out of circulationI believe that a strong public library is an essential part of the community, and I do what I can to support the Athena Public Library. Working as a volunteer doing cataloging and reference several afternoons a month allows me to keep my hand in. After all, I was a public library manager in Houston for many years before I moved back home to Mississippi. My Maine Coon cat, Diesel, also enjoys going to the library. He has been a great hit with the staff and the patrons alike. He’s very sociable, and his unusual size (he weighs thirty-six pounds now, and he’s not overweight, he’s just big) always gets people talking.

When the library director, Teresa Farmer, first approached me about serving as a member of the board of the Friends of Athena Public Library, I was honored. My dear friend Helen Louise Brady – owner of a wonderful French bakery in Athena – had to step down after more than a decade of service, and she recommended I take her spot.

I told Teresa I’d be happy to accept, and then I started querying Helen Louise about just what serving on the board entailed. (And, yes, I should have asked that first before I agreed to do it. This wouldn’t be the first time my enthusiasm had led me into the path of trouble.) According to Helen Louise, the big event was the annual Friends gala, held in December, as a major fundraiser. I haven’t been to one, and now I’m a bit anxious about attending my first one.

The duties weren’t onerous, Helen Louise assured me. The only potential problem was apparently the fighting among certain of the board members about who would do what – like host the gala, for example. The two bedrocks of Athena society, the octogenarian Ducote sisters, kept everything under tight control. Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce had run things for six decades, and they weren’t about to cede control to anyone. The trouble was, Vera Cassity had her sights set on becoming queen bee, and Vera had all the sensitivity of a rhino with a headache. Plus she had a chip on her shoulder the size of Memphis because she grew up poor and now has a lot of “new” money, thanks to her businessman husband, Morty.

Things could get pretty dicey before the gala is history…

You can read more about Charlie in Out of Circulation, the fourth book in the “Cat in the Stacks” mystery series. The first book in the series is Murder Past Due.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of OUT OF CIRCULATION to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends January 30. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Miranda James is the pseudonym for an Agatha and Macavity Award-winning author who has published eighteen mystery novels, along with several short stories and works of mystery non-fiction. A librarian in Houston, Miranda has two young cats running riot through the house and thousands of books. Visit Miranda at www.catinthestacks.com

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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