No one but Dulcie Schwartz may ever see the ghost of her cat, Mr Grey, but thank heavens the grad student sees him. She needs all the help she can get in Clea Simon's new mystery, Shades of Grey.
Dulcie in truly an innocent young woman. She's a grad student at Harvard, a student of Gothic romances trying to find her thesis topic. Mentally, she dwells in that world, while working as a temp at an insurance company. She isn't prepared to find her summer roommate's body in the apartment when she arrives home. But, a cat that looked like Mr Grey tried to warn her not to enter the apartment. She just thought her grief had become too much for her. Instead, she found Tim's body at a time she was mad at him. Suddenly, she's a suspect in the murder of a young, wealthy man she didn't like.
Dulcie isn't prepared to be a suspect. She isn't even prepared for life, spending too many years growing up in arts colonies with her mother, a hippie. She doesn't know how to dress for a funeral; she sees so many men as potential romantic interests; and she tells too many people, including the police, about her suspicions about Tim's activities that may have led to his death. She doesn't even understand that she's being set up for a fall at the insurance company, when suddenly there are computer problems. Thank heavens, Dulcie has Mr Grey, and a few other friends, to look out for her, since she so innocent as to the reality of life.
Computers and murder seem way beyond Dulcie's skills, to anyone but the police, and a murderer. For anyone familiar with Clea Simon's Theda Krakow mysteries, Dulcie is a surprise. She's an innocent dreamer, unprepared for life. But Theda could have been like that before she become hardened by life. But, both characters are bright enough to find a killer. And, both share a love of cats.
The slow paced mystery, Shades of Grey, is perfect for the romantic Dulcie and the ghost of a cat. It has a little too much emphasis on Dulcie's romantic literature for my taste, but that depth of knowledge is worthy of the character. . It's a ghostly mystery, intended to keep the heroine confused and unsure about her friends. But, she can always count on Mr Grey. Shades of Grey is a mystery for the slow fall days almost upon us.
Clea Simon's website is www.cleasimon.com
Shades of Grey by Clea Simon. Severn House, ©2009. ISBN 9780727867810 (hardcover), 216p.