Miranda James books in order
Miranda James is the pseudonym of American author Dean James.
He uses the pen name when writing thriller and mystery novels.
Dean also uses other pseudonyms such as Jimmie Ruth Evans and Honor Hartman.
Originally from Mississippi, Dean has been passionate about mystery tales since the age of ten when he discovered Nancy Drew.
Although receiving a rejection letter from a publisher at the age of twelve or thirteen shattered his hopes of becoming an author, Dean returned to writing mysteries while in graduate school in Rice.
He has never looked back since his book, CRUEL AS THE GRAVE, was published in 2000 under the name Dean James.
Much like Charlie, Dean also works as a librarian–albeit specializing in medical libraries.
He thoroughly enjoys reading and writing mysteries, and looking after his two spoiled cats.
Pseudonym: Miranda James, Jimmie Ruth Evans, Honor Hartman,
Cat in the Stacks Mystery
- Murder Past Due (2010)
- Classified as Murder (2011)
- File M for Murder (2012)
- Out of Circulation (2013)
- The Silence of the Library (2014)
- Arsenic and Old Books (2015)
- No Cats Allowed (2016)
- Twelve Angry Librarians (2017)
- Claws for Concern (2018)
- Six Cats a Slayin' (2018)
- The Pawful Truth (2019)
- Careless Whiskers (2020)
- Cat Me If You Can (2020)
- What the Cat Dragged In (2021)
- Hiss Me Deadly (2023)
Southern Ladies Mystery
- Bless Her Dead Little Heart (2014)
- Dead with the Wind (2015)
- Digging Up the Dirt (2016)
- Fixing to Die (2017)
Detailed book overview
Cat in the Stacks Mystery
Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the good-natured librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but soon enough he’s entangled in a real-life thriller...
A famous author of gory bestsellers and a former classmate of Charlie’s, Godfrey Priest may be the pride of Athena, but Charlie remembers him as an arrogant, manipulative jerk—and he’s not the only one. Godfrey’s homecoming as a distinguished alumnus couldn’t possibly go worse: by lunch, he’s put a man in the hospital. By dinner, Godfrey’s dead.
Now it’s up to Charlie, with some help from Diesel, to paw through the town’s grudges and find the killer before an impatient deputy throws the book at the wrong person. But every last one of Charlie’s friends and co-workers had a score to settle with the nasty novelist. As if the murder wasn’t already purr-plexing enough...
Suspecting that someone is stealing from him, the aging and eccentric James Delacorte wants Charlie to do an inventory on his rare book collection. Soon after they begin, Delacorte is found dead at his desk, leaving Charlie with the bigger task of solving his murder.
Immediately Charlie is suspicious of Delacorte’s own family, and relies on the help of Diesel to paw around for clues. The cat and mouse game heats up after a highly valued copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane goes missing and a second murder occurs. Now Charlie and Diesel must solve the case before the killer strikes a third time—and hope curiosity doesn’t kill the cat...
Athena College’s new writer in residence is a famous native son, playwright Connor Lawton, known for his sharp writing—and sharper tongue. After an unpleasant encounter, librarian Charlie Harris heads home to a nice surprise: his daughter, Laura, is visiting and will be subbing for another professor this fall semester. It’s great news until he hears who got her the job: her old flame, Connor Lawton...
Fearing competition for Connor’s affections, one of his admirers tries to drive Laura out of town. And then, before Connor finishes the play he is writing, he is murdered—and Laura is the prime suspect. Knowing she’s innocent, Charlie and his faithful sidekick, Diesel, follow Connor’s cluttered trail of angry lovers, bitter enemies, and intriguing library research to find the true killer before his daughter is forever cataloged under “M”—for murderer.
The Ducote sisters are in a tiff with Vera Cassity over the location of Athena, Mississippi's annual 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.
It’s National Library Week, and the Athena Public Library is planning an exhibit to honor the centenary of famous novelist Electra Barnes Cartwright—creator of the beloved Veronica Thane series.
Charlie has a soft spot for Cartwright’s girl detective stories (not to mention an extensive collection of her books!). When the author agrees to make a rare public appearance, the news of her whereabouts goes viral overnight, and series devotees and book collectors converge on Athena.
After all, it’s rumored that Cartwright penned Veronica Thane stories that remain under wraps, and one rabid fan will stop at nothing—not even murder—to get hold of the rare books...
Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, Mississippi, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. She would like librarian Charlie Harris to preserve and substantiate them as a part of the Long family legacy—something that could benefit her son, Beck, as he prepares to campaign for the state senate.
