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Review: The Ninth Life by Clea Simon

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Book covers don’t always reflect a book’s actual content, but in the case of The Ninth Life, the first in Clea Simon’s dark new series, the cover is a perfect reflection of the book’s feel and tone.

Written in the voice of Blackie, a black cat with a mysterious past, and combining elements of fantasy and mystery, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual feline and his human companion, Care, a fifteen-year-old homeless girl. Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Code Grey by Clea Simon

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Dulcie Schwartz, her cat Esme, and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey, are back! In Code Grey, the ninth installment in Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, it’s spring break, but Dulcie has stayed behind to continue to work on her doctoral thesis about a mysterious 19th century author of two gothic novels. Most of her friends have left Cambridge, even her boyfriend Chris is visiting his family in New Jersey.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon

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Pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlowe is back in this fifth book in Clea Simon’s Pet Noir series, and the series just keep getting better with each book. In Kittens Can Kill, Pru arrives at a client’s house and finds a fluffy white kitten next to the client’s body. Was it a heart attack? Were drug interactions to blame? Or was the victim allergic to the kitten, which one of his three daughters had given her father as a gift only recently?Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Stages of Grey by Clea Simon

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I always look forward to a new installment in Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her kitten Esme and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey. This series has become one of my favorites. In Stages of Grey, the eighth book in the series, Dulcie is still working on her doctoral thesis about a mysterious 19th century author of two gothic novels. Her relationship with her boyfriend Chris finally seems to be on an even keel, and her black and white spirited cat Esme, and the spirit of her beloved Mr. Grey, are both guiding her through life as best as they can.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Grey Howl by Clea Simon

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Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz mystery series, featuring the Harvard graduate student, along with her kitten Esme and the spirit of her departed cat, Mr. Grey, has become one of my favorite cat mysteries. In Grey Howl, the seventh installment of the series, we find Dulcie helping with preparations for a prestigious literature conference. Dulcie is in the final stages of her doctoral thesis about an obscure gothic novel by a mysterious author, and she is excited about presenting her paper at the conference. But as the visiting scholars arrive, things begin to go wrong, and Dulcie finds herself in the middle of a tangled web of academic rivalries. A presentation is sabotaged, a scholar disappears, and another is murdered. And to top it all off, Dulcie’s boyfriend Chris is acting strangely.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Panthers Play for Keeps by Clea Simon

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Pru Marlowe is back, and she’s better than ever! In Panthers Play for Keeps, the fourth book in Clea Simon’s Pet Noir series featuring pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlow, Pru has to solve her most challenging case yet: while taking a dog for a walk, she finds the body of a young woman, who seems to have been mauled by a wild cat. Pru knows there have been no cougars in the Berkshires for years, and not much about this death makes sense. As Pru starts looking into the murder, a cougar of another kind has her eyes set on Pru’s on again, off again boyfriend, detective Jim Creighton. When Pru’s rival disappears, Pru is forced to set aside her own problems to solve the mystery.

Pru Marlow can hear what animals are thinking, Continue Reading

Clea Simon Audiobook Winners

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Congratulation, Cheryl Roarke and Charlene Faris! You’re the winners of the audiobook version of Grey Dawn and Grey Zone by Clea Simon!

Look for an e-mail from Ingrid*.

*Winners were selected by random drawing. Winners need to provide a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours of receipt of notification e-mail. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Giveaway: Audiobook Cat Mysteries by Clea Simon

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If you love feline mysteries and you haven’t read any of Clea Simon’s cat-centric book, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Clea is one of the most prolific cat book writers I know. She is the author of the Dulcie Schwartz, Pru Marlowe 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.

Clea generously offered the audio versions of two of the Dulcie Schwartz books, Grey Zone and Grey Dawn, to two lucky readers (one audiobook per winner).Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Grey Dawn by Clea Simon

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I was thrilled when the sixth 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, arrvied in my mailbox. I’m a huge fan of the series, and I’ve learned from reading the first five books that once I got started with Grey Dawn, I would have a hard time putting it down, so I planned accordingly.

In this book, we still find Dulcie working on her doctoral thesis about an incomplete gothic novel written by an unknown author in the 18th century. Dulcie is excited when she discovers what appear to be missing pages of what may have been the manuscript of the novel. She is deeply immersed in thoughts about the novel and its author on the way home one night, when she hears what sounds like a wolf howling, and catches a glimpse of her thesis advisor, looking strangely inhuman in the moonlight. She chalks it up to being so immersed in the dark tale of her gothic novel, and doesn’t give the odd occurrence any more thought until she finds out the next morning that a student was savagely attacked that very night. And the student looks very much like Dulcie.Continue Reading

Review: Parrots Prove Deadly by Clea Simon

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Clea Simon’s cat-centric murder mysteries. I knew I would enjoy Parrots Prove Deadly, the third in Simon’s Pet Noir series featuring pet behaviorist and psychic Pru Marlowe – I just didn’t realize just how much I would love it.

Pru is hired to retrain the parrot of a woman who has died in a retirement home. The parrot needs a new home, but isn’t likely to find one with the vocabulary of swear words he seems to have acquired, and the dead woman’s family is hoping that Pru can help. As Pru starts working with the bird, she is wondering whether some of the parrot’s words are a replay of the woman’s death, and whether that death could have possibly been a murder. The only other possible witnesses are a blind neighbor, her seeing-eye dog, and a non-commital health care aide. Pru can’t help herself: she begins to look into the woman’s death, and she gets drawn into a tangled web of family dynamics, possible land fraud, and a potential rabies outbreak.

With the help of her cantankerous tabby Wallis, Continue Reading

Review and giveaway: True Grey by Clea Simon

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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,Continue Reading