Thursday, February 18, 2016

BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY: The Ninth Life (Blackie and Care Cat Mystery #1) by Clea Simon

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Severn House Publishers (March 1, 2016)
Hardcover: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0727885715

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Synopsis: Introducing Blackie, an unusual feline hero, and his companion Care in the first of this dark new mystery series.
Three figures, shadowy against the light. That s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city and I am a cat.
The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.


This is a new series from Clea Simon, and new concept as well. This time around we get the story from the perspective of a cat. Blackie is not your typical feline, however. He appears to fully understand English, and to be very perceptive when it comes to following clues and solving mysteries. At the end of the book, we discover why (which I suspected a bit earlier on), but you'll have to read the book to find that out.

Blackie teams up with Care (Carrie Wright), a young homeless girl who had been mentoring under a private investigator. When he is killed, she vows to solve the last case he had taken on, and she hopes to take over his business as well. They are also occasionally joined by the younger Tick (Thomas), but Blackie isn't sure they should trust him, even though Care feels responsible for him.

The unusual duo finds themselves in several life-threatening situations, and they have to travel in some of the least appealing parts of the city to track down the information they need. The interaction between girl and cat is very well written, particularly Blackie's frustration at not being able to communicate his observations to Care.

The mystery is well-written and keeps you guessing all the way through. There are a few red herrings, and I was surprised when the full reveal was laid out. I had figured out bits and pieces, but not the big picture.

I truly enjoyed this book, and will look forward to further installments in the future.

**I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Five stars

Advance praise for The Ninth Life:

Forget everything you think you know about ‘cat mysteries.’ The Ninth Life is a dark and gritty story of life on the streets, told from the unique point of view of a narrator who sees things humans can’t. Clea Simon has given us a window into a world of constant and surprising dangers, frustrations and almost unbearable tension, and it’s one I won’t soon forget.
–Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of The Fixer and Suspicion
A tour de force of point of view – the talented Clea Simon flawlessly portrays a main character the likes of which we’ve never encountered! With skill and style and profound understanding, she entertains readers with an exciting, compelling, and utterly unique adventure.
–Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author
The Ninth Life is a tour through a criminal wilderness of alleys and gutters, guided by a hunter as canny and fierce as they come.  While Care is a smart, tough, and vulnerable young protagonist, narrator Blackie steals the limelight, showing us these dark places through his sharp feline eyes.  A good noir tale will reveal a shadowy existence that parallels our own; Clea Simon goes many steps beyond, creating a terrific story that draws us in and makes us relate to a narrator whose life is a world away from our own.
–Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award winner Dana Camero
About the author
 photo CLEA_zpsha5sho6c.jpg Clea Simon is the author of 19 cozies in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoing and include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen Press). The Ninth Life, the first book in her Blackie & Care mysteries, a darker series, will be published by Severn House on March 1. A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at
Author Links:
@Clea_Simon Twitter
Purchase Links:
Amazon        Indie Bound          Severn House
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Clea Simon said...

Thank you, Teresa! So glad you enjoyed!

Jo said...

This looks like something I would enjoy-thank you.

Unknown said...

Sounds like a very interesting story.

kim hansen said...

love a good mystery.

Anonymous said...

Love your Mysteries &U Thanks for this amazing Giveaway. Linda May