Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thank you, Richmond Times-Dispatch

From today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:

"Back-stabbing, jealousy and gamesmanship. Is it corporate America? Or could it be academia? In Grey Matters (232 pages, Severn House, $28.95), the second installment in Clea Simon's series featuring Harvard grad student Dulcie Schwartz, it's definitely the latter.

This time out, Dulcie is continuing to research her thesis, a study of an obscure Gothic novel of the 18th century whose author is unknown -- and whose identity Dulcie is trying to discover. But after a meeting with the professor who's her faculty adviser, she stumbles over the body of a fellow grad student outside the adviser's posh house.

Dulcie soon realizes that something is wrong inside that house, and it may be connected to her adviser, or two of his assistants, one of whom also serves as a semi-housekeeper, or a dealer and repairer of old books. Meanwhile, Dulcie believes she's getting hints and warnings from her late, beloved cat, Mr. Grey, and she's having a hard time bonding with her new kitten.

With skill and style, Simon fashions a true whodunit, a look inside the cutthroat academic world and an homage to the pets we've lost but who remain forever in our hearts. It's a tricky trifecta, but Simon makes the leap with catlike grace."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How self-referential can we be?

This Court Reporter blog noted my blog as covering a variety of topics "from animal rights to crime fiction." Um, I guess I'd better get back to updating this!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I love Henning Mankell, but...

I just couldn't love "The Man from Beijing," (as I say in my Boston Phoenix review). Too many things kept throwing me out of the book, mostly a sense of heavy handed message. Mankell is – as are most crime writers – highly moral. Usually, he lets his characters do the talking. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not kicked too hard

"Sure to provide cat fanciers with a relaxing couple of hours." – Kirkus Reviews on Grey Matters.

Not bad, right? Well, coming from Kirkus, this is probably meant to be snarky - the infamous "Kirkus kick." But I'll take it. I mean, I write to entertain and those who fancy cats are my natural audience. The funny thing is, the Kirkus review of Grey Matters starts off with a wonderful synopsis - makes my new book sound quite exciting. Then there's one nasty sentence, and then the above. Ah well, it all helps spread the word.

Congrats to Lesa - and The Conscious Cat

One of my favorite blogs, combining pet news and advice and book reviews, is The Conscious Cat. This week, TCC awarded an "Over the Top" award to longtime librarian and indefatigable book blogger Lesa Holstine and her Lesa's Book Critiques blog. The award is most apt - Lesa reviews and interviews nonstop, providing a serious alternative to the quickly disappearing newspaper reviews (especially for us mystery writers). But Lesa's family is going through some health issues, so she can't right now publicize her award as she should. That's why I'm happy to put it here: CONGRATS, LESA! JOB WELL DONE!! (And kudos to The Conscious Cat's Ingrid King, as well!)