Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon is a clever mystery sure to charm animal lovers who enjoy mysteries. Even lovers of mysteries who aren't animal lovers will enjoy the twists and turns that meander through this story, the first in the Pru Marlowe Pet Noir series.
Pru Marlowe, who is almost a certified animal behaviorist, finds her client dead and his rescued pit bull free in the house. Of course, public opinion (and that of the police) is that the dog did it.
What no one knows (except Pru's cat) is that Pru can communicate with animals. It's a skill that almost drove her crazy, but she has effectively come to terms with her special talent.
The story is told in first person narrative--a perfect choice for hearing Pru's voice clearly when she talks about her "talent" and communicating with the animals. A clever note is that the animals (including an opinionated ferret) have names for themselves which are not the same as the names that humans call them.
Pru's cat is another opinionated. character. She seems quite a bit more intelligent than the average cat, but then if one doesn't communicate with cats regularly, how would one know the relative intelligence of a cat? An example of Wallis's dialogue: "Dogs." Wallis hissed out the word, as close to a curse as she comes. "They lie."
Not heavy reading, this is a perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter night. Or a balmy summer evening. Visit Clea's website and read about her other titles. Cleverly titled, they are clearly all in a cat-egory of their own: Probable Claws, Mew is for Murder, Cattery Row, and Cries & Whiskers.
"Simon’s best known for her cat mysteries like hardboiled (or should I say tough mouser?) The Ninth Life but she is equally adept evoking the gritty past of the sleazy rock clubs of our youth." – Do Some Damage on World Enough
"I consider Clea Simon to be an absolutely brilliant writer, regardless of what genre she writes in. Writing in a cat’s voice is an art form, and few writers manage to do it well. In this series, Simon takes this art into a new realm. The way she sets scenes from Blackie’s point of view, and the way she describes how he takes in the world around him, reflects not just a thorough understanding of feline behavior, but also a connection to the feline soul that I have rarely seen in other cat books. The best writers paint pictures with their words. In As Dark As My Fur, Clea Simon paints a sweeping emotional cityscape that will stay with you long after you put the book down." – The Conscious Cat
"This intriguing series launch from Simon, best known for her cozy Dulcie Schwartz mysteries (Into the Grey, etc.), introduces Boston journalist Tara Winton, who back in the 1980s covered local punk rock bands … Vibrant descriptions of Boston’s former music scene … readers with a taste for noir are sure to want to see more of the edgy Tara. " –Publishers Weekly on World Enough
"Mystery, music, nightclubs, animals in danger: on a certain level, it’s an unlikely combination, yet, somehow, it works very well. And why? That special blend, I think: passion, heart, understanding and voice, voice, voice. Simon’s is as strong and clear as the passion she brings to the stories she tells." – January Magazineon Probable Claws
"Music journalist Theda Krakow once again proves a feisty and determined sleuth in Simon's lively fourth cat-themed mystery. ... Well-drawn characters, a plot with many strings to unravel and plenty of appealing cats make this another winner for Simon." – Publishers Weekly
"As usual, Theda uses her investigative-journalist skills to save herself and help the cats of Cambridge, all while keeping in touch with the rock-music scene and negotiating an increasingly serious relationship with boyfriend Bill." – Booklist
"Clea Simon does an excellent job creating believable characters in Probable Claws. Theda and the rest of the cast of characters could each be someone the reader already knows in everyday life, or might bump into tomorrow." – Mystery Scene Magazine
"Once again, Clea Simon skillfully brings together the various aspects of Theda Krakow's complicated life. ... Readers who appreciate complicated characters, and intricate plots, will appreciate Simon's latest crime novel, Probable Claws." – Lesa's Book Critiques