Monday, December 14, 2015

"You can feel the terror..."

Journey of a Bookseller has posted the first online review of my "The Ninth Life," and I'm so happy.
""You can feel the cold, the hunger and the terror," she says. "This was a good read." (For the full review, click here. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

THE NINTH LIFE for Christmas?

Want your copy of "The Ninth Life" by Christmas? Today is the last day to order from The Book Depository (the book ships FREE from the UK – US publication isn't until March 1). Of course, my other books are available widely – and I'm available to sign/mail signed bookplates. Just email me for details!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday shoppers, start your engines

OK, you've probably already started (hey, Chanukah begins on Sunday!). But I just found out about the Book Depository, which sells books from their original pub dates BEFORE THEY COME OUT IN THE U.S. Plus, they do so AT A DISCOUNT and SHIP FREE WORLDWIDE! Can you tell I'm excited? Because you know I'm psyched for the March 1. U.S. publication of my new, darker cat mystery, "The Ninth Life." But if you want it NOW (or want to give it as a gift, hint hint), you can get it in less than a week at 21% off here! Yup, the price just dropped again. Check it out! (Oh, and they have lots of other books too.)

Fair warning: Amazon recently bought the Book Depository, but ... well, there you have it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mystery Gala at New England Mobile Book Fair!

Mystery Gala at New England Mobile Book Fair

New England Mobile Book Fair, 82-84 Needham Street, Newton Highlands, MA
Thursday, December 3, 2015 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Okay folks, listen up. This is the FOURTH ANNUAL mystery night featuring New York Times best selling authors from in and around New England. Tom Lyons (pictured below in his native habitat) continued the mystery night tradition started by the iconic (but sadly closed) Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kate Mattes, owner, will be honored with the Robert B. Parker Award! Over fifty authors will be there (that is in number, not of a certain age) from best selling authors, to local faves, to hot indies. (Go ahead, think what you want!) Many members from Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime will be there, too.

It's a terrific night and not one to miss.

Meet the authors! Get your books signed/personalized! Buy holiday gifts your friends and family will remember!

This year, the New England Mobile Book Fair will be honoring mystery fiction stalwart Kate Mattes – longtime proprietor of Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge, with its Robert Parker Award. Come for the festivities – and buy some books too!

Dozens of authors (see list below) will be signing in shifts (6-7,7-8) tomorrow - THURSDAY, DEC. 3.
I'll be signing from 7-8 p.m.

Which authors do you want signed books from? Here's a partial list in no particular order:

Susan Conant
Clea Simon
Edith Maxwell
Toni L. P. Kelner
Hallie Ephron
Bill Landay
Liz Mugavero
Marshal Stein
Coralie H. Jensen
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Sarah Smith
Dale Phillips
Leslie Wheeler
Sheila Connolly
Steven P. Marini
Gary Goshgarian
Linda Barnes
Ray Daniel
Susan Oleksiw
Lea wait
Barbara Ross
Kate Flora
Steve Ulfelder

Ben Coes
Kyle Darcey
Chris Holm
Connie Johnson Hambley
Chris Irvin
Joe Finder
Ray Anderson
Gayle Lynds
Shannon Kirk
Dick Bartlett
Lisa Lieberman
T Stephens
Barbara Struna
Jeffery Diamond
Carolyn Wilkins
Judy Copek
Ric Wasley
Arlene Kay
Daniel Palmer
David Zeltserman
Elisabeth Brink (Elo)
Len Rosen
Chris Zaniboni
William Martin
Bob Weintraub
Kevin Symmons

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tonight! Cozy at the Café

Kick back after work, chat with some authors, hear some readings, and buy some books at COZY AT THE CAFE! Remember books make great gifts and with a lineup that includes Dana Cameron, Hallie Ephron, J.A. Hennrikus/Julianne Holmes, Liz Mugavero, Susan Oleksiw, Toni LP Kelner, Leigh Perry, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and ME you know we're going to have some fun! Tonight – Tues., Dec. 1 – 6:30-8 p.m. at the Trident Café, 338 Newbury St., Boston.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Start the countdown!

You know I voted for C.S. Lewis...

What are the greatest British novels?

