Friday, February 17, 2017

SWAT Cat gets a condo - Happy #FelineFriday!

Do you know about SWAT cat? This stray calico adopted - and was adopted by – the Boston Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) unit. She's had some adventures – including a worrisome period in December 2015 when she went missing. But now she's back and has a new home, a lovely kitty condo, courtesy of the BPD. Full story here.

photo courtesy of the Boston Police Dept.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Blackie comes to the U.S.!

Official U.S. pub date isn't until April 1 (no fooling!), but Amazon now has "As Dark As My Fur" available in hardcover with FREE SHIPPING! (Click here to be connected.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cat love for Valentine's Day!

"Got a bunch of cat love, no stopping that! Hand's up, let's adopt a cat!" Rapper Moshow shows his feline feelings in this video. And while he's honoring his local Portland, OR, shelter, you know there's a shelter near you with kitties willing and able to love you!

What is love?

Sometimes, it's roses, sure (thank you, sweetie!). But sometimes it's taking the time to look over a friend's essay or job application. To shovel your neighbor's sidewalk, cause you're out there already and he's warm and dry. Sometimes, it's that call or email that comes "for no reason." Or when your kitty brings you her favorite orange mouse? Yeah, I think that's it. Connection – that's what love is.
Thanks, all of you, for reading. For being my Valentine. Happy day, all!

Monday, February 13, 2017

May I be your Valentine?


Tomorrow is Valentine's Day (a silly holiday but one I personally like, in small doses). If you're so inclined, take five minutes out of your day to send a valentine to a writer you like, in the form of an online review (Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, etc - wherever you frequent).

Hell, send two, or three, or a dozen. Writers are happy to share the love. And trust me, they WILL feel the love.

(naturally I'd be thrilled if you did this for one of my titles, but embrace it as you will...) I'm going to do this. Won't you? Happy Valentine's Day!

(Borrowed from Laura Anne Gilman, a lovely writer)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Caturday

Because it is the weekend, and because we could all use a little good news - here's a clip from a new documentary called "Kedi," about the street cats of Istanbul:



The New York Times gives it "four paws up."

Friday, February 10, 2017

A very February #FelineFriday

No, "cat curling" isn't a real sport – and this isn't even an Olympic year. But still... Happy "#FelineFriday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I do love oysters... (books in series orders)

Funny what you find when you're playing around the Internet. When I saw a site advertising "Books in Series Order," I immediately clicked through. Sure enough, this site has an accurate listing of all my books to date. But what really intrigued me was that it had a little bio of me, apparently drawn from interviews I've given.

In part, it reads:
Most of her books feature punny titles and plenty of cats, but there is also more than meets the eye when looking at her books. The heroines that the books feature are often modeled after herself, in that each of her characters is a part of herself. There is a darkness that lines the stories that she tells through her novels, which points back to the noir connections in her writing. Her books often use murder, mystery, and music to drive her stories, all while staying true to a core of animal rights. All of this being done without ever becoming preachy or self-righteous. Those already familiar with animal rights issues will surely agree with the message that Simon is putting across with her novels, while those who are unfamiliar will find new information presented in engaging and new ways.

For the full writeup (including the series list), click here.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Morality... this book is about morality"

"Morality. This novel, narrated by ... a cat named Blackie, is about morality." Wow, how much do I love this review of As Dark As My Fur? Sometimes, when you read a review, you learn things about your own work. Thank you, Jeannie Rigod.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cats at Westminster? #FelineFriday

Now here's the oddest cat story of the week: This year, the Westminster Dog Show will feature ... a cat! Read about Jungletrax (that's her name) here.

AP Photo

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"Do one thing every day that scares you."

"Do one thing every day that scares you." That quote, often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, may not have been voiced by the great First Lady, but it is still excellent advice for expanding your horizons. It's true in writing, too. Afraid of a conflict? Go there. Not sure you can resolve a plot point? Try. Secretly fear you can't write that novel? You'll never know unless you start it, will you? Be brave, today! Seize life and make it your own.

Monday, January 30, 2017


"We are in love with this series by one of our favorite writers," begins this AWESOME review of "As Dark As My Fur"! She then goes on to use phrases like "absolutely mesmerizing" that have me positively purring. Thank you, Miss Cuddlywumps!

Pssst: You can get it NOW here (at a discount too)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

As Dark As My Fur

A black cat, a lone girl, and a city full of trouble... Did you know you can pre-order AS DARK AS MY FUR on Amazon? Yup! Here https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Fur-Blackie-Care-Mystery/dp/0727886827/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484851421&sr=8-1&keywords=As+Dark+As+My+Fur

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Going dark

Readers may have noticed a trend in my writing - I've been going darker. From the gentle cozies of Theda Krakow ("Mew is for Murder") and Dulcie Schwartz ("Into the Grey"), I went to the sardonic sass of Pru Marlowe ("When Bunnies Go Bad") and then the black cat-noir chat of "The Ninth Life." The sequel to "The Ninth Life," called "As Dark As My Fur," will be out soon (it's available from the UK here!). But next up is a book so dark it doesn't even have cats in it! To be called "World Enough," it's my rock and roll mystery, set in the underground music scene of Boston in the 1980s, and Severn House will publish it in October. I'm working on a soundtrack, and I'll have photos of the real thing to post as publication gets closer. But don't worry, cat cozy fans! I've now gone dark enough that I've realized I want to balance things out. I've got a new kitty cozy in the works, too. Light and dark together – that's what makes a writer happy. This one, anyway!

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:


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.