• Murder Past Due

  • Cat in the Stacks Mystery
  • By: Miranda James
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (661 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There's a cat in the stacks...and he makes the purr-fect partner for a librarian-turned-sleuth. Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows librarian Charlie Harris - and his Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. They also know his former classmate-turned-famous best-selling novelist, Godfrey Priest. But someone in Athena took Godfrey off the best seller lists - permanently, and with extreme prejudice. Now, Charlie and Diesel must browse through the history section of the town's past to find a killer.

©2010 Dean James (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Murder Past Due

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A cat and his librarian

Charlie Harris is a part time collage librarian in Mississippi. He's a recent widower with a pet Maine Coon Cat named, Diesel, who walks on a leash everywhere with Charlie. Charlie also boards a couple of students from the college.

When a former classmate, Godfrey Priest, comes to town to promote his latest bestselling book, not everyone is pleased with his visit. Godfrey is a bit of an arrogant bastard who has hurt and angered a number of people. He's also coming to claim a son who is rooming with Charlie. But someone has killed Godfrey in his hotel before he can give his talk. Now Charlie finds himself researching more than old college documents so he can help find the killer before his friends become the prime suspects.

This story revolves a great deal around the cat, who seems a bit like a recovery service cat. Diesel seemed to always know when someone needed extra attention and love. This aspect of the story was very subtle and well done, which I really liked. On the other hand, I found it a bit difficult to believer that everyone, and all places, appreciated having a cat around, especially food places. That being said, this story was captivating and intriguing. The well developed characters and theme of book writing made this a fun mystery.

The narration was well done, but since the story was written in a first person male voice, I might have preferred a male narration. Though I liked this audio version well enough that I definitely plan to listen to the next book in this fun series too.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good, easy book to listen to

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No, I would not say the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. The book is well written but it is an easy read/listen. I like books like this when I am quilting or doing something else while listening to a book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

This would make a good tv series...not necessarily a movie.

Any additional comments?

I want to start out by saying that Erin Bennett is a very good narrator. My only issue with her is the primary/main character is male and to have a female narrate this book is a little offsetting sometimes. It is the first time I have experienced this in an audio book.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cats in a mystery series....yes please!!!

I Loved it.., I am ready for book number two!!!!!!!!! Only pet peeve is if main character is a guy the narrator should be a guy

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful

This is a new author and narrator for me. This is the first book in the new series Cat in the Stacks. The story takes place in Athena, Mississippi. Our protagonist is Charlie Harris, a middle aged librarian, who works at the local university library. Charlie has a Maine Coon cat named Diesel and he walks on a leash.

In the story a famous author wants to bequeath his papers to the university library. The author, Godfrey Priest, was a fellow classmate of Charlie’s although high school and college; they both grew up in Athena. Priest is murdered and Charlie and Diesel set off to find the villain.

James has created a well-crafted mystery story. The hero is likable but I particularly enjoyed Diesel. The author provided a history of the Maine Coon cat. I always enjoy learning odd bits of information while reading a story. The narration is in the first person and the plot twists and turns.

Over all this is a delightful read. I understand that Miranda James is a pseudonym for author Dean James who also writes under a variety of other names. This is a new author for me and a new series. I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

Erin Bennett does a good job narrating the story. Bennett is a voice over actress and the winner of the Audiofile Earphone Award.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved the story but . . ..

If you could sum up Murder Past Due in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, entertaining, whimsical

How could the performance have been better?

Yes it needs to be read by a male or a female who can perform with a more male voice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed the story and of course the Maine Coon.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Story better than narration

This is a pretty good mystery, about a man who is a college librarian who keeps a huge Maine coon cat named Diesel. Unlike another well-known series where the cat itself always solves,the mysteries, Diesel provides a loving companionship to Charlie and the young man who is a boarder at his house. He is always present everywhere, but you don't have to suspend belief here, because it is the humans who are solving the crime. Though the characters are a bit stilted in some,ways, and seem too "good" to be believable, it was a fun read. The narrator was okay for the most part, but for some reason this series appears to keep a female voice for a male protagonist. Looking ahead, I noticed they switched narrators for some reason, and still don't have a man reading it. Takes some getting used to. I intend to listen to the next one, but with expectations altered. Characters are a bit too "nice," which left them a bit one-sided. But if you are looking for a comfortable read, without unnecessary sex and violence (which can be refreshing), this is a good book. Despite all that I felt about the lack of character complexity, the plot was delightfully absorbing. I listened to it almost non-stop. And had a good surprise at the end.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narration and Cat

It was disconcerting having a female narrator while the primary voice in the novel was male.

The cat added little to the story. It felt like he was just thrown in because cat's sell books

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Failed to satisfy

Any additional comments?

I was attracted by the premises of this series -- a small southern college town, a boarding house featuring a house-cat in a prominent role and the hope of a diverting and intriguing mystery emphasizing local color and character-development. Although I persevered doggedly to the end, the experience was similar to eating my way through an over-sized pizza, which, though tantalizingly portrayed on the packaging of the frozen-food aisle, turned out to be peculiarly lacking in flavor when brought to the table. To my taste, the characters were bland and the writing weak in powers of description and imagination.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OK if you are already into this series

the narration was fine, but should have been a male due to being written in a first person male format

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • LW
  • 01-06-18

Truly cringeworthy.

What disappointed you about Murder Past Due?

Unbelievable characters, out of sync with the timeframe they were placed in. Modern era, with cell phones and internet, but an 18 year old man saying 'ma'am' and 'sir' and sobbing and taking naps all over the place. Stilted conversation, erratic plot development. The cat was the only believable and well formed character....The supposedly heterosexual protagonist had such a blatantly effeminate side that the editor had a woman do the narration. It was jarring and off-putting. If the guy is effeminate/gay/bi, put it in the story instead of whitewashing it or pretending these 21st century characters are caught in a cultural timewarp that has them behaving like they are Victorian middle class merchants.

Has Murder Past Due turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes

Did Erin Bennett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Not really - there were no accents or personality traits she could exploit.

What character would you cut from Murder Past Due?

The whiny helpless 18 year old.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your money.

6 people found this helpful

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  • kitty67
  • 11-16-19

Easy listening

I absolutely love this series “Cat in the stacks”, it’s an enjoyable listening, the narrator makes you feel that your actually there.

If you like a mystery story and not a gory horror then this is for you.

Hopefully audible will have if this series added to the collection

1 person found this helpful

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  • IAN
  • 08-08-16

A darned Good read.

What did you like most about Murder Past Due?

That the main character was male, which makes a change in cozy books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Murder Past Due?

When Charlie realises that he has over-stepped the line with the Deputy Sheriff.

Have you listened to any of Erin Bennett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Probably...but can't remember, as I listen to a lot of audio books. But she was very good, with a clear narration.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The Perr...fect crime team.

Any additional comments?

A really Good mystery with likable characters, well plotted and written, with plenty of twists and turns!
Well worth listening to.

1 person found this helpful

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