I was one of the lucky non-UK critics invited to contribute my thoughts on this list, compiled for the BBC. The results will be revealed 10 a day until Dec. 7, when the Top 20 will be unveiled. Do you agree? What's your favorite that we left out? Let us know!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Shop Small Saturday

By now the food haze has worn off, and you're probably thinking about the holidays. (Chanukah comes early this year! And Christmas isn't that far behind.) Well, you can do good as well as purchasing good gifts by buying from an indie and, when possible, one that's local - keep that money in your community! And think about buying a book as a gift - what else gives so much pleasure for so little money? If you want something special, give a signed book. Autographed copies of my books are available at Harvard Book Store and Porter Square Books, among other stores* – and if you want a signed bookplate to insert into a book, please email me. (I'll personalize it, too.)

*I recommend calling to make sure you get a signed copy. If they don't have a signed copy on hand, order it, tell them you want it signed, and let me know – I'll go to either of these stores and sign your book before the store ships it out.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy UK pub day!

That's publication, though if you're in a pub, I'll raise one with you. After all, today is the UK launch day for my new, darker cat mystery, "The Ninth Life." The book, featuring a homeless girl named Care and the feral black cat who keeps her company, will be out on March 1 in the US.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Murder! Mayhem! Elizabeth George!

This must be the busiest weekend in crime fiction - Murder & Mayhem in Milwaukee, a dozen different author events, and here in New England: Crimebake! With honored guest Elizabeth George! The festivities kick off tonight and continue through the weekend. (I'm on a panel tomorrow morning at 10:10 - Avoiding the Cabot Cove Syndrome, which, as cozy writers know, is quite a challenge.) I'm not sure how much of the partying I'll get to take part of – I seem to have some kind of cold-y, flu-y thing – but I'm still looking forward to it. Maybe I'll see you there!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Calling all critics (and book bloggers, etc.) - review copies of THE NINTH LIFE

It's up!! The e-ARC of my upcoming (March) mystery, "The Ninth Life," is now available on NetGalley. You have to register (it's free and fast) and request the book (search either "The Ninth Life" or me, Clea Simon), but if you review in any format, you will be approved and within 24 hours you'll have a download of my dark, new cat mystery. I'm so excited about this book and hoping you'll help me spread the word. Thank you!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


Recently, on Facebook, I saw a T-shirt that read: Writing is like riding a bicycle. Only the bicycle is on fire, and you are on fire, and everything is on fire, and you are in hell." For some reason, this is making the rounds among writer friends.

This week, I started revising my next Dulcie mystery, and now I remember why. Most days, I like writing. And I know revising is necessary. At times, it can even be fun – polishing that perfect scene. Retrofitting the clue in the perfect obscure location. Only, sometimes it's not. When I reached the end of the first draft of this manuscript, I felt I had tied everything up in a reasonable and satisfying manner. Only to do so, I had Dulcie remembering things that hadn't yet been written into the preceding pages and realizing the significance of comments that hadn't yet been said. So now I'm back at the beginning, trying to figure out not only where all those clues and conversations fit, but also revising several of my characters, now that I've reached the end and see what their real experiences (and, thus, motivations) are. In a way, it's like cleaning house after a wild storm has been through it. Only not only is a lot of the crockery broken and in need of replacement, many of the shelves the pots and pans belong on haven't even been built yet.

It is a tad daunting. I will not be daunted. Carry on!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sigh... (reading proofs)

Last week, I sent off the page proofs for The Ninth Life. It was excruciating, knowing that this was my last chance to make any changes in this book, which I love so much. Of course, at this point in the process – after editing and revisions, after copy editing – I'm not supposed to be making changes. I'm supposed to be looking only for actual errors (like when "Care" is spelled "Car"). Still, my publishers humor me, and I kept my changes to a spare 34. Only, last night, while I was reading an excerpt preview at the Curtis Memorial Library, I noticed that I used one word three times in a paragraph. And there would have been a simple substitution. Sigh...

Now I'm reading the proofs of When Bunnies Go Bad and wondering what I will miss...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get ready for "Cozy at the Café"!

