Into the Grey: A Dulcie Schwartz Feline Mystery, Clea Simon. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8627-9
Much to the dismay of Harvard doctoral candidate Dulcie Schwartz, professor Roland Fenderby has joined her dissertation committee, in Simon’s well-plotted 10th academic paranormal cat cozy (after 2015’s Code Grey). Fenderby’s harsh critique of the final chapter of Dulcie’s dissertation, on the anonymous female author of the 18th-century gothic novel The Ravages of Umbria, threatens her commencement deadline. When Dulcie discovers Fenderby’s body on his office floor, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder. She’ll have to do a lot of searching in the stacks before she can clear her name. When the humans in Dulcie’s life let her down, she can turn to her late cat, Mr. Grey, who provides comfort and advice (“Only kittens rush about so heedlessly, Dulcie”) without playing any active role in the crime solving. Series fans will enjoy the latest developments in Dulcie’s saga, though those unfamiliar with her backstory may struggle to fully sympathize with her plight.