Monday, January 23, 2017

PW says "Hypnotic!"

As Dark As My Fur is "hypnotic," according to Publishers Weekly! Wow, what a welcome home! Here's the entire review (to run in the Jan. 23 Publishers Weekly):

As Dark as My Fur: A Blackie and Care Mystery, Clea Simon. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8682-8

Readers who enjoy the prickly pleasure of stepping into a strange alternate universe will welcome Simon’s hypnotic second Blackie and Care mystery (after 2015’s The Ninth Life), set in a blighted unnamed city. Bands of gangsters control the various neighborhoods, bartering is more common than the use of money, and the mostly illiterate masses have to scavenge to eke out a living. Pink-haired teen Carrie “Care” Wright, an apprentice private detective, navigates this treacherous world aided by Blackie, a cat she rescued from drowning. Blackie, the narrator, is no ordinary cat. His consciousness contains not only his feline instincts but also flashes of memories from his past life as a human. When a factory owner hires Care, who has been in charge of the detective agency since her mentor’s murder, to shadow one of his workers, Blackie fears something isn’t quite right. Since he can’t talk, he can do little to warn Care of his misgivings. The novel perilously walks the line between dream and nightmare.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

"That means the President doesn't like you, Mommy."

I want to get this down while I still remember it: At dinner in Baltimore on Friday night, we realized the table next to ours was also filled with marchers (the "Love Trumps Hate" buttons were the giveaway). They were family (adult sisters) and friends from Texas – Austin and San Antonio – who had flown in for the march. One woman said her young son had come from school saying "President Trump doesn't like Mexicans." She told him, "I'm Mexican," and he said, "That means the president doesn't like you," and started to cry. This is not acceptable, people. Just not. DJT has not made much policy yet, but he ran – and won – on a platform that encourages people to say things like this to young children. And that, right there, is enough. And then they shared photos of their daughters, who had made signs for the Austin/San Antonio marches! One protest, no matter how big, will not change things. But there are millions of us. Millions. If we can keep the pressure up, we will scare some legislators into doing the right thing. We will support the ones who are with us. And by god in two years and in four years and in all the little, local elections between, we will make our voices heard. I fear we were complacent this time. Never again.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why We March

We don't have to be negative. We don't have to be "against" anyone or "for" anyone. We can simply say WE ARE HERE! And so I am marching today to let everyone know that I have a voice – and that girls and women can be the heroines of their own stories! #WhyIMarch

Friday, January 20, 2017

#FelineFriday anyone?

There's so much else going on, let's all tune into our cats for a little peace of mind, shall we? I'm declaring this #FelineFriday and asking you to share your kitty photos here and on other social media.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Congrats to the nominees!

Do you know about the Edgars? You should! It's one of the most prestigious awards presented in the mystery/crime fiction community BY the mystery/crime fiction community. No, I'm not among them (this year), but I want to send a BIG shout-out to this year's nominees! Check these authors out!

Best novel: The Ex by Alafair Burke (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam's Sons)
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)

More here...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy new BOOK!

Happy new year, all! And happy news for me - my first "edgy urban noir" (my editor's words) has been accepted. Look for WORLD ENOUGH to be published by Severn House on June 30 (UK)/Oct. 1 (US). It's very different from my previous mysteries (my husband calls it my first "R-rated novel"), with a much harder edge. I call it my rock-world mystery, as it jumps back and forth between the Boston club scene of the '80s and more recent times, and there isn't a cat in sight. Cozy lovers, please don't worry - I love cat cozies and always hope to write them as well, but this was a book that needed to come out. And now I know it will! More info as I have it, but what a way to start the new year!

Hope yours is healthy, happy, and fulfilling!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Thank you, Winchester Public Library!

Aren't libraries the best places? So proud to be in such good company on the WPL's new books shelf (and thanks to the reader who sent the pic).

Monday, December 19, 2016

This year, be Icelandic!

Do you know about the Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve? Because what's better than cuddling up with a good book on a long, dark night? Well, getting those books at a discount and with free delivery, that's what. That's why I'm pushing The Book Depository, which delivers for free worldwide. The Book Depository is now offering my two newest books, "As Dark As My Fur," and "Into the Grey," at SUBSTANTIAL discounts! Books make a great gift for oneself,too!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cat (mystery) chat with Kameel Nasr on Cambridge Cable

Kameel (author of "The Symphony Heist" and "The Museum Heist") interviewed me on his Cambridge cable show. This link should work: here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Not too late...

