Even though the saying goes “you can’t always judge a book by its cover,” this actually doesn’t always apply with book covers. However, in the case of As Dark As My Fur, the second book in Clea Simon’s Blackie and Care Cat Mystery series, the cover accurately reflects the book’s feel and tone.
Written in the voice of Blackie, a black cat with a mysterious past, set in an unnamed city with a post-apocalyptic feel, this series combines elements of fantasy and mystery. In As Dark As My Fur, Simon continues the adventures of Blackie and teenager Care, an apprentice private detective.
This book is quite a departure from Clea Simon’s other cat-centric mysteries, and while I adore every single book in her other series, I have to confess, this series is a real stretch for me. I don’t really enjoy reading fantasy, and the almost Dickensian feel of this book was much too dark and depressing for my taste.
I was, however, mesmerized by Simon’s writing. I consider Clea Simon to be an absolutely brilliant writer, regardless of what genre she writes in. Writing in a cat’s voice is an art form, and few writers manage to do it well. In this series, Simon takes this art into a new realm. The way she sets scenes from Blackie’s point of view, and the way she describes how he takes in the world around him, reflects not just a thorough understanding of feline behavior, but also a connection to the feline soul that I have rarely seen in other cat books. The best writers paint pictures with their words. In As Dark As My Fur, Clea Simon paints a sweeping emotional cityscape that will stay with you long after you put the book down.
If you enjoy gritty, dark mysteries with an element of urban fantasy, you will enjoy this book.