Out of Circulation
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery #4
Berkley Prime Crime
January 29, 2013
Available in: Paperback
Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but when a feud erupts between the town’s richest ladies, the writing on the wall spells murder.
The Ducote sisters are in a tiff with Vera Cassity over the location of this year’s library fundraising gala, and Charlie would rather curl up in a corner than get into the fray. It seems everyone—even his housekeeper Azalea—has it in for Vera. And at the gala, she gives them good reason, with a public display of rancor aimed at anyone who gets in her way.
But those bitter words wind up being her last. When Charlie discovers Azalea standing over Vera’s dead body, it’s up to him—with a little help from Diesel—to clear Azalea’s name, and catch a killer before his last chapter is finished.
Miranda James is the pseudonym of Dean James, a seventh-generation Mississippian long transplanted to Texas. A mystery fan since the age of ten, he wrote his first novel at the ripe old age of twelve. The only copy of The Mystery of the Willow Key vanished years ago, but since it was highly derivative of the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series, that’s probably a good thing.
A medical librarian for nearly twenty years, Dean has published articles on topics in library science, the history of science/medicine, and mystery fiction. His first book, which he co-wrote with fellow librarian Jean Swanson, was By a Woman’s Hand (Berkley; 1994). Jean and Dean won an Agatha Award for Best Mystery Non-Fiction and were nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for the Edgar for Best Critical-Biographical work for this popular reference book. A second edition followed two years later, and Dean and Jean collaborated on two further projects, Killer Books (Berkley; 1998) and The Dick Francis Companion (Berkley; 2003). In all he has co-authored or co-edited six works of mystery reference and one short story anthology. With Elizabeth Foxwell he wrote The Robert B. Parker Companion (Berkley; 200).
His first novel, Cruel as the Grave (Silver Dagger Mysteries) was published in 2000. Since then he has published eighteen more novels, writing under his own name and the pseudonyms Jimmie Ruth Evans and Honor Hartman. In August 2010 he launched a new series writing as Miranda James. The first book under this name, Murder Past Due (Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99) spent four weeks on the extended New York Times bestseller list for mass market paperbacks. The next book in the series, Classified as Murder (Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99), published in May 2011, also hit the NYT list. The third book, File M for Murder (Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99) is out now. The fourth book, Out of Circulation (Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99) debuted at no. 11 on the bestseller list. Book five, The Silence of the Library (Berkley Prime Crime; $7.99) is just out, and there are more books to come in the series.
Dean lives with two young cats, thousands of books, and thinks frequently about killing people — but only in the pages of fiction.