Well, you may have missed the Book Depository cut-off for free shipping to the US by Christmas/Chanukah (you can still get my books, many at a nice discount). But you can still order my other books from domestic sources, including Amazon or your local indie bookstore, and get them in time! Have you read "Into the Grey" yet? It's the latest Dulcie Schwartz feline-centric academic mystery. Gumshoe Reviews says: "I think one of the reasons I enjoy this series is that Dulcie seems so real. While it is unusual for anyone to so often be in the midst of mayhem and murder, it does fit with her interest in Gothic literature, active imagination, and tendency to rely heavily on emotions over logic when outside of class. She reacts as most of us would expect we would under the circumstances she finds herself in.

The crime has many possible motives and suspects. There's plenty of red herrings as well as a good measure of academic politics and procedures that tie into the crime and keep the pages turning."

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Into The Grey" makes it Into The Top Six!

Read about "Our Six Favorite Cat Mysteries" here. Thanks so much for the honor, Miss Cuddlywumps!

Last day for guaranteed delivery!

Do you want "As Dark As My Fur," the second Blackie & Care black cat mystery (which won't pub in the US till spring) in time for Christmas/Chanukah giving? If so, order it TODAY from The Book Depository for delivery by Dec. 24! They have my other books as well – most at a nice discount (shipping is free, worldwide!)

Friday, December 9, 2016

... and I am the queen of the cats!

It all started with a press release. Michelle, the wonderful publicist at Severn House, had sent around a notice about new/upcoming books being available for critics and bloggers on NetGalley. In it, she wrote:

"There's a strong feeling at Severn House HQ that Christmas wouldn't quite be Christmas without a cat mystery. As Dark As My Fur is a darker-than-average read from our very own queen of cat mysteries, Clea Simon."

I, of course, thanked her and asked if she knew the tale of the queen of the cats, which I remembered from a book of spooky stories from my childhood. She did not, and so after a brief, unsatisfactory Google search (I found one version, which I didn't like), I reproduced it - and I share my response to her here:

"In brief, an old woman is on her way home one evening when the strangest thing happens. A raven alights on a fence right alongside her and says, “Tell Aunt Kix that Old Polly is dead.”

“Strange bird,” she thinks, and keeps walking. But then on the next block, another strange thing happens. A black cat crossing the street stops right in front of her and staring up at her says, “Tell Aunt Kix that Old Polly is dead.” But the cat runs off before she can question it, and so she keeps walking.

Then, one block from her home, she sees three tabbies sitting on the curb, staring at her. She’s prepared by now and as she passes them, she says, “ I know, I know, I’m to tell Aunt Kix that Old Polly is dead.”

The three cats just sit there and stare at her, and she feels a bit silly. But by then she’s almost home.

IT’s all been so odd, she tries to put it from her mind, but that night she finds she can’t sleep. She’s tossing and turning, until finally her husband says to her, “What’s wrong?”
And she replies, “It’s the strangest thing. Three times on my walk home this evening, I had the oddest experience. Three times, I thought various animals said to me, ‘Tell Aunt Kix that Old Polly is dead.’”

And before her husband can respond, the aging tabby asleep at their feet jumps up as if shocked and exclaims: “Old Polly is dead? Then I am the queen of the cats!” And with that, she flies out the window and is never seen again.

Anyway, that’s more or less it - and I am quite proud to be queen of the cats!"

(By the way Dark As My Fur is available NOW from the UK-based site, Book Depository, which ships for free. But you can also pre-order As Dark As My Fur on Amazon!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New book - in time for gifting AND at a discount!

Do you know the Book Depository? I love it - a great UK-based website that gets my Severn House books EARLY, ships them FREE worldwide, and offers HUGE discounts! They have just started selling my As Dark As My Fur at a 27% discount (that's almost a third off!) and will ship FREE in time for Christmas or Chanukah! So treat a loved one - or yourself! (This is the second in my Blackie & Care series, following up on "The Ninth Life" (which is also discounted!) It officially pubs on Dec. 30 in the UK and not until April here in the US).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Come by tonight! Cozy at the Cafe

Come get cozy! Tonight at 7 p.m., the second Cozy at the Café will host a fun roundtable of reading, prizes, and giveaways. We'll be at Porter Square Books. Come to hear samples of new and in-the-works books, chat, win a freebie, and more! Free of course (and there's plenty of parking).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Oh, THANK YOU!! Bristol Public Library Book Blog weighs in on "Into the Grey"

"For me, a new Dulcie is like coming home and slipping into a pair of old jeans and a comfy t-shirt. It’s time to relax and enjoy a visit," writes the BookBlog of the Bristol Public Library.

So why do I like this series? First off, I like Dulcie Schwartz, our heroine. I like character-driven stories in general, and Simon has done a wonderful job ..." (Read the rest here.)

THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! THANK YOU! (And here is Tessa, as Esme)

Come get Cozy at the Café!

Come get cozy! This Wednesday, the second Cozy at the Café will host a fun roundtable of reading, prizes, and giveaways. We'll be at Porter Square Books on Wed., Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. Come to hear samples of new and in-the-works books, chat, win a freebie, and more! Free of course (and there's plenty of parking).

