Readers sometimes ask me: Are my books cozy? And the honest answer is, I’m not sure. Yes, I can promise you that in my new [novel] A Spell of Murder, the story is gentle. There is no sex or foul language and, while there is a murder, the blood (as the old saying goes) is dry before it hits the page. Plus, there are cats – three of them – and cats always make a story cozier, don’t you agree?
But more and more these days, I find myself telling readers that my books aren’t strictly “cozies,” per se. They’ve got a few too many twists, a couple of extra characters, and even a few extra felines, all designed to make the book a little more challenging than some cozy readers might expect.
For example, although Becca, the human at the center of A Spell of Murder, is a perfectly likable young woman, she’s not the point of view character. Her youngest cat, Clara, is. And although Clara wishes she could spend all her time focusing on Becca, especially as Becca gets involved with some shady characters (and a murder), she also has to deal with her two litter-mates, Harriet and Laurel. While they love their human too, they have a bit less respect for Clara, their youngest, and they act as sisters often do.
So if you ask me how I would describe this book, I would say it is whimsical and fun and warm, but a bit challenging as well, since it deals with personalities as well as a caper, cats as well as crime. But if you can stick with it, I promise you a happy ending – because who doesn’t like a happy ending? Does that make it cozy? In its own way, I guess it does!
About the Author
Clea Simon is the author of A Spell of Murder, the first in her new Witch Cats of Cambridge series. She is also the author of World Enough, a rock ‘n’ roll noir, as well as the Blackie and Care series (most recently Cross My Path) chronicling the adventures of the pink-haired Care and the black feral cat who loves her. In addition to these darker books, she is also the author of the Dulcie Schwartz feline mysteries, the Pru Marlowe pet noir mysteries, and the Theda Krakow mysteries, as well as three nonfiction books, including The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats.
The recipient of multiple honors, including the Cat Writers Associations Presidents Award, she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jon Garelick, and their cat, Musetta.
About the Book
A Spell of Murder Witch Cats of Cambridge Book 1 by Clea Simon
Genre: Cozy Mystery
“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.
Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder? Continue reading