Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Grey Matters by Clea Simon

Dulcie Schwartz' name is right out of one of the Gothic stories she's studied and loved. Now, in Clea Simon's Grey Matters, Dulcie is caught up in her own Gothic story. And, she's aware the story sounds funny to others, so she protests, "But this isn't something I made up. It's not from a ghost story. It's my life!"

But, it's so easy for Dulcie's roommate, Suze, and her boyfriend, Chris, to doubt her. Dulcie's a third year grad student, working on her doctorate at Harvard, studying obscure Gothic manuscripts from the 18th century. But, she had an odd childhood, raised in a commune in Oregon by a mother who claims to have premonitions. And, Dulcie herself claims to see the ghost of her cat, Mr Grey, and he communicates with her. So, when she stumbles over the body of Cameron Dessay, another grad student, while leaving her adviser's house, and then believes there's something odd going on at the house, people are a little doubtful. With Suze busy with a new boyfriend, and Chris unusually quiet and absent, Dulcie's left on her own. She's lonely, misses Mr Grey, and her new kitten doesn't communicate with her. Her own thesis, and her future, seem in jeopardy as her adviser seems surrounded by secrets. What's a student of Gothic literature to do but interrogate suspects, and stumble toward a solution on her own? As Dulcie realizes, "When one spent so many waking hours among the ghosts and haunted castles, why wouldn't ordinary life start to show signs of the paranormal?"

Ghosts, premonitions, mysterious phone calls, and odd suspects. Throw in a couple unusual cats, including the ghost of Mr Grey. Add an innocent heroine, and the political world of academia, and it's a first-rate mystery. It's obvious author Clea Simon enjoys the romance of Gothic literature, and she shares that love with readers in the enjoyable Grey Matters.

Clea Simon's website is www.cleasimon.com

Grey Matters by Clea Simon. Severn House, ©2010. ISBN 9780727868404 (hardcover), 232p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received my copy of the book from the author, in hopes I would review it.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm a fan of Gothic lit, and this sounds like a nice marriage of two genres. Looking forward to this book!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Clea Simon said...

Thank you, Lesa! I love this character and am glad she's finding readers (am hard at work on Dulcie #3, or would be ... if I weren't reading blogs!)

Kay said...

I am definitely going to read this series. This is book #2 isn't it? Gotta find #1 and then I'll move on to #2. Thanks for highlighting it! Love me some gothic stuff.

Clea Simon said...

It is number 2, but be forewarned - book 1 "Shades of Grey" was printed in kind of small type. Also, both work as stand alones.

Ingrid King said...

Wonderful review, Lesa - if I hadn't already read it, this would definitely make me run to the nearest bookstore! I loved this book and I can't wait for Dulcie #3..

Lesa said...

Yes, I guess I should have said this was book #2, but, as Clea said, it can stand alone, so I never even thought of it. And, I appreciated Dulcie so much more in this book. OK, Clea, enough with reading blogs. Back to work!

Clea Simon said...

you are a slave driver, Lesa! But I hit my word count today!

Lesa said...

Crack that whip! Clea, you saw that people want the next Dulcie book.