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:


CLEA SIMON
AS DARK AS MY FUR

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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dulcie is BACK!

It's been too long, but Dulcie Schwartz will be back soon (Sept. in the U.S.) with INTO THE GREY. Isn't this a beautiful cover?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"The Queen of Pet Noir" is back!

That's me, folks! But, according to this review, it could be Pru Marlowe she's talking about: "It takes a strong person to let your vulnerability show – and Simon shows us Pru in all her incarnations. We see not just a cute story about a woman who can talk to animals; we can see the character evolving and growing into someone more aware of her place in the bigger picture of the world."

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summertime, and the living is easy...

This reader bought my "The Ninth Life" at my Harvard Book Store book signing months ago, but she's been busy at work. Just sent me this vacation picture, though. Sweet!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"PARROTS PROVE DEADLY" in real life?

Someone dies ... is it murder? What if the only witness is a foul-mouthed African grey parrot? That was the premise of my "Parrots Prove Deadly," a Pru Marlowe pet noir. But now it's unfolding in a real-life murder case, where the prosecution wants to be able to use a parrot's speech as testimony...

“There’s a good chance [Bud] basically had a PTSD breakdown and is repeating the last thing his favorite person said,” a parrot expert told the Huffington Post. “Is it provable though?"

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank you, Fresh Fiction!

"The Ninth Life" is a "delightful and intriguing novel." Well, thank you! (And you can read more here.)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thank you, L&S Reviews (four stars!)

Long and Short Reviews says the nicest things about "When Bunnies Go Bad": "Clea Simon does an excellent job of mixing humor, romance, and mystery into one coherent and exciting tale. The humans are engaging and fun, but the non-human characters are even more so..." Read the full review here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Yay! "AS DARK AS MY FUR" is on!

Just got the official notice from my editor, who calls this sequel to "The Ninth Life" "an atmospheric, suspenseful and absorbing read, and ...richly detailed and imagined." Look for it in Dec. 2016 in the UK/April 2017 in the US.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thank you, News Gazette

"Simon's mysteries are lighthearted with a fair amount of humor in the mix. Her animal characters are as three-dimensional as the human characters. She makes Pru's ability believable and realistic in how she interacts with the animals. She draws you in with the first paragraph and keeps you engaged to the final word." Wow, thank you so much! Read the full review here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Crimefest!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while – I've been at Crimefest, a WONDERFUL conference in Bristol, England! I got to be on a cozy panel moderated by James ("Granchester") Runcie, along with such wonderful (and not necessarily cozy) authors as L.C. Tyler, Cathy Ace, and Christopher Fowler. And I moderated a panel on writing crime with some big-time thriller authors, including David Marks, Leigh Russell, Tara Moore (who has just made the switch from more romantic books), and the incomparable R.M. Cartmel (whose books are gentle police procedurals set in the Burgundy region of France). Too much to go into here, and I'm sorry I didn't take my laptop - but it was a blast.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Librarians - and cat people - love Dulcie!

Librarians are already reviewing my upcoming INTO THE GREY, a feline-filled Dulcie Schwartz academic mystery. Here's what Rosemary Smith of Cayocosta said: "This is a wonderful series for cat lovers. I introduced my sister (proud owner of 7 cats) and she can’t get enough." There's more, but I don't want to give it away (read more in NetGalley or in her blog "For The Love of Books.")

Here's the link to pre-order your copy now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

"I hate cats..."

But this reviewer was won over anyway by the "authentic voice" of this "wonderful reading experience."

Read more here.

"THE NINTH LIFE by Clea Simon 5 stars.

A tragic, violent world joyfully realised.

I hate cats. I read this book in order to write a review but I may struggle because my notes are useless; Blackie is such an authentic voice I found myself dragged in by the first paragraph. He dug his claws in from the start and didn't let go. His thoughts on survival, body language, humans in general are fascinating, sad and funny in equal measure.

The style, the environment and the general feel of the start of this book put me in mind of the homeless network Sherlock Holmes uses. I found myself picturing Care's mysterious 'old man' as an ageing Sherlock taking on an unusual protégé. Care herself is a delightfully well realised hero. The esteem Blackie holds her in is well deserved, his observation that her comprehension matches his eyesight is telling. The highest of compliments from a cat surely?

The story itself is well paced, moving along just fast enough to keep you from getting impatient but not so fast you miss clues or feel rushed to a conclusion. The mystery of who Blackie is and why 3 men tried to murder him is so subtly managed that at several points I totally forgot about it, until I couldn't forget. Until his memories become part of the same mystery Care is investigating ...

Overall the world woven by the words of this sensible cat create such an immersive sense of tragic melancholy, intrigue and constant fear that I'm far too involved in the story to analyse the style and content. I can only see this 'world of casual violence and retribution' that these children are forced to inhabit. My reviewing abilities are fully compromised by becoming so thoroughly engrossed in a wonderful reading experience. I love the joy of discovering a new writer, a new voice to bring me into a world I would never otherwise know.
Lucy

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dulce returns with INTO THE GREY

Don't forget Dulcie! The next Dulcie Schwartz feline/academic mystery, INTO THE GREY, is up for pre-order now on Amazon – and for all you reviewers/book bloggers out there, it's up for review on NetGalley, too! And isn't this a beautiful cover?

Monday, May 9, 2016

The writer at rest

This is what my office looked like this morning. On Friday, at around 9:30 p.m., I sent in the manuscript for "As Dark As My Fur," the second Blackie and Care mystery. I should explain, this is normal for me. After the first round of revisions, after I've input the changes from my agent and my readers, after I've checked that all the notes on those little stickies ("the gun on the table in Act 1...") are incorporated, I do one last read through on paper. And just in case I want to check back on something, I don't recycle. I let the pages fall to the floor. Until I hit send.



And then I clean up.

Monday, April 18, 2016

First (literary) loves

I write cozies filled with cats and other animals, so perhaps it’s no surprise that I return again and again to my favorite childhood books for inspiration. These are five books that continue to enchant and inspire me:

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, of course ... what else? Read more here.