Maybe you've heard of Noir at the Bar, a crime fiction reading series here in Boston? Well, the lovely and talented Toni L.P. Kelner has decided that we gentler types should have our night out, too. And so on Dec. 1 (that's a Tuesday), she's called a bunch of us together for Cozy at the Café, to be held at the Trident Café on Newbury Street in Boston, starting at 6:30 and running till we run out (probably around 8:30 or so). Eight of us – Toni, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Dana Cameron, Susan Oleksiw, Hallie Ephron, J.A. Henries, Liz Mugavero, and myself – will be reading, chatting, and giving away some fun swag. Come join us!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

And still more kind words for "The Ninth Life"

I wasn't sure what Dana Cameron would say. I wasn't sure this multiple-award-winning author would even have the time to look at The Ninth Life, the first book in my new Blackie and Care series. But she did, responding with this:

The Ninth Life is a tour through a criminal wilderness of alleys and gutters, guided by a hunter as canny and fierce as they come. While Care is a smart, tough, and vulnerable young protagonist, narrator Blackie steals the limelight, showing us these dark places through his sharp feline eyes. A good noir tale will reveal a shadowy existence that parallels our own; Clea Simon goes many steps beyond, creating a terrific story that draws us in and makes us relate to a narrator whose life is a world away from our own.
–Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award winner Dana Cameron

Wow, am I flattered! Thank you, Dana! And, yes, you can read more and pre-order "The Ninth Life." Please click here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

More advance praise for "The Ninth Life"

The multiple-award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan also read an advance copy of my "The Ninth Life" and had kind things to say.

"A tour de force of point of view – the talented Clea Simon flawlessly portrays a main character the likes of which we've never encountered! With skill and style and profound understanding, she entertains readers with an exciting, compelling, and utterly unique adventure."
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author

Wow! Thank you, Hank!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting some advance blurbs for "The Ninth Life"

Joe Finder, New York Times bestseller, read an early version of "The Ninth Life" and was so kind as to send me this:

"Forget everything you think you know about 'cat mysteries.' The Ninth Life is a dark and gritty story of life on the streets, told from the unique point of view of a narrator who sees things humans can't. Clea Simon has given us a window into a world of constant and surprising dangers, frustrations and almost unbearable tension, and it's one I won't soon forget." -

Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of The Fixer and Suspicion

Wow! Thank you, Joe!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My home site is now up to date!

Complete with a "books" page listing all my series books in order and lots of upcoming events. Please drop by and let me know what you think. (Click here for my home page.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Kittens Can Kill" "will have fans looking forward to the next installment." How nice!

Bella Online reviews "Kittens Can Kill" today, praising the "well drawn" characters who are "comfortable in their own skin" and noting that despite "many clues and red herrings, the reveal at the end was still a surprise." Overall, she concludes, "this interesting who-done-it will have fans looking forward to the next installment." Isn't that nice? Thank you, Bella Online! Read more here.

Friday, September 4, 2015

And I'm one of her favorite cat cozy authors, too! How nice!

"a good, engrossing mystery with interesting characters," says Socrates Book Reviews of my new Code Grey. "You can’t help but keep turning the pages to see what Dulcie does next." There's more, as you can read here. (And this is also one of the last chances to enter to win a free copy.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"A great story" 4 stars for "Code Grey" (thank you!)

Book Babble reviews "Code Grey," saying in part: "Ms. Simon writes a great story, with very interesting characters. The staff at the library, Dulcie's boyfriend, Dulcie's mother, and many others add color and depth to the story." How nice! Want to read more? Click here.

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Fascinating details ... very well done" Thank you!

The book blog Laura's Interests took on my "Code Grey" today, with an excerpt and a detailed, insightful review that says, in part, "I love learning about many different topics as I read cozies. Cozy authors research the most interesting minute details for us and find the most creative ways to work them into novels.
Code Grey relates fascinating details not only about academic and literary life but also about history of other importance. ... The writing is very well done." To read more, click here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Who would steal a book?

That's the question at the heart of my new Dulcie Schwartz mystery, "Code Grey." It's also a question I discuss in my guest post in today's Omnimystery News. To read more, please click here.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

On writing with a cat (it's not all fur and games)

She may be my muse, but she can be a complicated collaborator. (I guest blog about writing "Code Grey" on Melina's Book Blog). And Melina calls my book "entertaining," saying it "kept her guessing." Thank you! Read more here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Catch up with my blog tour (and enter to win a free copy of "Code Grey") here!

