Code Grey Cozy Mystery

Code Grey
by Clea Simon

goodreads-badge-add-plusCode Grey: A feline-filled academic mystery (A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery)
Series: A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery (Book 9)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0727885067

Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not and she sets out to prove it”

It is spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?
With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity and a new menace.

Not everyone will appreciate this series. I believe I would have rated it higher if I had started from the first Dulcie Schwartz book. For me it was a strong 3.5 stars.

Besides the traditional cozy elements, this series is quite cerebral, more intellectual than many other series. Dulcie, however, remains quite naïve and trusting. She honestly does try to see the best in everyone.
I love learning about many different topics as I read cozies. Cozy authors research the most interesting minute details for us and find the most creative ways to work them into novels.
Code Grey relates fascinating details not only about academic and literary life but also about history of other importance.

I enjoyed Clea Simon's characters, both immediately involved and who appear from a distance.
Her mother, Lucy, is weirdly delightful. I appreciated the telepathic messages from the cats, although Dulcie may not have been interpreting precisely. Esme has some training to do.
Mr. Grey, after whom the book is titled (I assume) was less involved and for someone who has not read the previous books, somewhat obscure. 
While Dulcie needs to be more cautious with her trusting nature, another lesson of this book is about paying more attention and taking notice of people and situations you take for granted.

The writing is very well done and still there are places where the plot seemed to drag.
The conclusion is well worth slogging through those few spots.
I also enjoyed the jumps between the Gothic novel pages Dulcie should be studying, her dreams and her real, dangerous, daily adventures.

Clea Simon is the author of 18 mysteries in the Theda Krakow, DulcieSchwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoingand include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and Kittens Can Kill (Poisoned Pen Press). A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at

Author Links:
On Twitter: or @Clea_Simon
Purchase Links: 
Amazon B&N Book Depository 


  1. I love Clea's books and would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity.

  2. thanks for having me here - and for your insightful and honest appraisal of my "Code Grey"!


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