MYSTERY

Careless Whiskers

Berkley Prime Crime. (Cat in the Stacks, Bk. 12). Jan. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780451491152. $26. M
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Librarian Charlie Harris can only listen when his grown daughter, Laura, throws a tantrum after she learns who her leading man will be in Athena College’s spring production. Luke Lombardi is a good actor but a womanizing, terrible person. Charlie assures Laura that her husband, Frank, who is directing the play, can handle Lombardi’s antics. But, after observing Lombardi and his strange entourage at the welcome reception, Charlie’s afraid Laura might be right to worry about his performance. However, someone is playing pranks on the actor, and they grow more dangerous. Lombardi dies on stage the night of the performance. Although Charlie swore he wouldn’t investigate, he realizes Laura’s not only a suspect, she could have died from the same poison that killed Lombardi.
VERDICT Fans of the series will welcome the return of all the quirky characters, from Charlie and his Maine coon cat, Diesel, to the Ducote sisters. However, readers who enjoy the theater can quickly catch up with this latest book that brings together the playwright, cast, and behind-the-scenes action. Charlie provides some laugh-aloud moments in this follow-up to The Pawful Truth.

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