It may still be summer, but I'm busy with my Great Escapes blog tour – chatting about Code Grey, posting essays and guest blogs, and garnering some lovely reviews. My summer blog tour continues up till Labor Day. If you've missed any, you can catch up here.

Don't forget to comment – my lovely hosts are gathering entries for a book giveaway!

The Boyfriend Factor: romance and cozies

In keeping with the romance theme of Bab's Book Bistro, I guestblogged about "The Boyfriend Factor," and how I try to keep the romance – and the characters – fresh in my Dulcie Schwartz mysteries. Read more here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

An interview by Truffles!

This interview almost didn't happen because the book blogger was going through some heartbreak. But the idea of a comforting feline ghost hit home, and so I agreed to be interviewed by the late, great Truffles.

Read more here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


This isn't even up on my website yet, but I just got the OK to share the cover of the first book in my upcoming new series, "The Ninth Life":

Introducing Blackie, an unusual feline hero, and his companion Care in the first of this dark new mystery series.

Three figures, shadowy against the light. That’s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city – and I am a cat.

The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon’s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this book. You can pre-order it here.

Permission to write badly... (my interview with Mayhem and Magic)

"When you hit a snag in your writing, how do you conquer it?"

That was only one of the insightful questions I fielded from Terri at Mayhem & Magic. This is what I told her:

"I give myself permission to write badly. I say – sometimes out loud – that I can write something utterly awful, something that I will just erase tomorrow, but that I have to write SOMETHING. I tell myself that it’s like letting the rusty water come out of the tap so you can get to the clear."

You can read the full interview here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"I think of 'Code Grey' as a love story to books..."

Here's just part of a long chat mystery maven Frankie Bow and I had:

Q. What kind of research did you do for Dulcie’s life and daily routine? Were there any surprises when you were doing your research?

A. By now, I know Dulcie’s routine fairly well! I never went as far as Dulcie did in my education, but I spent my years in the library as an undergraduate! For Code Grey, I did research both book conservation and stolen books. Did you know there’s an online registry of stolen books? The idea is that rare book dealers should check whenever anyone brings anything suspicious in to sell and they can check everything from watermarks to the provenance of various publications… Creepy, huh? The restoration part was incredibly fun – learning how conservators stabilize centuries-old paper and what ancient ink looks like after a few hundred years… I think of Code Grey as a love story to books, in part.

Read more here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Kings River Life calls Dulcie "charming"! Thank you!

"Author Simon delightfully exposes the eccentricities prevalent in the Ivy League institution and deftly plots out an academic mystery." Wow, how lovely! Thank you! (To read the full review, click here.)

Great Escapes blog tour for "Code Grey" starts today!

I've got a full slate of interviews, reviews, guest blogs, and more for Code Grey.

Click through to my tour's home page for live links!

August 24 – Frankie Bow – Interview

August 25 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight

August 26 – Babs Book Bistro – Guest Post

August 27 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Review, Interview

August 28 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post

August 29 – Laura’s Interests – Review

August 30 – Omnimystery News – Guest Post

August 31 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview

September 1 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

September 2 – Book Babble – Review

September 3 – Lori’s Reading Corner – Guest Post

September 4 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review

September 5 – deal sharing aunt – Interview

September 6 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A dark, brooding new cat mystery...

Like cats? Like dystopian fiction? Want something a little darker? Can you wait until next year? That's when my new "The Ninth Life" will kick off a new series with Severn House. Here's the teaser we're sending around...

Three figures, shadowy against the light. That’s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city – and I am a cat.

The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon’s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.

And yes, you can pre-order it here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Unveiling ... the "books in order" page!

Finally! Over at my home site,, I have a page that tells you about each of the series and lists the books in order (with original publication dates). No more wondering if you've missed one! No more trying to figure out what comes next! Yay! Also, it's now mobile friendly!

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Really appealing" said the Literary Yard. Thank you!

The Literary Yard notes how unusual it is to have a mystery without a murder. But still, it says, "Code Grey" is "really appealing and keeps the reader engaged." How nice! Read more here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Chatting with the great Caroline Leavitt!

NYT best-selling novelist Caroline Leavitt had me over at her blog, Leavittville, to talk process and progress in fiction and life! Drop on by!

