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Grey Matters (Dulcie Schwartz Series #2)

Grey Matters (Dulcie Schwartz Series #2)

4.8 6
by Clea Simon

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Dulcie Schwartz and her feline friends get tangled up in this mysterious yarn . . . - Caught between a distracted supervisor and university politics, Dulcie’s doctoral thesis looks doomed. When she stumbles across the bloodied body of a fellow student, things couldn’t get any worse. Unless her mother’s dreams turn out to be


Dulcie Schwartz and her feline friends get tangled up in this mysterious yarn . . . - Caught between a distracted supervisor and university politics, Dulcie’s doctoral thesis looks doomed. When she stumbles across the bloodied body of a fellow student, things couldn’t get any worse. Unless her mother’s dreams turn out to be premonitions and Dulcie’s work has all been in vain . . . With the ghost of Mr Grey – her wise and loyal late, great cat – strangely silent, and her new kitten refusing to speak, this time Dulcie might just be on her own.

Editorial Reviews

Simon's second Dulcie Schwartz mystery picks up a few months after the end of Shades of Grey (2009), with Harvard doctoral student Dulcie deep into her fall semester, overloaded with grading papers and concerned about getting her adviser's approval on her thesis. Then she finds the body of a fellow graduate student on her adviser's front step. The ghost of Mr. Grey, her deceased cat, returns to offer his usual cryptic advice, and her new kitten takes a noncommittal stance toward crime-solving, leaving Dulcie on her own to try and find the real murderer before the killer finds her. While the cats are an important part of the book, they are not an overwhelming presence, in fact, the academic setting is a much stronger part of the novel's appeal, making this easily recommendable to readers who enjoy Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series or Jennifer Lee Carrel's literary thriller Interred with Their Bones (2007), which also has significant scenes set in Harvard's Widener Library. A solid follow-up to an entertaining debut.
Kirkus Reviews
Harvard grad student Dulcie Schwartz emerges from her academic work long enough to solve another murder. Hoping to make some progress on her doctoral thesis in gothic literature, Dulcie brings her latest draft to the brilliant but addled Professor Bullock for review. On her way out of his house, she nearly trips over the body of fellow Ph.D. student Cameron Dessay. Even though Dulcie's embroiled in another murder mystery, her new kitten refuses to talk to her the way the spirit of her late cat Mr. Grey once did so helpfully (Shades of Grey, 2009). Not only that, but her main supports are barely there for her: Her roommate Suze has succumbed to her law studies, and her boyfriend Chris is MIA with no explanation. As she investigates, Dulcie starts to find the hidden ties that bind even the most unlikely suspects to the deceased. She fears she may not be able to trust those closest to her, even her officemate Lloyd (an estrangement which, for an academic, is akin to treason) or Bullock's loyal student-turned-housekeeper Polly. Luckily for Dulcie, she soon has enigmatic words of warning, not only from her mother, Lucy, a self-proclaimed psychic, but also from her beloved Mr. Grey. If only she could convince her new kitten to help her figure out what these warnings mean, she could identify the killer before becoming the next target. Slow-moving even at the climax, Simon's second in the Dulcie Schwartz series is larded with soporific academic jargon and is sure to provide cat fanciers with a relaxing couple of hours.
Publishers Weekly
Sluggish pacing mars Simon's second feline mystery starring Harvard doctoral candidate and nosy parker Dulcie Schwartz (after 2009's Shades of Grey). Outside the Cambridge home of her adviser, Professor William Bullock, with whom she just had an uneasy talk about her unfinished thesis on an obscure Gothic novel fragment called The Ravages of Umbria, Dulcie happens on the bloody corpse of handsome Cameron Dessay, a comp lit whiz who recently switched to English. Dulcie is understandably horrified, as is Professor Bullock's assistant, one of Cameron's many female admirers. Sussing out whodunit leads Dulcie and Mr. Grey, her ghost cat, into dangerous territory, while her romance with fellow grad student Chris Sorenson suffers. Though Simon scores with the spectral Mr. Grey and the likable Dulcie, some cozy fans will find Dulcie's constant fretting over her thesis distracting and wish for fewer details about the world of academia. (May)
Library Journal
In the second book of this tame feline series, Harvard doctoral student Dulcie Schwartz tries to adapt to a new kitten while still missing her dead cat. Frisky and uncommunicative, the new kitten is the opposite of her beloved Mr. Grey, whose ghostly visits have been scarce recently. It isn't until Dulcie stumbles over the bloody body of a fellow graduate that Mr. Grey begins to make his presence felt. After being questioned by the police, Dulcie goes back to juggling her teaching and research work but is distracted by the goings-on in her adviser's home office. When another colleague is arrested in connection with the murder, the clueless Dulcie—guided by the spirit of Mr. Grey, her psychic mother, and her own strange dreams—is transformed into a heroine. VERDICT The murder mystery in this leisurely paced follow-up to Shades of Grey takes a backseat to Dulcie's academic investigations. For fans of feline and paranormal cozies and those who enjoy mysteries set in academia.—Suzie Remilien, New York

