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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?

Guest Post

Am I cozy?

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 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!


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.
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