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bouchercon! A recap

Wow, what a party! Just back from Bouchercon, the big mystery fan convention, which this year was held in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. Got in on Thursday, in time for the big Severn House authors' signing (thanks to Mystery Mike for providing the books!) From then on, it was a nonstop whirl - got to chat "hardboiled vs. cozy" with Linda Rodriguez, Chris Knopf, David Putnam, and Linda Joffe Hull. Thomas Pluck moderated – calling this "gritty vs. kitty" – and the fur flew! Then I volunteered at registration and got to chat with the wonderful B'con organizer Monette Draper (aka Monette Michaels). Then it was my turn to moderate - a panel on amateur sleuths with Tim O'Mara, Marcia Talley, Con Lehane, Susan Oleksiw,and Suzanne Trauth. And more book signings and music and meals and drinks with friends old and new (shout out to Jon and Ruth Jordan! Karen E. Olsen! Sheila Connolly! Edith Maxwell! Sarah Smith!). Even chatted with a librarian and a mystery fan in the pool! I'm even more exhausted than I look in this picture - from one corner of the Severn signing:

Toronto, anyone?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Presenting AS DARK AS MY FUR

The second Blackie & Care mystery, coming next spring from Severn House:


A seemingly routine case becomes something darker and deeper for novice private investigator Care and her feline companion, Blackie.

Blackie does not trust Care’s new client, factory owner Mr Gravitz, who has hired the young PI to shadow one of his workers, a man he suspects is stealing from him. With his feline sixth sense, Blackie knows the client is not telling the truth – but how can he protect and warn his companion, Care, when he is only a cat?

When Blackie and Care come across a decomposing body, the case takes a disturbing twist – and leads the pair deep into the dangerous underworld that underpins the city.

Combining elements of feline fantasy and traditional whodunit, As Dark As My Fur continues the adventures of this original and unusual detective duo: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives and for the memories of their loved ones.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cozies vs. Hard-Boiled!

Who will win? You know we're tougher than you think...

That's the fanciful topic of my panel this morning at Bouchercon, the crime fiction/mystery conference going on now in New Orleans. (After all, this year's theme is "Blood on the Bayou.")

Officially, our panel is called "Leather & Lace," the Cozy vs. Hardboiled panel and it happens today, Fri., 16, 11-11:50. We'll be signing books in the book room immediately after. Come on by and say hi!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Severn House authors sign and greet: Come say hi!

Are you in NOLA? Are you at Bouchercon? (It's only the biggest mystery/crime fiction convention IN THE WORLD.)

I'll be at the Severn House meet the author/booksigning at Mystery Mike's booth in the book room today, 12:30-1:10, along with a bunch of my fellow Severn authors!

(or else, just find me in the bar! Please, feel free to stop me if you see me passing by, too. I'd love to meet you!)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thank you, Conscious Cat!

"One of the things I love most about this series is the development of Dulcie’s character over the years. Clea Simon has a way to make you love her protagonist despite, or maybe because of, her weaknesses. I found this book hard to put down, and breathed a sigh of relief when I had reached the final pages. I won’t give away the ending, but the final paragraph of this book is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes..." says the Conscious Cat, noting "this series just keeps getting better and better." Wow, thank you so much! (Read more here. Order the book here.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Walking to New Orleans...

Well, not really, because then I wouldn't make it to Bouchercon "Blood on the Bayou" by the time it opens next Wednesday. But I will be there (as will literally hundreds of your favorite mystery authors). Will you?

I hope to clone myself by then and be everywhere at once. But I know for sure that I'll be at:
Mystery Mike's in the Book Room, Thurs., Sept. 15, 12:30-1:10, for the Severn House meet the author/booksigning
"Leather & Lace," the Cozy vs. Hardboiled panel, Fri., 16, 11-11:50,
and I'll also be moderating
"Common People," amateur sleuths, Fri., 3:30-4:20. (Book signings immediately after the panels!)

Or just come look for me at the bar....

Monday, September 5, 2016

Getting cozy ... Cozy at the Café!

Back to school? How about back to cool! With autumn coming in, don't you want to cozy up to a good mystery? You'll find at least six at the second Cozy at the Café - a fun roundtable of reading, prizes, and giveaways. This time, we're popping up at Porter Square Books on Wed., Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. Come to hear samples of new and in-the-works books, chat, win a freebie, and more! Free of course (and there's plenty of parking).

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Presenting "INTO THE GREY"

Dulcie Schwartz, Mr. Grey, and Esme the (no longer) kitten return today in "INTO THE GREY," the 10th feline-filled Dulcie Schwartz academic mystery, which Publishers Weekly calls "well-plotted."

Read more or click here to order now!

Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz must fight to clear her name when she discovers Professor Fenderby dead in his office.

“I could kill Roland Fenderby”. Dulcie Schwartz has reason to regret those words when she discovers Professor Fenderby’s battered body in his office – and finds herself the prime suspect in the ensuing murder investigation. Although she had good reason to dislike the late professor, who had been calling her scholarship into question, Dulcie would never go so far as to murder him. But someone seems to be deliberately putting her in the frame for his death. Who – and why?

Her academic career in jeopardy, Dulcie must find out the truth – and fast. But when she turns to Mr Grey for advice, he seems strangely silent. Could the spirit of her wise grey cat really be fading from her life for good?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's Kitty o'Clock somewhere!

"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. It starts with an adrenaline spurt – that first geyser of inspiration – as the ideas, the characters, and the bits of dialogue burst forth. That’s the time when I’m prone to rush out of the shower to my computer – or stop in the middle of a workout to scribble down something I’ll have trouble deciphering later. (Dulcie misunderstands when Esmé says “Gryzsb!” or worse, “the CAPTION!”) Musetta, my own feline muse, knows to get out of my way when I’m in this mode, lest I barrel over her on my way to the desktop computer where most of my writing gets done...."

Today I guest blog over at The Conscious Cat. You can read more here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

"If you feel a shiver..."

"[I]f you do feel a shiver over the prospect of poring over obscure documents, if part of you salivates over all the things you could learn if only you had time for grad school, and if you can’t imagine learning anything without a wise feline as your guide…then you should dive in to the Dulcie Schwartz series...." This new review of my new (out this week!) Into the Grey says it all, pretty much! Thank you! (Read it all here.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thank you, Publishers Weekly!

INTO THE GREY doesn't pub in the U.S. until Sept. 1, but the early reviews are beginning to roll in. Publishers Weekly calls it "well plotted," adding that Dulcie "have to do a lot of searching in the stacks before she can clear her name. When the humans in Dulcie’s life let her down, she can turn to her late cat, Mr. Grey, who provides comfort and advice (“Only kittens rush about so heedlessly, Dulcie”) without playing any active role in the crime solving. Series fans will enjoy the latest developments in Dulcie’s saga..." I am thrilled!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"I want to be like common people..." (or at least my sleuth does!)

Wow, this year's Bouchercon is going to be great! In addition to being on a panel (and getting to hear literally hundreds of other authors speak, schmooze, joke, improvise, etc.), I get to moderate a panel called "Common People" about amateur sleuths - and I'll have the honor of overseeing Tim O'Mara, Susan Oleksiw, Marcia Talley, Con Lehane, and Suzanne Trauth on it. Kind of like herding cats, but you know we'll have fun. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Which side are you on, girl? Which side are you on?

The brilliant panel team of Jon Jordan and Judy Bobolik have put me on a Bouchercon panel called "Leather & Lace: Cozy vs. Hardcore." Now, as many of you know, I have written more than 20 cozies in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe series. But I've started going darker with the Blackie and Care series ("Ninth Life") so I could go either way. Which do you think I should argue for? (And can't we all get along?)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Will you be at BOUCHERCON? I will!

So you know about Bouchercon, right? The largest annual mystery/crime fiction convention in the country (the world?) travels around each year, and this year, it will be in New Orleans. Mysteries and New Orleans... what's not to love, right? I'll be there, of course, and I just found out that I have the great honor to be on two panels! I'll be speaking on a panel called "Leather & Lace: Cozies vs. Hardcore" (all the panels are named for songs) on Friday, Sept. 16, at 11, and I'll be moderating "Common People: Amateur Sleuth" that afternoon at 3:30. The rest of the time, I'll be at one of the dozens of other panels or simply schmoozing. Did I mention that there will be more than 700 other authors there? What are you waiting for? Sign up NOW!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

BUNNIES is "fun, witty" (Bunnies are?)! Anyway, THANK YOU, SUSPENSE MAGAZINE!

"Readers will absolutely love this fun, witty mystery that hits on all points," says Suspense Magazine about "When Bunnies Go Bad." How lovely! I didn't even know they were reviewing it! (Read the full review here.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thank you, Bkfaerie!

This blogging bookseller calls my upcoming Dulcie Schwartz mystery, "Into the Grey," "fun to read" (among other nice things). Read the full review here.

They're HERE! (The "Panthers," that is)

Aren't they cool? (And relatively cheap, too - you can get yours here.)

Friday, July 8, 2016

"Panthers" in paperback!

Pru Marlowe is back in mass market paperback. The WorldWide paperback edition of "Panthers Play for Keeps" is now out - at a very reasonable price, too!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Stages of Grey" in mass market paperback!

One of my favorite Dulcies (am I allowed to say that?) at a VERY reasonable price. Cool new cover, too! Click here for more info.