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Friday, August 28, 2015

Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey: A feline-filled academic mystery (A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery)
Series: A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery (Book 9)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0727885067

Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not and she sets out to prove it”
It s spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?
With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity and a new menace.
What I Thought:
This was the first Dulcie Schwartz novel by Clea Simon that I have read.  I enjoyed and look forward to reading more.  I do feel, though, that I should have started at the beginning of the series.  Dulcie is a student trying to finish her dissertation, so the book was a little intellectual.  It was still entertaining and kept me guessing. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About The Author
Clea Simon is the author of 18 mysteries in the Theda Krakow, DulcieSchwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoingand include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and Kittens Can Kill (Poisoned Pen Press). A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at

Author Links:
On Facebook:
My blog:
On Twitter: or @Clea_Simon
On Goodreads:
Purchase Links: 
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Writing with a Cat (guest blog for Melina’s Book Blog)
Sometimes, my muse gets in the way.
I write mysteries with cats in them. In three separate series, my heroines commune with their kitties – some of which talk (in the Pru Marlowe pet noir books and the Dulcie Schwartz feline-filled academic mysteries, the latest of which, “Code Grey” was published by Severn House on Aug. 1). Some of which don’t (my first series, the Theda Krakow mysteries).  But in all 18 of my mysteries, my protagonists are aided, guided, cajoled, and at times comforted by their feline friends. It stands to reason, then, that you’d think that I – the author – have the same experience.
Only writing with a cat is not so easy.
To start with, my own little muse – a black-and-white tuxedo cat named Musetta – doesn’t always approve of my writing. When she chooses to nap on the chair in my office, then it’s fine that I’m spending hours at my desk, tapping away at the keyboard. But when she wants to play, she has no patience for my work. She doesn’t scratch exactly – she’s too good a friend for that – but she will reach up as if stretching, delicately place her paws on my thigh, and flex her claws just enough to make her point.
And then there are revisions. Musetta tries to help with those. She really does. But the feline method of editing – as expressed through a sincere love of paper – can run counter to my very human technique of printing out and then marking up the pages of a work in progress. Say I have a scene spread out, wanting to compare the description of some bad guy to how I discuss him in the following scene. Are those pages an open invitation for someone to loll about? Will her spreading out on those pages and rolling around a little make them better, clearer, more exciting for the reader? I hadn’t thought so, but clearly I am wrong. And those few pages that she bites – marking the corners with her teeth: are those especially good pages, or are those the ones she thinks I should go back to work on?
As I’ve said, working with a feline editor can be challenging. But when I’m done for the day and have a purring warm friend lying next to (or even on) my feet…. Those times where I glance over and see her eyes half-closed in sleepy contentment… The slight sigh as she jumps up on the sofa next to me and settles in to read… They make it all worthwhile.
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  1. Thanks for reading, Melina! And for letting me share your space.

  2. Melina many thanks for sharing your blog with this information about Clea Simon's new book. It was very information and appreciated.

  3. I haven't yet read one of Clea Simon's books, but would like to change that! Thank you for Ms Simon's post and for being part of the book tour. Sounds like a fun read for we cat lovers!

  4. I have two or three of her books and I have cats, too.