Product Details

Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
Dulcie Schwartz Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Clea Simon is a Massachusetts-based writer, journalist and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Ms., Rolling Stone and Salon.com. Sheas the author of three nonfiction books, She lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband, the writer Jon S. Garelick, and their cat, Musetta.

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Grey Matters 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dawn--MysLovCorner More than 1 year ago
Dulcie Schwartz is a doctoral candidate at Harvard. Getting her advisor, Professor Bullock, to approve her thesis concept on the gothic novel The Ravages of Umbria and its author is overwhelming this third year grad student. After meeting with her advisor at his home, Dulcie finds fellow grad student Cameron Dessay lying on the front steps of her advisor's home. Although she didn't like him, she never wished him dead. Dulcie plans to stay out of this murder investigation. Her best friend is busy and Dulcie's boyfriend is working lots of late hours. She hits a snag in her thesis and ends up caught up and alone in investigating the murder. The ghost of her dead cat, Mr. Grey, offers wisdom and direction. Can Dulcie find the murderer and figure out her thesis? I liked Dulcie and the setting a lot. The mystery was well plotted and the writing kept my interest throughout. This is a quick reading cozy mystery for cat lovers. I recommend it!
catd264 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book I couldn't put it down. Until the end you don't know who done it so to speak. The flow of the characters just keeps going through the entire book. I can't wait for the next one and I'd recommend it to everyone who loves a mystery. Everyone should also read Cries & Whiskers, Probable Claws and Cattery Row. Wonderful books!
IngridKing More than 1 year ago
Grey Matters is the second in Clea Simon's Dulcie Schwartz series and picks up a few months after the end of Shades of Grey. Dulcie is a doctoral student at Harvard university who is fascinated with 18th century Gothic novels. She is deeply immersed in the fall semester, hard at work on her thesis, and frustrated with her thesis advisor, who seems distracted and uninterested in her work. When she finds the body of a fellow graduate student on her advisor's doorstep, her life gets even more complicated. Her best friend is busy with her own studies and a new man in her life, Dulcie's boyfriend is working long hours and seems to be withdrawn and distracted, she hits a significant snag in her thesis, and finds herself on her own as she gets caught up in investigating the murder. The ghost of Mr. Grey, her beloved deceased cat, returns to offer his wise and comforting, but often veiled and cryptic advice. Dulcie's new kitten is trying her best to make her way into Dulcie's heart, but since she doesn't "speak" to Dulcie in the same way as Mr. Grey's ghost, it's slow going on that front. Immensely likeable and multi-dimensional characters, exceptional plotting, and a fascinating academic setting make this a highly entertaining and enjoyable read. The cats are an important part of the book. Unlike other cat-themed mysteries, they do not help with solving the crime, but rather, are an integral part of the story. I absolutely loved the ending of this book. A real treat for cat lovers and mystery lovers alike!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Harvard doctoral candidate Dulcie Schwartz feels a bit overwhelmed as a third year grad student trying to get her adviser Professor Bullock to approve her thesis concept on the gothic novel The Ravages of Umbria and its author. After meeting with distracted Dr. Bullock at his home, Dulcie leaves only to find the corpse of fellow graduate student Cameron Dessay lying on the front step. She especially did not like the pompous comp lit transfer who the females dubbed "de sigh", but would not wish him dead. Although she has solved a mystery recently (see Shades of Grey) Dulcie would prefer to stay out of this one so she can focus on her treatise and advise undergrad Raleigh Hall. However, Cambridge PD Detective Carioli invites her to the station in Red Square for questioning and upon meeting the self assured Raleigh while watching her friend Lloyd Pruitt react with fear, Dulcie wonders if she can avoid sleuthing especially when her late cat Mr. Grey appears telling her to have faith in her own abilities while her new kitty purrs. This is a terrific academic amateur sleuth with a bit of the paranormal enhancing the entertaining story line. Fast-paced, readers obtain a deep look at academia at Harvard, which wraps around the murder mystery. Dulcie is a superb lead protagonist who holds the plot together while encouraged by the ghost of Mr. Grey to rust herself as he does. Grey Matters is a wonderful investigative thriller. Harriet Klausner