Houston-based author Dean James is something of a star — his books have topped the bestseller lists, he’s won several important awards, he has legions of loyal fans and followers and he managed to introduce a male protagonist in a cozy mystery series where female main characters are the norm. He’s had several successful series; our favorite featured Simon Kirby-Jones, a gay vampire. James’s latest series is the Cat in the Stacks mysteries, which he writes under the name Miranda James (he’s also written under the pseudonyms Jimmie Ruth Evans and Honor Hartman). The newly released Cat installment, The Silence of the Library, is already on the top of the bestseller lists.
But as popular as the very talented James is, he takes a back seat to Diesel, an oversize Maine coon cat that accompanies Cat protagonist Charlie Harris. “Diesel probably has more fans than Charlie or Miranda,” James jokes.
Set during National Book Week, The Silence of the Library features a cast of eccentric book collectors, rabid readers, an elderly author of Nancy Drew-type mysteries and at least one overzealous fan who will do anything to get a prized volume. The Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries were among the first titles James read as a child. “I knew that a lot of people collect these types of books, and any time you have people collecting something, there can be, shall we say, eccentricities. So I thought I’d have some rabid collectors descend upon the town.” And descend they do.
James appears with fellow writers Kimberly Frost (the Southern Witch series), Timothy J. Lambert (contributor to The Mammoth Book of New Gay Erotica) and R.D. Cochrane (publisher of Someone Like You). 6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.
Tue., Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m., 2014