"In Athena, Mississippi, librarian Charlie Harris is known for his good nature--and for his Maine coon cat, Diesel, whom he often walks on a leash. Charlie returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but taking the plunge into a recent acquisition will have him in over his head... Lucinda Beckwith Long, the mayor of Athena, has donated a set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. The books were recently discovered among the personal effects of an ancestor of Mrs. Long's husband. The mayor would like Charlie 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 is Jasper Singletary. His Southern roots are as deep as Beck's, and their families have been bitter enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long clan has a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletarys. He'd like to get a look at the diaries in an attempt to expose the Long family's past sins. Meanwhile, a history professor at the college is also determined to get her hands on the books in a last-ditch bid for tenure. But their interest suddenly turns deadly... Now Charlie is left with a catalog of questions. The diaries seem worth killing for, and one thing is certain: Charlie will need to be careful, because the more he reads, the closer he could be coming to his final chapter ..."--Provided by publisher.