“Good Spirits,” indeed!

“You don’t have to be a cat lover to appreciate this cozy mystery…”

When I heard that Publishers Weekly had included my A CAT ON THE CASE in a roundup of cozy mysteries, I was thrilled. Then I SAW the piece – four cozies, all due early next year, all with some paranormal or supernatural element – but not only is A CAT ON THE CASE the only mystery from a small(er) press, it’s the lead book, with the longest write-up that includes praise for the entire witch cat series. I’d have been honored to be listed with heralded newcomer Valerie Wilson Wesley, Traci Wilton, and Lucy Ness. But like this? I’m beyond thrilled! Thank you, PW!

“Fans of feline cozies will be charmed,” says PW

“Simon’s pleasing third Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery,” begins the review in Publishers Weekly, which winds up by concluding “Fans of feline cozies will be charmed.” Well, I’m charmed – and grateful – that my upcoming A CAT ON THE CASE is already winning such praise! You can find out yourself in January (and pre-order it here)

A Cat on the Case: A Witch Cats of Cambridge Mystery

Clea Simon. Polis, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-951709-26-6

Simon’s pleasing third Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery (after 2020’s An Incantation of Cats) finds Becca Colwin working at Charm and Cherish, a New Age shop in Cambridge, Mass. It’s the perfect place for the aspiring witch detective, even if she doesn’t really have magical powers, as her three talking cats—Laurel, Clara, and Harriet—know. One day, a woman stops by the shop and accidently leaves behind a violin case containing a “very old instrument.” The search for the violin’s owner leads Becca and her coven of two other aspiring witches, along with her skeptical best friend, into a complicated case involving theft and other crimes. Meanwhile, Becca is in danger of losing her apartment when the building goes condo. The three witchy cats, each with its own distinct personality, do what they can to help Becca, in addition to discussing such matters as how they fit into Becca’s life and their own hierarchy. Fans of feline cozies will be charmed. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune. (Jan.)

Sometimes sleuths work from home…

That’s the premise of my short story, “The Inside Job,” which will be featured in MASTHEAD: The Best New England Crime Stories 2020, coming Nov. 25 from Level Best Books. The story takes place post-pandemic, but my heroine – a homebody anyway – finds it hard to venture out. That doesn’t mean she can’t see when something isn’t right, or work to see justice done.

I don’t often write short stories, and I’m particularly proud of this one! I’ll be posting links as soon as I get them! We may not be able to celebrate Thanksgiving as usual this year, but that means more time for reading. And with short stories, there are no leftovers!

Cover reveal: A CAT ON THE CASE

Presenting A CAT ON THE CASE, the third Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, to be published in January 2021 by Polis Books. Doesn’t she look intent on solving this one?

When a panicked stranger shows up at Charm and Cherish, Becca Colwin feels compelled to help. But when that stranger then disappears, leaving behind her heirloom violin the aspiring witch detective is drawn further into a web of deceit and intrigue complicated by a history that only Becca’s three magical cats truly understand.

And that other book?

Some of you noticed that second book in the announcement… Hold Me Down. Yes, I’ve written another music-world mystery, or as my publisher calls it, “a standalone novel of suspense.” It’s dark, it’s intense, and, no, there are no cats in it. Still, I’m very proud of Hold Me Down, which looks like it will be published (again by Polis) in September, 2021.

I had originally described HOLD ME DOWN as a “rock and roll noir” in the style of my Mass. Book Award-honored WORLD ENOUGH, that follows a recovering rock star as she unravels a mysterious killing – and her own past – in the context of an industry that monetizes dysfunction. Here’s the official deals report – a tad more standardized in terms of description!

Anyway, no cover or links yet, but I am VERY excited to have placed this book and I can’t think of a better home! More as I know it!