Monday, August 10, 2015

For the love of Mary Stewart

I had an unhappy bookstore situation yesterday that prompted me to write this for a mystery readers list I'm on. Then I thought, hey, may as well post it here. Are you a fan of Mary Stewart? Of another author who is no longer valued (or perhaps never got the respect you think she should have)? Read on!

I hope the list will allow me a little rant.

I am lucky enough to live in an area with several bookstores within walking distance, and one of my favorite weekend activities is to browse (and often buy) at them. Usually my browsing is very general. I chat with the staff (who know my taste), I look through the stacks. Today, my browsing was more directed. In a few days, I’l be heading to Cape Cod for a week, and I was specifically looking for a certain kind of involving read. I’m in the midst of writing, so I wasn’t looking for crime fiction. And I’ve finished the new Naomi Novik (“Uprooted”), which I’d thought would be a perfect do-nothing-for-hours-but-read, maybe take a dip in the middle type read. (Full disclosure, I’ve also torn through the new Daniel Silva, who usually brings one out just in time for my Cape getaway. I can read him without any risk of his work bleeding through into mine.)

Anyway, spent a good forty minutes or so at my favorite local indie without finding anything that really struck me. Toyed with “How to Build a Girl” and did buy Emma Donoghue’s “Frog Music,” which looks like a return to her earlier historical form, which I prefer. But then it struck me. I was in the mood to re-read some Mary Stewart. I had dug out “The Crystal Cave” after her death in 2014, and I thought “The Hollow Hills” might be perfect. But, alas, my local indie didn’t have any.

OK, fine. Smaller store with limited stock. I love them anyway, but since we are going away, I didn’t want to ask them to order a book that might not arrive in time. And, I’ll confess, I figured the big Barnes and Noble-run store two blocks away would have Mary Stewart in stock. Maybe not all her books. I mean, “Touch Not the Cat” wasn’t huge. But surely the Arthurian books, right?

No. Three floors of books – and this isn’t including the textbooks – and nothing. Best sellers by TV personalities. Tolstoy (in translation and not). And just about everything Phillippa Gregory has ever written, so they’re not averse to a good historical romance. But no Mary Stewart.

I went to the help desk and asked a nice enough looking gent – an adult, of at least 40 – if the store had any Mary Stewart in stock. No. I specified “E-W” Stewart, in case he was misspelling her name. No. Then I looked over and saw that he was googling “E.W. Stewart.” I explained that, no, I was simply specifying the spelling of her name, and it hit me that he had never heard of her. While I watched, he pulled up her Wiki page and turned to me. “It seems she died in 2014,” he said. “And she was nearly 100 by then, so her books aren’t really current.”

Well, no. I conceded. “But they were.” He smiled at me, the kind of smile that made me feel both old and irrelevant, and that seemed to have everything to do with the listing of one of my favorite authors as “Gothic Romance” and not of me as a potential client. And I left. And not until I was on the pavement did it hit me that I should have said, “But Henry James is dead. As are Normal Mailer, and Saul Bellow. And Goncharov’s “Oblamov” came out over a 100 years ago. And would you even be carrying Jane Austen if her work hadn’t been made into so many movies?”

Blech. It’s sexism, I say, and I’m sick of it. And then I turned to my husband and said I’m going to write rant about it. And he said, good idea.

PS - This is by my husband, in praise of bookstores:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"Fascinating" says librarian Lesa Holstine. Thank you!

Librarian Lesa Holstein reviews "Code Grey" today on her book blog. She begins, "Clea Simon takes readers into the world of scholars and book theft in her latest Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery,Code Grey. ... concluding, " a mystery involving stolen and missing books, is a fascinating search for answers. And, I'm particularly fond of one of Dulcie's new friends, a librarian, Mr. Griddlehaus. In Code Grey, Dulcie Schwartz and her unlikely team of allies uncover the intriguing mysteries that have remained hidden for decades on campus. It's a story right out of the pages of Dulcie's own dissertation."
For the full review, click here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dru's Book Musing is "very engaged" by "Code Grey"!

