or adherence to cozy “rules” I won’t know until I read another.  I do know that it’s only happened one other time and I still have that series.  In fact it’s one of the few I take time to re-read.  This gives me high hopes that I’ve discovered another jewel in Miranda James’ A Cat in the Stacks series.  What I do know is that THE SILENCE OF THE LIBRARY is going on my keeper shelf beside the other series.

5 stars isn’t a rating I give often but this book has that something that speaks to a reader & can be so hard to define and capture with mere words.  If any of y’all read it, please let me know what you think?  Am I alone in this?

The other series for those who’re curious is Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series.  Love Love Love those books!