Charlie Harris from New York Times bestseller Miranda James's "Cat in the Stacks" seriesRecently while Diesel and I were walking to work at the Athena College Library one morning a woman stopped us to admire my handsome boy and to ask if I were the man who has been finding all the dead bodies lately. That took me aback, I have to say. I also had to say "yes" to the inquisitive stranger. I found out, further along in the conversation, that she and her family recently moved into my neighborhood and one of her new neighbors told her all about me.
I have had encounters with several corpses over the past year. It's not like I go looking for murders to get tangled up in, but sometimes you can't help it. I couldn't stand by and see my young boarder, Justin Wardlaw, accused of murder when I didn't believe he was responsible. Then I found another corpse when I was cataloging a rare book collection for a wealthy man.
My daughter Laura found a corpse, and naturally I had to get involved. I knew my daughter wasn't a killer. Any loving, responsible father would do the same thing. Now I have the uneasy feeling that there might be another corpse in my future, and soon. The way the rich ladies in Athena are wrangling over the Friends of the Library's annual gala -- well, Lee and Grant probably got along better before they ended up at Appomattox Court House in 1865.
I don't want people to start making jokes about me the way they do a certain woman from a small town in Maine. Otherwise no one will get near me, let alone invite into their homes. I'm not a harbinger of doom ... I'm really not! But I can't duck and run for cover at the first sign of trouble, not when it involves people I care about. Not even if people start running when they seem me approaching.