Beck’s biggest rival would like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family’s past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly, leaving Charlie with a catalog of questions to answer. Together with his Maine Coon cat Diesel, Charlie must discover why the diaries were worth killing for before he too reaches his final chapter.
Mississippi librarian Charlie Harris and his Maine Coon cat Diesel are on their guard. Oscar Reilly, the new director at the Athena College library, is on a mission to cut costs and has set his sights on the archive and rare book collection. Reilly’s also out to replace Charlie’s fiery friend Melba with someone younger, but his biggest offense is declaring all four-legged creatures banned from the stacks.
With enemies aplenty, the suspect list is long when Reilly’s body is discovered in the library, but incriminating evidence throws suspicion on Melba. Charlie is convinced that his friend is no murderer, especially when he catches sight of a menacing stranger lurking around the library. Now he and Diesel will have to read between the lines, before Melba is shelved under “G” for guilty...
Charlie is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding this year’s annual meeting at Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he must deliver the welcome speech to all the visiting librarians. And as if that weren’t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie’s old nemesis from library school.
It’s been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin Fong, and he’s still an insufferable know-it-all capable of getting under everyone’s skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth a most unpopular opinion: that degreed librarians will be obsolete in the academic libraries of the future. So when Gavin drops dead, no one seems too upset...
But Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin the day before, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must check out every clue to refine their search for the real killer among them before the next book Charlie reads comes from a prison library...
Charlie Harris is busy enjoying his new grandson when a mysterious man with a connection to Charlie's family starts visiting the library, bringing with him troubling questions about an unsolved murder...
Charlie may be a proud new grandfather, but he and Diesel still have work to do at Athena College and the small Mississippi town's public library. He's too busy to deal with true-crime writer Jack Pemberton, who wants Charlie as the subject of his latest book--and who won't take no for an answer.
A more appealing proposition for Charlie is spending time helping a kind, elderly man navigate the library's genealogical database. But he's shocked when he learns that the visitor's search is focused on a member of his own family: his late aunt's husband.
Charlie befriends the man and considers inviting him to stay in his home, but he's soon given reason to question that notion. Jack is certain that Charlie's new houseguest was involved in a shocking homicide that took place years ago in a small town near Athena. As this cold case heats up, Charlie and Diesel have to uncover a killer who may already be too close to home...
December twenty-fifth is right around the corner, and Charlie is making his list and checking it twice. He is doing his best to show some peace and goodwill toward his nosy neighbor Gerry Arbitron, a real estate agent who seems to have designs on his house (and maybe on him, as well), while preparing for a very important role, indeed--his first Christmas as a grandfather.
The last thing Charlie expects is to gain several new additions to his family. Charlie finds a box on his doorstep with five kittens inside and a note begging him to keep them safe. With Diesel's help, Charlie welcomes the tiny felines into the Harris household just as Gerry decides it is time to throw a lavish holiday party.
Determined to make her mark on Athena, Gerry instead winds up dead at her very own party. Though attempts to dig into her past come up empty, Charlie and his girlfriend, Helen Louise, witness two heated exchanges involving Gerry before her death: one with a leading citizen and another with the wife of a good friend. Will one of these ladies wind up on the sheriff's naughty list? Charlie and Diesel have to wrap up the case before the special season is ruined by a sinister scrooge.
In addition to his library duties and his role as doting grandad, Charlie has enrolled in an early medieval history course offered by young, charismatic professor Carey Warriner. Charlie feels a bit out of place- his fellow classmates are half his age- except for Dixie Bell Compton, another ‘mature’ student.
When Charlie hears an angry exchange between her and their professor, his interest in piqued. He’s even more intrigued when she shows up at his office asking for a study partner. Charlie turns her down and is saddened to learn just a few days later that Dixie has been killed.
Charlie wonders if Professor Warriner had anything to do with Dixie’s death. Warriner is married to a fellow professor who happens to be a successful author. There are rumors on campus that their marriage was on the rocks. Was Dixie's death the result of a lovers’ triangle gone bad? Charlie soon discovers that the professor’s wife may have some secrets of her own and his suspect list is only getting longer.
As he and Diesel step further into the tangled web of relationships, someone else is viciously killed. Whose jealousy finally erupted into murderous rage? Was it a crime of passion or is there another more sinister motive? Charlie races to unravel this mystery: and to draw out the culprit, he may just have to put his own life on the line…
Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.
Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.
Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So, despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.
Charlie and Diesel along with Charlie's fiancée, Helen Louise Brady, are heading to Asheville, North Carolina to spend a week at a boutique hotel and participate in a gathering of a mystery reader's club composed of patrons of the Athena Public Library. In addition to seeing the local sights, the members will take turns giving talks on their favorite authors.