Wow! Mystery maven Dru Ann says "Code Grey" "taunted me with clues that were presented in a manner that grabbed my attention and kept hold of it until the last page was turned." I hope that was more fun than it sounds! Read more here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stolen books and restoring rarities: the real story behind CODE GREY

Lesa Holstine let me guest post today and I got to talk about the real story of stolen books and how deteriorating treasures are being restored. Feel free to ask questions! Read more here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Thank you, Gumshoe Review!

Gumshoe Review calls the ending of my new "Code Grey" "surprising and quite satisfying." The reviewer other lovely things to say as well, which you can read here.

Thank you, Conscious Cat!

"With each installment in this series, Simon ratchets the intricate plot lines up a notch, and I found this one very hard to put down." Wow, thank you! Read the full review here.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Wow, Richmond Times-Dispatch compares "Code Grey" to "Gaudy Night"!

The Richmond Times-Dispatch compares "Code Grey" to Dorothy L. Sayers' "Gaudy Night," calling it "stimulating and refreshingly different." Read the full review here.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Happy book birthday to Dulcie, Mr. Grey, and CODE GREY!

Because Code Grey came out in the UK several months ago, it has been sneaking onto the shelves for a few weeks. But today is my official US publication date. So please join me in welcoming Dulcie and Mr Grey back in Code Grey!

Friday, July 31, 2015

A day in the life of Dulcie Schwartz

"Ever since I was kicked out of the library, I’ve been at loose ends..."

What's troubling Dulcie and why has she been kicked out of her home-away-from-home? Find out more on today's Dru's Book Musings, the 2015 Anthony Award-nominated reader's blog here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Musetta speaks out!

What does the cat think of summer – and of my new mystery, Code Grey? She lets us know in no uncertain terms here.

"Musetta here, and I’m logging on to tell you: I hate summer.

Does that surprise you? As a cat, I am essentially a desert animal. My body temperature runs higher than yours, and I could lay in the sun for hours, soaking up the rays. (When I do this, my mom says I’m the solar-powered kitty, recharging.) But as a writer’s cat, I’ve learned a few things. And number one is that summer means travel. For my humans, of course. Not for me, and I hate that...."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Thank you, Bristol Public Library!

Talking about my new "Code Grey," the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library says, "If you’re looking for blood ‘n’ gore or car chases, look elsewhere. But if you want to feel as if you’re walking the halls of the Milhorn Library or grab a bean burger at Lala’s while trying to sift through clues, then prepare yourself for a real treat." Want to read more? Click here. (This actually went up yesterday. What nice birthday present!)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Last day to enter CODE GREY giveaway

It's my birthday today, and I'm celebrating with this Goodreads giveaway. For one more day, you can enter to win a signed copy of my new Dulcie Schwartz mystery, Code Grey. Just click the link below or go to Goodreads and search for "Code Grey Giveaway."

Code Grey (a Dulcie Schwartz feline-filled mystery) will officially pub. on Aug. 1 in the U.S.
Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not – and she sets out to prove it

It’s spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can’t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?

With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar’s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity – and a new menace.

"This unusual and intelligent series continues to surprise, with additional backstory on some of the characters adding layers of interest. Readers will not want Dulcie to finish her dissertation anytime soon." - Booklist

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey

by Clea Simon

Giveaway ends July 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Happens Next ...

You have a crime. You want to solve it. How does that evolve into an 80,000 word manuscript? That's what I'm talking about today in my guest post on Mystery Fanfare!

"Readers often ask how we mystery writers plot. During panel discussions, this usually leads to a chat about “pantsers” vs. “plotters,” those who let the writing guide us as opposed to those who outline what will happen before the writing starts. But I don’t know if these readers are really asking about our process, per se. Whether they too are writers or are simply fans, reading for pleasure, I think they want to know something more basic. They want to know how we figure out what happens next. I wish I could give them an answer." - See more here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The story behind "Code Grey"

In “Code Grey,” the ninth Dulcie Schwartz mystery, my heroine, Dulcie, is back once again in the library. It’s spring break, but she’s so close to finishing her doctoral dissertation that she can taste it. With her boyfriend and all her buddies out of town for the week, Dulcie figures she can focus on work: the research and writing that will, she hopes, get her the PhD in Gothic literature she’s been woring toward for more than five years.

Want to read more? Click here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wow, Mutt Cafe says "Code Grey" is "riveting"! Thank you!

