Bad Boy Beat, my new amateur sleuth mystery, doesn’t come out until May 7, but the advance reviews have started to come in. First up is Kirkus, known for its nasty “Kirkus kick.” Only this time the professional publication is full of praise, saying:

“Simon’s staccato prose sets a tense mood that keeps readers on the edge . . . New territory for Simon that’s definitely worth another chapter”

The full review will be in the April issue, which goes online March 9. But I’m sneaking you a preview below. And, yes!, you can pre-order Bad Boy Beat now. In fact, I hope you do!

Author: Clea Simon
Review Issue Date: April 1, 2024
Online Publish Date: March 9, 2024
Publisher:Severn House
Pages: 224
Price ( Hardcover ): $29.99
Publication Date: May 7, 2024
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 9781448313044
Section: Fiction

Simon, noted for pet-themed cozies, turns her hand to something darker.

Buttercup, Emily Kelton’s cat, is a bit player, relegated to hunting for treats and twining around the legs of visitors. Instead of focusing on her feline, Em trains her sights on making her way up the ladder at the Standard, “Boston’s smaller, scrappier morning paper.” Still on probation, she keeps trying to offer her editors something juicy to print without breaking rules whose violation could get her fired. Her latest case on the police beat could go either way. The murder of a low-level drug dealer is sure to pique the interest of a crime-conscious public, even though there’s no name and no motive—yet. But poking at Ruiz, the beat cop, for details may alienate a valuable source of information. In the other direction, Em clearly runs the risk of becoming too close to tall, handsome detective Jack Harcourt, whose information comes at a price. As more murders follow, Em senses a pattern, but details that would confirm her suspicions are hard to come by. As she struggles to find her place in a male-dominated newsroom, Em runs the risk of spoiling her relationship with her best friend, city hall reporter Theresa “Roz” Roscommon, and missing the opportunity to bond with intern Krista Lolly. Simon’s staccato prose sets a tense mood that keeps readers on the edge as Em keeps threatening to go over it.

New territory for Simon that’s definitely worth another chapter.