Librarian Lesa Holstine’s Lesa’s Book Critiques is a must-read for mystery fans, and I’m thrilled that she has weighed in on To Conjure a Killer, calling it “a treat for cat and cozy mystery lovers.” Here’s the full review, but please click through to her wonderful blog here (


I felt a little melancholy in reviewing Clea Simon’s fourth Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, To Conjure a Killer. Sandie Herron reviewed the third one, A Cat on the Case, a couple years ago. Sandie should have been here to review the latest one.

Becca Colwin works at Charm and Cherish, and thinks she’s a witch who can cast spells. She doesn’t realize it’s her three cats, Harriet, Laurel, and Clara, littermates, who have the magical abilities, and do their best to keep Becca out of trouble. They’re not there, though, when Becca chases a tortoiseshell kitten down an alley. The police are. They find Becca with blood on her, and her ex-boyfriend, Jeff, dead in the alley.

When Becca tells her best friend, Maddy, and the women in her coven, that she’s going to investigate Jeff’s murder, no one is enthusiastic. Jeff cheated on Becca, and it has been a year since they were together. She’s shocked to learn he left his job as a software designer, and struck out on his own. Jeff’s former co-workers seem to think his latest software design was worth a great deal of money. But, did it lead to Jeff’s murder?

Since Becca is the primary suspect in Jeff’s death, she asks a few too many questions, ones that could get her in trouble. But, her three cats, along with the new tortie kitten, have their own plans to protect their person. 

Fans of mysteries featuring cats will enjoy Simon’s latest book. Anyone who enjoys Sofie Kelly’s Magical Cats, Owen and Hercules, will want to meet Clara, Laura, and Harriet, cats with their own magical powers. Add in the new mysterious tortie kitten, and To Conjure a Killer is a treat for cat and cozy mystery lovers.

Clea Simon’s website is

To Conjure a Killer by Clea Simon. Polis Books, 2023. ISBN 9781957957340 (hardcover0, 270p.