What the Cat Dragged In

Berkley. (Cat in the Stacks, Bk. 14). Aug. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593199466. $26. M
Librarian and archivist Charlie Harris is shocked to learn that he has inherited his grandfather’s farm in the fictional Mississippi town of Athena. He thought the place had been sold years ago, but it turns out his grandfather only gave a lifetime lease to a tenant and left the farm to his heir, Charlie. It has been over 40 years since he last visited the farm, so Charlie takes his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, on a ride to see the property. When they explore the attic, Diesel finds a skull, and Charlie finds more bones. The sheriff’s department, when Charlie calls them to the farm, are more interested in the body they find under a tree that had come down in a recent storm. Frustrated when he’s not included in the sheriff’s investigation, Charlie turns to researching his family’s history and genealogy, looking for connections to the skeleton or his grandfather’s deceased tenant. As the Harris family patriarch, Charlie keeps his relatives informed of the secrets he uncovers. The farmhouse has one more secret to reveal, in an unexplored room that endangers Charlie, who could become the farm’s next skeleton.
VERDICT The 14th “Cat in the Stacks” mystery (after Cat Me If You Can), with its family stories, descriptions of meals, and two cats, might be the most satisfying in the series for regular readers.
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