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By Its Cover: Code Grey

Book by Clea Simon

Book by Clea Simon

Pets, particularly cats, often feature in mystery stories. This one’s a bit unusual in that it features a ghost cat.

Mr. Grey was/is the name of Dulcie Schwartz’s late cat, and befittingly serves as the eponymous “grey” of the titles in the series.

Presumably—although looking more corporeal—Mr. Grey is the cat on the cover who appears to be reading. A glimpse of typeset text indicated the book is modern, but perhaps the ghostly script of the backdrop is suggestive of the text the cat is meant to be reading.

After all, Dulcie Schwartz is a graduate student working on her dissertation about Gothic literature in the 1790s, and the handwritten script of the cover matches to the type of penned letters of the era.

In this ninth book of the series, Dulcie is concentrating on her thesis during spring break at Cambridge, Massachusetts, when a former student is found injured and in possession of a valuable book. Dulcie hopes to clear his name, but is stunned to learn there may be a connection to her own research.

The former student is Jeremy Mumbleigh, a “scholar who had gone off the rails at some point but still hung around his old haunts.” Dulcie encounters him in the first chapter. It ends with Jeremy spouting, “It’s a conspiracy, you know.” “And they won’t stop until they’ve gotten it all.”

There’s two appeals here. One is for fans of feline mysteries, the other is for those who like academic settings. According to a quote from Booklist on the back cover, “Cat-mystery fans who can appreciate a slightly darker tone than is typical in the subgenre will like this series as will fans of G. M. Malliet.”

I’m not sure exactly how the cat features in the story from my cursory look, but my initial look piques my interest.

Clea Simon is the author of four series! Besides the Dulcie Schwartz feline mysteries, there’s the Theda Krakow mysteries, the Pru Marlowe pet noir series, and her newest, the Ninth Life mystery series, featuring a homeless teen and her feline companion.

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