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No Cats Allowed By Miranda James: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

IN THE February 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy
& Miranda James

This week we have a review of a fun cat related mystery, No Cats Allowed, by Miranda James (aka Dean James). We also have a fun guest post from Miranda. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL and an indie bookstore. We also have an Amazon link to purchase the book.

No Cats Allowed by Miranda James
Review by Sandra Murphy

Charlie’s been bringing Diesel, his Maine Coon cat, to work at the library archives with him since they found each other. Everyone enjoys a quick chat and a pet, no one more than Diesel. Since the library’s director left abruptly and half a million dollars in overages were found in the budget, tension is in the air. Budget cuts have to be made, and salaries are the likely place to start.

The new director, Oscar, has a financial background but no people skills or know-how where the workings of a library are concerned. There are pranks played in retaliation—Oscar the Grouch is written on his windshield, for instance—and Oscar takes it all very personally. He takes so much pleasure in making others miserable, it must never have dawned on him that someone would retaliate. book

He accuses Melba, a thirty-year veteran of the library, of taking too long on her lunch hour and goofing off. Lisa went to a conference last year, and Oscar thinks he should check with other participants to make sure Lisa attended the seminars. Charlie has enough money that he doesn’t have to work, but he loves the job. Still, when Oscar claims to be allergic to Diesel in spite of no symptoms, that’s the last straw. Charlie applies for a six month leave of absence.

He’s stunned to hear (a benefit of Melba’s sneaking) that the archives are to be sold like a car in a chop shop, and the whole section shut down—meaning no jobs to be had. Melba’s transferred to another department effective immediately.

It’s no surprise when Oscar turns up dead in the basement, squashed between book shelves, a particularly gruesome way to go. Suspects? Well, that includes anyone who ever met him. His ex-brother-in-law is in town with an agenda of his own, all the library employees are on the list, and motive could go back to something that happened in the finance department.

Melba’s on the hot seat because of her temper. She’s taken in for questioning and Sean, Charlie’s son, is her lawyer. Of course, Melba knows everybody, everywhere, so she’s treated more like a drop-in visitor than a criminal. With Oscar gone, Charlie takes over as interim director and, with Melba’s help, investigates the budget woes.

The world of academia is more cut throat than the Mob. As everyone jostles for position in an effort to stay employed, suspects drop by Charlie’s house to tell him why they had reason to kill Oscar—but didn’t. There are twists and turns, red herrings and clues, false leads and one satisfying solution to be had. Diesel is always a treat. Melba is a unique character, as is Althea, Charlie’s housekeeper. He’s learned not to argue with either of them. Love is in the air too—Charlie and longtime companion, Helen Louise, Sean and his law partner girlfriend, Alex, and roomer Stewart and his boyfriend.

This is the seventh book in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series. Each book is a visit to old friends, a chance to catch up on all the latest news. James also writes the Southern Ladies Mystery series, featuring the Ducote sisters who are The Family in town and now warrant their own tales to tell.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur”, included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.

Bad Ass Boss
By Miranda James

Anybody who’s been out in the workforce for any length of time has surely encountered the phenomenon – the Bad Boss. The lucky few who haven’t are, well, the lucky few! The bad ones are out there and when you are working for one, it doesn’t take long to realize how unpleasant things are going to be as long as you’re working for that person.

Situations like that will cause conflict and in real life it’s never pleasant – although some people seem to thrive on it, including some bad bosses. But conflict in fiction is important. Without it, you don’t have much of a story. If everyone gets along fine, there’s no tension, everyone’s happy – and the reader is going to get bored and put down the book and probably never come back.

The Bad Boss Syndrome is the basic premise of the seventh “Cat in the Stacks” mystery, No Cats Allowed. I wondered what would happen if Charlie and all the other staff at the Athena College Library suddenly found themselves working under a person they all loathed and feared. The stage was set for Oscar Reilly and did he ever turn out to be a bad boss. Reilly seems to have a way of getting under everyone’s skin and when he wants to ban Diesel, Charlie’s Maine Coon cat, from the library, of course Charlie isn’t happy.


Miranda James aka Dean James

I always have fun creating a character like Oscar Reilly who is really detestable. In real life people like him don’t always seem to get what’s coming to them in return for their nastiness to everyone around them, but in fiction I can have Nemesis dogging their every step. Retribution will happen!

Then the question is, who plays the part of Retribution? You’ll have to read No Cats Allowed to find out.

To enter to win a copy of No Cats Allowed, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “no cats,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 27, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy:

Or you can also use this Amazon link:

Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks and the Southern Ladies series. A medical librarian by day, at night Miranda plots new crimes for her series sleuths to solve. Miranda lives in the Jackson, Mississippi, area with two cats and thousands of books. Learn more on Miranda’s website.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeanetta February 20, 2016 at 1:22am

No Cats Allowed sounds like a wonderful read, and the cover is cute. Thank you for the giveaway.


2 Lisa Brown February 20, 2016 at 3:04am

A good series, thanks for the chance 🙂
jslbrown2009 at aol dot com


3 Kathleen Costa February 20, 2016 at 8:31am

I entered through email, but am commenting in support of KRL Magazine and this book. I am enjoying Miranda James’ series and eager to read this installment. Her books are fun reads with great humor and story lines.


