Review and giveaway: True Grey by Clea Simon

True_Grey

I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon, and was eagerly awaiting this fifth book in the Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her kitten Esme and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey. I knew enough from reading the previous four books to set some nice chunks of reading time aside when I received my review copy of True Grey, because once you pick up one of Simon’s mysteries, you’re not going to want to put it down.

In this book, we find Dulcie finally making some real progress on her thesis about an incomplete gothic novel written by an unknown author in the 18th century. But just when things are going so well, Melanie Sloan Harquist, a visiting scholar, shows up and claims that not only has she found the incomplete novel, she is preparing to publish a biography of Dulcie’s author! Dulcie is devastated, because this would mean that years of research were wasted. Dulcie makes several thwarted attempts to contact Harquist. When she finally plans to pay a friendly visit, it’s too late: she finds the woman murdered, and ends up – literally – with blood on her hands. To make matters worse, Dulcie had threatened to kill Harquist just days before the murder when she was venting her frustration about the situation to friends.

Dulcie looks like the prime murder suspect, and does everything she can think of to clear her name. When she finds out that the dean of students had a strong connection to the murder victim, the plot thickens. When the dean accuses Dulcie of plagiarism, she is beside herself. Dulcie’s anxiety level rises constantly throughout this book, and she doesn’t get much help from her distant and preoccupied boyfriend. Colleagues who appeared to be friends start to look suspicious. And even her ghost cat, Mr. Grey, and her adorable kitten Esme, are more cryptic than helpful with their advice.

In addition to Dulcie’s race to clear her name and find the murder victim, Simon masterfully weaves in a subplot about the anonymous author of the gothic novel. The juxtaposition of the two story lines will keep you guessing all the way to the end.

Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the passages with the two cats, and they’re plentiful throughout the book, but this entire book is an edge-of-your-seat, suspense filled read. Add in Simon’s beautiful, highly descriptive, well-nuanced and sometimes lyrical prose, and you’re in for a multi-layered treat of a book. The book can be read as a standalone, but I’d encourage you to read the entire series – it’s just too good to miss.

Clea Simon is the author of the Dulcie Schwartz and Theda Krakow mysteries and the nonfiction The Feline Mystique – On the Mysterious Connection Between Cats and Their Women as well as several other nonfiction books. For more information about Clea, please visit her website or her blog.

Clea Simon has generously offered one autographed copy of this book to go to one lucky winner. To enter the giveaway, tell me in a comment why you’d like to win this book. For an additional chance to win, tweet about this giveaway or share on Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, and leave a separate comment letting me know that you shared. This giveaway ends Friday, December 7, and is limited to readers in the United States only .

This book was sent to me by the author. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

Coming Wednesday: a guest post by Clea Simon about her writing process…which is ruled by her cat Musetta. 

32 Comments on Review and giveaway: True Grey by Clea Simon

  1. Michelle Wolff
    December 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm (7 years ago)

    It’s been a long time since I tried a new author and for me a new genre. I’d welcome the opportunity!

    Reply
  2. Sheryl Basford
    December 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm (7 years ago)

    A good mystery AND a story line that includes kitties? Sounds purrfect to me! 🙂

    Reply
  3. Trish Manfredi
    December 5, 2012 at 11:55 am (7 years ago)

    Love cat stories of all kinds – this one sounds great. Will go to the library to see what is on the shelf by this author and hopefully get one. I’ll read it aloud to my two foster boyz – Monk and Marley, who will be going to their fur-ever home on Saturday after spending 6 weeks with us via Siamese Cat Rescue of Virginia. Monk is a handsome blue point snowshoe and Marley is a class sealpoint. See more Siamese who are seeking new homes at http://www.va.siameserescue.org

    Trish in Connecticut

    Reply
  4. Patricia Bugg
    December 5, 2012 at 10:13 am (7 years ago)

    I shared this on facebook, twitter & Google+

    Reply
  5. Patricia Bugg
    December 5, 2012 at 10:09 am (7 years ago)

    I love reading mystery books especially ones involving cats… the cats make the book so easy to understand … I would love to win a copy… I have been faithfully reading all of Clea Simon’s books..they are awesome!!

    Reply
  6. Carol M
    December 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm (7 years ago)

    I love mysteries and I love cats! This sounds like the perfect book for me. I would love to win it! Thank you for the giveaway!

