Kittens Can Kill
by Clea Simon
on Tour June 2015
Synopsis:The dead don’t keep pets. So when animal behaviorist expert Pru Marlowe gets a call about a kitten, she doesn’t expect to find the cuddly creature playing beside the cooling body of prominent Beauville lawyer David Canaday. Heart attack? His three adult daughters angrily blame drug interactions, feline allergies—and each other. And begin to feud over their father, his considerable estate, and that cute ball of fluff. While the cause of death is pending, each sister has an axe to grind—with arguments that escalate when David’s partner reads out the will.
Pru’s special sensitivity to animals, which caused her to flee the cacophony of Manhattan for the quiet Berkshires, adds further problems. The local vet is overwhelmed as the animal hospital’s money runs out. There’s a needy Sheltie and some invasive squirrels, too. But the dead man’s kitten, his former partner, and his troublesome family keep drawing “wild-girl animal psychic Pru back in. Despite the wry observations of her trusty tabby Wallis, now the wrongfully accused kitten’s guardian, and the grudging compliance of her cop lover, this may be one time when Pru can’t solve the mystery or save the kitten she wants to believe is innocent. A single witness knows the truth about that bright spring morning. How far can Pru investigate without risking her own hidden tale?
What I Thought:
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Number of Pages: 434
Series: Pru Marlowe Pet Noir #5 (Each is a Stand Alone Mystery)
Honestly, I really didn't connect with this book at first, it was kind of slow going. But towards the middle it really picked up and became interesting. I liked how Pru had a connection with animals, since I am an animal lover. I also liked how she figured out the mystery. This was the first book I have read in this series, and I will probably read more. Great job Clea.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Read an excerpt:
Author Bio:A recovering journalist, Clea Simon is the author of 17 mysteries and three nonfiction books. Parrots Prove Deadly is the third in her Pru Marlowe pet noir series. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband Jon and their cat, Musetta, and can be reached at
This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Clea Simon & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Kittens Can Kill by Clea Simon. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through June 3rd, 2015.
What is pet noir, anyway?
Thanks for having me here! I’m Clea Simon, the author of three mystery series (two – the Pru Marlowe pet noirs and the Dulcie Schwartz feline-filled mysteries) ongoing. Although there are currently a couple of series labeled “pet noir,” I believe I invented the term – at least for pet mysteries – when I sent my publisher the first manuscript in the series, the book that would become “Dogs Don’t Lie.”
These days, people ask me, “what is pet noir? Is it noir? Is it cozy?” This is the true story:
I write cozies. Not cutesy books, mind you, but traditional whodunits – the kind of mystery where, if you’re a careful reader, you should be able to piece together all the clues and figure out what happened, right alongside my amateur detective. These are the kinds of books I grew up reading, so I guess it made sense that’s what I first started writing when I wrote my first mystery (“Mew is for Murder,” Poisoned Pen Press, 2005). As you can tell from that title, a cat – several, actually – was involved. I love cats, so it seemed natural to write cozies with cats. And readers love them too!
Since then, my tastes have broadened. I like a fast-paced not-too-violent thriller, the kind where a resourceful hero or heroine can figure her or his way out of a jam. Joe Finder’s books, for example, are great fun, and I’m a big fan of Daniel Silva! But I will probably never be a fan of gory thrillers. The kind of book that opens with a beautiful woman getting killed is just off-putting to me – I suspect the people who write those books were jilted once too often by the pretty girls. And while I had my share of heartbreak in my single years, I just think that’s an easy and a mean way out.
What really sucked me in a few years ago was noir. Not the classic Dashiell Hammet – though I’ve read those, too – but the new noir. Women-centered noir. Books by Linda L. Richards and Megan Abbott, featuring tough broads who did what they wanted, took what they wanted, and sometimes got away … and sometimes didn’t.
When I thought about it, what I liked – maybe what I always liked about the best mysteries – were the characters. They were not always nice, but they felt real. When they did bad things – stole or killed – they did them for reasons I could understand.
That’s the kind of book I wanted to write. A book with a realistic heroine – maybe not always likeable, but someone you could understand. Maybe someone a little intimidating. A bit tougher than I am, and with a bit of a past. And so in a homage to the great Philip Marlowe, I cam up with Pru – for Prudence – Marlowe, hard-drinking single gal from the city, who washes up in her home town looking to start over. And I had great fun writing her. Her voice came naturally, and right away I knew how she looked, how she moved. You name it. Only… when I started writing my tough girl, another voice appeared. Her even tougher tabby, Wallis. They were a team, from the start, and I knew I had something new – Pru Marlowe and Wallis the cat. Pet noir.