4 Elaine Roberson February 20, 2016 at 9:12am

This would be a great title to add to my cozy book challenge. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.


5 Barbara February 20, 2016 at 9:46am

I want this book I love cozies


6 Dianne Casey February 20, 2016 at 11:42am

Love books and cats. Would enjoy reading “No Cats Allowed”. Sounds like an amazing read.


7 Linda Herold
Twitter: @Linda
February 20, 2016 at 2:45pm

I love cozy mysteries! I’d love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!!


8 Annette Naish February 21, 2016 at 8:07am

This author is such a talented writer. Would truly enjoy winning this book.


9 Valerie Hoynacki February 21, 2016 at 9:07am

Ah, Diesel is back – I love him!!!


10 peggy clayton February 21, 2016 at 10:11am

Sounds like a great cozy read and you love to win this book! ptclayton2@aol.com


11 Jeanie
Twitter: @JeanieDannheim
February 21, 2016 at 2:21pm

Yes! I have sadly had more than one of those type of bosses. I’ve also had some very good ones, too! Reviews are saying that this is the best book in the series so far; I can’t wait to read it!! Just reviewed ‘Arsenic and Old Books’ and loved it. Thank you for the chance to win; congrats on this new release!


12 Anne February 22, 2016 at 5:15am

I like all of Dean James’ series. I started a long time ago with his mystery series about the romance writing gay vampire series.



13 Linda Langford
Twitter: @chatcozy
February 22, 2016 at 7:45am

I love cozy series with pets. Diesel is a great character. I don’t have this book and would love to win. Thanks so much. chatcozy1 at gmail dot com


14 Doward Wilson February 22, 2016 at 12:25pm

Sounds like the best series entry yet. Thanks for the chance to win.


15 holdenj
Twitter: @.
February 24, 2016 at 4:58am

Nice post! Thanks for the chance to win!


16 Jill Broussard February 24, 2016 at 4:59am

Sounds like a great book and I really want to know who did it! Thankyou for the opportunity!


17 Margaret Rushton
Twitter: @cupcake5858
February 24, 2016 at 8:29am

I would love to win a copy of the book. This is another one of my favorite series. I love the adventures of Charlie and Diesel. Thanks for the chance to win.


18 Vicki Kondelik February 24, 2016 at 8:45am

I love Diesel! I’m looking forward to reading this book.


19 Margo Sue
Twitter: @MargoSue
February 24, 2016 at 8:56am

Love this series! Thanks for the opportunity


20 Sue C February 24, 2016 at 9:43am

Love this series. Diesel is my favorite character. sclickner@juno.com


21 Shayne livingston February 24, 2016 at 9:43am

I love these books! I can’t wait to read this one!


22 Sheryl Sens
Twitter: @naninani
February 24, 2016 at 11:40am

i love the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series!! but then, i like anything by Dean James/ Miranda 🙂


23 Susie
Twitter: @Susie30577
February 24, 2016 at 1:08pm

Love Diesel! Thanks for the giveaway:-D


24 Kristin Lundgren
Twitter: @thehouseai
February 24, 2016 at 3:41pm

I love Dean’s work, and his series. Full of fun and cats, and like a cozy blanket to curl up with.


25 Shannon Jackson
Twitter: @sweetgirls1008
February 24, 2016 at 4:33pm

love your books


26 Linda May February 24, 2016 at 7:55pm

I Love Cozy Mysteries, Love a chance to win this one, Thanks for this amazing chance.


27 Beverly Guy February 24, 2016 at 10:41pm

This sounds like such an awesome book! I absolutely love, love, love all of Miranda James awesome books! Charlie and Diesel are my very favorite characters and I love to read their adventures! I would so love to win a copy of this book!!! Thank you so much for the chance!!!


28 K'Tee Bee
Twitter: @Kkttb
February 25, 2016 at 2:50am

Yay! Another Miranda James book; I love this MS author. I’ve added this to all my wish, TBR, & Goodreads lists. WTG Miranda James. Keep writing these killer books that I love. Kh38668(at)yahoo(dot)com.


29 Louise Whitworth February 25, 2016 at 6:10am

The Cats in the Stacks books are very well written. Great plots and fun to read. I feel as if I know Charlie and his friends and have a major cat crush on Diesel (who wouldn’t). I can’t wait to read this installment. The only thing that would make this better is to have the book autographed by Diesel?


30 Kay February 25, 2016 at 8:08am

Am looking forward to reading this series!


31 Maureen February 25, 2016 at 1:35pm

I love this series.


32 Meg C February 25, 2016 at 10:08pm

One of my favorite series. I’ve been looking forward to the release of No Cats Allowed since last May at least. Can’t wait to read it. Thank you very much for the chance to win.



33 Marilyn Watson
Twitter: @MarilynWatson18
February 25, 2016 at 10:53pm

I would love to read what happens to the bad boss..and love the premise of this…thank you for the contest.
Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com


34 Candy Kennedy February 27, 2016 at 12:35pm

This series is the reason I finally got a Maine Coon cat,Duffy. Thanks for the chance to win this book.


35 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
March 7, 2016 at 8:02pm

We have a winner!


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