Code Grey is a riveting mystery that will appeal to bibliophiles and cat lovers alike. Like a fine wine, Code Grey is multifaceted and complex in flavor, certain to satisfy readers," says Mutt Cafe, calling it "a purr-fect continuation of the Dulcie Schwartz series." Wow, just wow. Thank you so much! Read more here. Or just order the book...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cat Chat with the Animal Radio Lady

A few weeks ago, I had a lovely chat about cats, mysteries, and cats in mysteries with Tracie Hotchner, who hosts a wide variety of animal-themed podcasts. Our talk is up today at Cat Chat. Of course, because it's a podcast, you can download it – and all of her other great interviews – at any time. (The interview starts at around 23 minutes – you can skip ahead, but why miss any of Tracie's great show?)

Friday, July 10, 2015

CODE GREY is "a riveting mystery" - thank you, Goodreads!

Code Grey, the ninth Dulcie Schwartz mystery, is out in the UK so advance reviews of the US edition (Aug. 1) are beginning to come in. Some of those are already appearing on GoodReads, the site for readers. Not a member? You should join!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Festivals, conventions, and more!

So you know I'll be at Crimebake, Nov. 6-8, right? Can't make it to New England? Come say hi at Left Coast Crime (Phoenix, AZ, Feb. 25-28, 2016), Malice Domestic (Bethesda, MD, April 29-May 1, 2016), or Bouchercon in New Orleans (Sept. 15-18, 2016). I'm also planning on a bunch of bookstore events and maybe another conference or too. Stay tuned – and please do let me know if you'd like me to visit you!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Thank you, Library Journal, for noting "CODE GREY"

"Insight and appeal" - why, thank you, Library Journal! And yes, my Mr Grey - who is a cat, and was long before that other Mr Grey - does have both!

Library Journal
Dulcinea Schwartz's homeless friend Jeremy Mumbleleigh is accused of stealing a valuable book, but Dulcie knows the gentle Jeremy, who had a breakdown years ago, is innocent. It's spring break, and the library is in the throes of a renovation. As Dulcie investigates, more crimes come to light. This is the ninth entry (after Stages of Grey) in the series, and Mr. Grey, Dulcie's cat ghost, continues to provide insights and appeal along the way.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The CODE GREY giveaway is live! Enter now!!

To enter, click here.

Or click below, where it says "enter giveaway":

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey

by Clea Simon

Giveaway ends July 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

For real this time: Win a copy of CODE GREY!

Sorry about that delay, folks! The contest is NOW OPEN to win a copy of my new Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery, Code Grey on Goodreads! Want to know more about this new feline-full mystery? Click here.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey

by Clea Simon

Giveaway ends July 28, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Beach book catch up! (Pru and Dulcie in paperback)

Heading to the shore or the lake? Want some inexpensive reading? WorldWide Mysteries (a branch of Harlequin) does the mass market paperbacks – those pocket-sized, inexpensive editions – of most of my books. They're only available for a short time (until they run out) and only on line. Interested in starting the Pru series with Dogs Don't Lie or catching up with Dulcie via True Grey? WorldWide has them!
Want to see all the books available? Click here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Another great installment" and ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN!

Memes and Fiction calls my Kittens Can Kill "another great installment in the Pru Marlowe series. I've read all five now, and find each one more enthralling than the last" and gives it four stars. Today also marks the countdown on this book giveaway. Only three more days! Enter here.

Win a copy of CODE GREY!

Win a copy of my new Dulcie Schwartz feline mystery from Goodreads! Contest is open for one month before the official Aug. 1 U.S. release date!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey

by Clea Simon

Giveaway ends July 26, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Monday, June 29, 2015

Is Pru "a superbly strong heroine"? This librarian thinks so!

In Kings River Life, Cynthia Chow writes, "Despite Pru’s prickliness, her brittle nature, and a less-than-pristine past, she is ultimately likable and admirable as she guards over animals that seem far nobler than humans. As she says, nature isn’t pretty but humans only make it worse. The title comes, prophetically enough, from an animal control officer’s ferret that provides the clue Pru interprets incorrectly. This novel delves deeply into noir territory with family drama and the secrets of an unforgiving small town, and it features a superbly strong heroine learning to lower her defenses and open herself up to a life filled with possibilities."Thanks so much, Cynthia! Read more here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

"This unusual and intelligent series continues to surprise"! THANK YOU, BOOKLIST!!