The always spry Ducote sisters, friends of the hotel’s owners, are helping underwrite the expenses, and they’ve insisted that Charlie, Helen, and Diesel join them. Anxious to get Helen Louise away from her bistro for a vacation, Charlie readily agrees. While Charlie is looking forward to relaxing with Helen Louise and Diesel, other members of the group have ulterior motives including a long-standing score to settle.
When an intrusive, uninvited guest turns up dead, only one mystery club member with a connection to the deceased appears to have a motive to kill. But could the answer really be that simple? Charlie and Diesel, along with the detecting Ducote sisters, know that every murder plot has an unexpected twist.
Charlie has always believed that his grandfather had sold his house to his longtime tenant, Martin Hale. So when Martin dies, Charlie is surprised to discover the house was not left to Martin but instead belongs to Charlie. As he and Diesel check out the house he remembers fondly from his childhood, he is pleasantly surprised that it is in better condition than expected. That is, until they find a literal skeleton in a closet.
While the sheriff’s department investigates the mysterious remains, Charlie digs deeper into the past for clues to the identity of the bones and why they are there. But the cold case heats up quickly when Martin’s grandson is found dead on the farm.
As Charlie delves into his own family history, he encounters many people who might have been motivated to take a life. But Charlie and Diesel know that things are not always what they seem, and that secrets seemingly lost to time have a way of finding their way back to haunt the present.
Charlie Harris remembers Wilfred “Wil” Threadgill as one of the outsiders during high school in Athena. Although Wil was a couple of years ahead of him and his friend Melba Gilley, Melba had a big crush on Wil who dropped out after his junior year. An aspiring musician, Wil hit the road for California and never looked back. Wil eventually became a star, fronting a band and writing award-winning songs.
Coming back to Athena to work for two weeks with students in the college music department, Wil is now the big man on campus. Not everyone is happy to have him back, however. Some are protesting his music on moral grounds, and Wil and his entourage have been the target of several acts of petty harassment. At first they're easy for Wil to shrug off, but the incidents escalate and become more troubling.
When one of the band members is killed Charlie worries that Melba, now deeply involved with the man at the center of the attacks, could be in deadly danger. It’s up to Charlie and Diesel to find out who hates Wil Threadgill enough to silence his song… forever!
Southern Ladies Mystery
With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne’er-do-well adult children not far behind.
Rosabelle’s selfish offspring are desperate to discover what’s in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance. Suddenly caught up in a deadly tangle of duplicitous suspects and deep-fried motives, it will take all of the sisters’ Southern charm to catch a decidedly ill-mannered killer…
An’gel and Dickce Ducote tend to stay put in Athena, Mississippi, but a wedding is a good reason to say a temporary farewell to Charlie Harris’s cat Diesel and go visit relatives. But while their stay in Louisiana is scorching hot, the atmosphere at the wedding is downright cold, with bride-to-be Sondra Delevan putting her trust fund above little things like love and loyalty.
When a violent storm supposedly sweeps Sondra off a balcony to her death, the sisters discover that many of the guests attending the wedding had major reasons to object to Sondra’s marriage. Now, it’s up to An’gel and Dickce to use their down-home instincts to expose dubious alibis, silver-plated secrets, and one relentless murderer who lives for “till death do us part.”
An’gel and Dickce Ducote, busy with plans for the Athena Garden Club’s spring tour of grand old homes, are having trouble getting the other club members to help. The rest of the group is all a-flutter now that dashing and still-eligible Hadley Partridge is back to restore his family mansion. But the idle chatter soon turns deadly serious when a body turns up on the Partridge estate after a storm...
The remains might belong to Hadley’s long-lost sister-in-law, Callie, who everyone thought ran off with Hadley years ago. And if it’s not Callie, who could it be? As the Ducotes begin uncovering secrets, they discover that more than one person in Athena would kill to be Mrs. Partridge. Now An’gel and Dickce will need to get their hands dirty if they hope to reveal a killer’s deep-buried motives before someone else’s name is mud...
It’s autumn down south, and An'gel and Dickce Ducote are in Natchez, Mississippi, at the request of Mary Turner Catlin, the granddaughter of an old friend. Mary and her husband, Henry Howard, live in Cliffwood, one of the beautiful antebellum homes for which Natchez is famous.
Odd things have been happening in the house for years, and the French Room in particular has become the focal point for spooky sensations. The Ducotes suspect the ghostly goings-on are caused by the living, but when a relative of the Catlins is found dead in the room, An'gel and Dickce must sift through a haunted family history to catch a killer.