Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: October 23, 2022 by Crystal Uys


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.

But of course, we know by now that it’s impossible for Dulcie to not become involved in murder. When an actor at an experimental theater troupe is found dead, Dulcie can’t help but start to ask some questions. The fact that the theater has a resident cat, who gets temporarily displaced in all the activity following the discovery of the body, makes it even more important to Dulcie to take part in the investigation. Before long, Dulcie finds herself caught in a web of confusing relationships between students and actors as she tries to find the missing theater cat and unravel the mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, both for the intricate plot and for the relationship drama. Dulcie seems to be more flaky than usual in this installment, but the author paints her personality in such an endearing manner that you can’t help but like her. I felt quite protective toward Dulcie; I found myself thinking “don’t do it, Dulcie!” frequently throughout the book.

Clea Simon has another winner on her hands with this installment. If you enjoy mysteries with lots of plot twists and plenty of cat references, you’ll love this one. The author provides enough backstory so that Stages of Grey can be read as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of the fun of reading the entire series?

The author has generously offered up an autographed copy for one lucky reader.

Clea Simon is the author of the Theda Krakow and Pru Marlowe 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.

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40 Comments on Stages of Grey by Clea Simon – Book Review

  1. This would be a neat gift idea for my mom for Christmas, especially since it is signed by the author. Reading is one of her most favorite hobbies. And, she loves cats & mysteries!

  2. I like books with intricate plots and mysteries with cats so this is a perfect combination. I am looking forward to reading Stages of Grey, thank-you for the opportunity to win this.

  3. Love All of Clea Simon’s different series, but her Dulcie Schwartz Grey series is my favorite! I old love to have an autographed copy! Thanks for the opportunity !

  4. CLEA SIMON’S cat mysteries all a great read. I haven’t read this series. It has been on my TBR list for awhile.

  5. I already have another Clea Simon book, Grey Dawn, and enjoy it greatly! I would love to get another one. Thank you!

  6. I’d love to win a copy of this book. I’m always looking for new authors to read. It looks like I’ll definitely have to check out this series!

  7. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a chance to read just for the enjoyment rather than having to read technical stuff. I can envision piling up on numerous pillows & reading this to my ten kitties, two of whom are greys! LOL

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