cat mysteries

Review: As Dark As My Fur

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Even though the saying goes “you can’t always judge a book by its cover,” this actually doesn’t always apply with book covers. However, in the case of As Dark As My Fur, the second book in Clea Simon’s Blackie and Care Cat Mystery series, the cover accurately reflects the book’s feel and tone.

Written in the voice of Blackie, a black cat with a mysterious past, set in an unnamed city with a post-apocalyptic feel, this series combines elements of fantasy and mystery. In As Dark As My Fur, Simon continues the adventures of Blackie and  teenager Care, an apprentice private detective. Continue Reading

A Cat of a Different Color: When a Cat Writer Goes Dark

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Guest post by Clea Simon

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Sometimes a writer needs to go dark. Not as in silent, but as in dangerous. After close to 20 cozies, I realized that’s what I had to do. The cover of my new mystery, As Dark As My Fur, says it all: a black cat stares out, his green-eyed gaze intense. In the background, a tunnel seems to lead the way underground, further from the light. Indeed, this book – the second Blackie and Care mystery – follows a path laid out in the first of this series, The Ninth Life. And while I understand that not all of my readers will want to follow me here, I do hope you’ll listen as I explain why I’m taking it now, in this series.Continue Reading

It’s Kitty O’Clock Somewhere!

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Guest post by Clea Simon

Cats understand book time.

You know how felines are – the way they’ll rush around madly, only to suddenly plop down for an hours-long nap. Their insistence that they are starving and must be fed immediately, only to be sated a few licks, finishing up a split second later – or distracted by a passing shadow.

Book time is like that.Continue Reading

The Mysteries of Summer: Musetta Speaks Out on Travel, Ghost Cats, and Human Foibles

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Guest post by Musetta Simon

Musetta here, and I’m logging on to tell you: I hate summer.

Does that surprise you? As a cat, I am essentially a desert animal. My body temperature runs higher than yours, and I could lay in the sun for hours, soaking up the rays. (When I do this, my mom says I’m the solar-powered kitty, recharging.) But as a writer’s cat, I’ve learned a few things. And number one is that summer means travel. For my humans, of course. Not for me, and I hate that.Continue Reading

Naming a Fictional Cat

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Guest post by Lucy Burdette

Cat lovers will understand that naming a new cat is serious business – even if the feline is fictional. One of my regular characters, Evinrude, is the handsome gray tiger who lives with food critic Hayley Snow on her houseboat. He steals the show and makes the cover every time a book comes out. In case you are wondering where he got his name, Evinrude is a brand of boat motor.

For my sixth Key West food critic mystery, Fatal Reservations, I had a new character emergeContinue Reading

My Top 10 Cat Books of 2014

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I don’t keep track of the number of books I read each year, but my best guess is somewhere between 150 and 200, and at least half of them have something to do with cats. I reviewed more than 30 books here on The Conscious Cat this year.

I made a commitment to myself long ago that I would never post a bad book review. I feel that every author pours his or her heart and soul into a book, and just because I don’t like a book doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good book. As a result, if you see a book reviewed here on the site, it means that I really liked it. This makes it challenging each year to pick only ten favorites, especially since the books cover such a wide variety of genres.Continue Reading

Summer Book Suggestions for Cat Lovers

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One of my favorite summer pleasures is spending time outside with a good book. Even though a beach vacation is not in the cards this year, I spend as much time as I can on my deck each summer, and I make sure I always have a good supply of summer reading on hand. And of course, much of my summer reading is made up of cat books. The following books are just a few selections that I highly recommend for your summer reading list.Continue Reading

Life Imitates Art: Cougar Sighting in Suburban Boston

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Guest post by Clea Simon

The dodo is extinct. The passenger pigeon as well, although some intriguing backward-engineering of DNA may soon change that. The Eastern cougar? That’s another matter. Last month, amid growing community concern, repeated sightings of a large, tawny cat just outside of Boston have made what was once a closed issue open to debate.

According to most wildlife experts, the Eastern cougar – also known as a mountain lion or a puma – is gone. Hunted by humans as its woodland territory was gobbled up by development, the large dun-colored cat (scientific name: Puma concolor couguar) was deemed extinct in 2011 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The large and graceful cat, once the alpha predator from South Carolina through New England, was done in by the new alpha: humans.Continue Reading

Review: The Cat, the Mill and the Murder by Leann Sweeney

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Leann Sweeney’s Cats in Trouble series just keeps getting better and better. The series features cat quilter Jillian Hart and her three cats Merlot, Chablis and Chiraz, along with her human friends, who all live in the small town of Mercy, South Carolina.

In The Cat, the Mill and the Murder, the latest installment in the series, Jillian volunteers to help a local animal shelter relocate a colony of feral cats living in an abandoned textile mill. When she visits the mill, she finds a woman who is living there with her “ghost cat” Boots. Jeannie went missing from Mercy, South Carolina, a decade ago, after her daughter’s disappearance. After Jeannie is hurt in an accident and taken to the hospital, a body is found in the mill’s old fireplace. This is only the beginning of a series of long-kept, dark secrets, and Jillian finds herself drawn into yet another investigation.Continue Reading

Review and Giveaway: Cat in an Alien X-Ray by Carole Nelson Douglas

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Carole Nelson Douglas’ Midnight Louie series, set in the glamour and glitz of Las Vegas and featuring feline detective Louie and his human, public relations specialist Temple Barr, is one of the longest running and best known feline mystery series. This four-footed sleuth has been solving mysteries since 1990!

In Cat in an Alien X-Ray, the 25th book in the series, Carole Nelson Douglas takes the reader on a wild ride as Louie and company encounter science fiction fans, UFO enthusiasts, and bizarre conspiracy theorists. Temple’s newest PR client is opening an “Area 51” attraction (the  code name for a military base in Nevada which has been the subject of conspiracy theories and rumors about UFO research) and wants Temple’s help to promote his new venture. When two bodies are discovered on the site, it is up to Midnight Louie and crew to unravel the multiple mysteries.Continue Reading