"This unusual and intelligent series continues to surprise, with additional backstory on some of the characters adding layers of interest. Readers will not want Dulcie to finish her dissertation anytime soon."

Wow, I am over the moon!

Full text:



Publication: BOOKLIST

Issue: 1ST JULY 2015

Code Grey. Simon, Clea (Author), Aug 2015. 224 p. Severn, hardcover, $28.95. (9780727885067). Severn, paperback, (9781847516107). Severn, e-book, (9781780106618).

Working on her dissertation, Dulcie Schwartz is one of the few people remaining at Harvard over spring break. Her scholarly pursuits are interrupted when she comes to the defense of a former Harvard student, Jeremy, now homeless, who is found at a construction sight, holding a long-missing, valuable book. Police like Jeremy for the rash of recent campus break-ins, but Dulcie doesn’t buy it. With the help of her friend, rare-books librarian Mr. Griddlehaus, she begins to research the history of the missing book, which was part of a collection donated to the library decades ago, when Griddlehaus, Jeremy, and the head of facilities were all students. Cats play a role, of course, in sorting out the mystery, and Dulcie’s abilities to communicate with felines comes in very handy. This unusual and intelligent series continues to surprise, with additional backstory on some of the characters adding layers of interest. Readers will not want Dulcie to finish her dissertation anytime soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Take Your Cat to Work Day

Today is Take Your Cat To Work Day! A great idea, but not for everybody - or every kitty. As comments point out, most cats are very territory-based: they are most comfortable in a place they know and will be unhappy going someplace new, even with their best human. (Why we get a cat sitter as opposed to boarding Musetta when we travel.) But not every cat is alike. Of course, this is a no-brainer for me! I'm a writer and I work at home. Or, you could say, my workplace and Musetta's overlap (i.e., I work in her realm. For her, of course)

Friday, June 19, 2015

"Brilliantly written, fast paced, funny cozy mystery."

And this Book Bug reviewof Kittens Can Kill calls it, a "[b]rilliantly written, fast paced, funny cozy mystery" with "ery colourful characters, interesting relationships between them," concluding, "I will definitely have some catching up to do (this was the first one for me in the series. The fact that I loved it can prove it does well as a standalone as well." Read more here.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"One of the most interesting characters to come along in quite a while"

Pru Marlowe, that is, and the "highly intriguing" mystery is my Kittens Can Kill. Want to read the entire review from Vic's Media Room? Click here.

KITTENS CAN KILL "more than just a mystery"

Trust a librarian to give a thoughtful review! Reviewing my Kittens Can Kill, the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library says, in part: "As with most of the best books, Simon gives the reader more than just a mystery. It’s an exploration of the relationships between people and animals, both domestic and wild, and how one can impact the other in unexpected ways and sometimes unhappy ways. Food for thought!" Want to read more, click here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Not quite free books, but ...

Do you know about If not, you should. The librarian send out an email daily letting readers know about discounted ebooks. They're not always new, but many of them will be new to you. And tomorrow – June 16 – one of my books will be featured. So if you sign up today, you'll get the email tomorrow... It's free, of course.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Want to win some free books?

It's not too late to win my Kittens Can Kill! All this month, I'm being hosted on a blog tour by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours. They've set up interviews, reviews, guest posts, and more – and most of them link to chances to win free books. Come see my full itinerary and enter to win.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is KITTENS the best Pru yet? Richmond Times-Dispatch thinks so!

"With a clever plot that keeps the reader guessing — and a deeper look into Pru’s inner life and demons — “Kittens Can Kill” shines as the best installment yet in Simon’s entertaining and thoughtful series." That's how the Richmond Times-Dispatch review puts it. Would you like to read more?

Crimebake filling up fast!

I know it's hard to think about autumn when spring has only just finally arrived. But CrimeBake, New England's own mystery conference, has been announced for Nov. 6-8, and registration is filling up fast! The great Elizabeth George is the guest of honor – and yours truly will be on a panel on Saturday (along with Donna Andrews, Leslie Meier, Roberta Isleib, and Paul Doiron, wow!). Won't you join us?