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


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.

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.