Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys


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.

If you know Dulcie from the previous books, you know she won’t be able to stop herself from investigating. Did she hear the crime as it was being committed? Could her advisor be a werewolf? Or did Dulcie simply spend too much time engulfed in her gothic novel?

Simon masterfully takes us through multiple plot lines to the surprising finish. The juxtaposition of Dulcie’s research into the gothic novel and her real life, and the communication from both her ghost cat, Mr. Grey, and her kitten Esme, add an element of mystery that left me in awe of the author’s imagination and ability to keep the story believable despite these excursions into the supernatural.

This series just keeps getting better and better. One of the best parts about reading a series is the character development, and Simon has done an outstanding job with Dulcie. I’ve come to like her more with each book, and I hope there’ll be many more to follow. And of course, there are plenty of cats in this book: from ghost cat Mr. Grey, who keeps an eye on Dulcie and guides her with subtle and sometimes not so subtle messages, to Esme, who is maturing into a young adult with a strong sense of who she is, to an orange kitten Dulcie rescues, the cat references are delightful. It’s clear that Simon knows and loves cats.

Like all the books in this series, Grey Dawn can be read as a standalone, but but I’d encourage you to read the entire series – it’s just too good to stop with just one book.

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. No need to post the link to your share. This giveaway ends Friday, June 7, and is limited to readers in the United States only *.

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.

*No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Winners will be notified via e-mail. The prize winner must provide The Conscious Cat with a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours. If this information is not received, an alternate winner will be chosen by random drawing. Winners will be announced in a separate post following the drawing.

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

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