    Reply
  7. Ann
    December 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm (7 years ago)

    Shared on Facebook.

    Reply
  8. Ann
    December 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm (7 years ago)

    I love Clea Simon’s books. I was introduced to them through another of your reviews and I have read nine of them in the past several months. 🙂

    I am currently reading my last one, Cats Can’t Shoot, and I was a little sad because I thought that it was the last one. I would love to have an autographed copy of the book.

    Reply
    • Clea Simon
      December 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Ann,
      Thank you so much for reading, but do not fear! The next Pru Marlowe is already in the works – it will be “Parrots Prove Deadly” and will come out in April. But, yes, in the meantime, there is the new “True Grey” (and I should finish up reading through the copy edits of the next one – Grey Dawn – sometime this week). I’lll keep writing if you keep reading!
      Clea

      Reply
      • Ann
        December 4, 2012 at 6:32 am (7 years ago)

        Thanks Clea. That’s great news!

        Reply
  9. Kathy McIntosh
    November 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm (7 years ago)

    Posted about the contest on Facebook.

    Reply
  10. Kathy McIntosh
    November 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I enjoy cat mysteries but have not yet read any of this series.

    Yesterday I learned our dear cat Martha has hyperthyroidism, so kitties are on my mind!

    Reply
  11. Carolyn Cohen
    November 30, 2012 at 9:59 pm (7 years ago)

    I love mystery books and I love cats and I am interested in psychic phenomena so it seems like this would be a triple winner for me.
    Carolyn

    Reply
  12. Michelle
    November 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm (7 years ago)

    I am a big fan of cats and murder mysteries, add a ghost cat and this is perfect for me.

    Reply
  13. Betty Wells
    November 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm (7 years ago)

    I love reading and always have some type of book in my hand.

    Reply
  14. Paulette Smith
    November 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm (7 years ago)

    Just Posted about giveaway on Facebook

    Reply
  15. Paulette Smith
    November 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm (7 years ago)

    I would LOVE to win an autographed copy of the newest Dulcie adventure. I have read all of her other mysteries and loved every one, but I think the Dulcie Schartz series is my favorite!

    Reply
  16. Prentiss Gsrner
    November 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm (7 years ago)

    My cat, Samson, and I both enjoy Clea simon’s cat mysteries!

    Reply
  17. Cheryl R
    November 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm (7 years ago)

    Cats and books,purrfect combination,Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Barbara
    November 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm (7 years ago)

    I read Mew is for Murder and of course I want to read more of her books. Love cats.

    Reply
  19. Mary Sue
    November 30, 2012 at 11:42 am (7 years ago)

    I’m a fan of mysteries, especially when there are cats or dogs involved. I’d love to read this one.

    Reply
  20. Lisa Barrett
    November 30, 2012 at 10:47 am (7 years ago)

    I love to read and a murder mystery involving cats? Bliss. I think it may be time to begin reading the Dulcie Schwartz series. Thank you for bringing these novels to my attention and thank you for the giveaway.

    Reply
  21. Cheryl J
    November 30, 2012 at 10:02 am (7 years ago)

    I would love to read this book. What a great giveaway- thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  22. Kyle S.
    November 30, 2012 at 9:32 am (7 years ago)

    I would love to win this book! My best friend, Laura, is a lover of felines (owning 4 of them), as well as a fan of ghost lore. Therefore, this would be the perfect Christmas present for her. She lives way up in Detroit, and I live down here in St. Louis, so I would love to send this to her!

    Reply
  23. Clea Simon
    November 30, 2012 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you for the lovely write-up, Ingrid! So happy to meet your readers, too!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm (7 years ago)

      My pleasure, Clea!

      Reply
  24. Candace
    November 30, 2012 at 7:29 am (7 years ago)

    I certainly would like to start reading this series-I have 2 angels of my own.

    Reply
  25. Linda
    November 30, 2012 at 6:27 am (7 years ago)

    I am an avid reader and would love to read this book!

    Reply
  26. Marilyn
    November 30, 2012 at 5:41 am (7 years ago)

    I love reading, cats and murder mysteries. I had not heard of these books but now have them on my reading list. Thanks!

    Reply

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