I had been eagerly anticipating the release of Grey Matters from the moment I finished Shades of Grey, which was the first book in Clea Simon’s Dulcie Schwartz series. Grey Matters picks up a few months after the end of Shades of Grey (click here to read my review 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friend is busy with her own studies and a new man in her life, Dulcie’s boyfriend is working long hours and seems to be withdrawn and distracted, she hits a significant snag in her thesis, and finds herself on her own as she gets caught up in investigating the murder.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!
Clea Simon is the author of the Dulcie Schwartz and Theda Krakow mysteries and the nonfiction The Feline Mystique – On the Mysterious Connection Between Cats and Their Women as well as several other nonfiction books. For more information about Clea, please visit her website or her blog.