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Shades of Grey (Dulcie Schwartz, #1)
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Shades of Grey (Dulcie Schwartz #1)

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The first in the brand-new Dulcie Schwartz feline-filled mystery series - Dulcie's having an awful summer. Her beloved cat Mr Grey's been put to sleep, and her new room-mate, Tim, is a jerk. Walking home, she sees a cat the spitting image of Mr Grey, and hears a voice say, I wouldnt go in just now. She enters to find Tim dead stabbed with her own knife. Dulcie's in the fra ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 416 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Severn House Publishers (first published 2009)
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Mary Kennedy
Jul 02, 2010 Mary Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every amateur sleuth needs a sidekick and Dulcie Schwartz is fortunate to have Mr. Grey at her side.

Mr. Grey is quick-witted, resourceful and endlessly devoted. He’s has finely tuned instincts and a nose for ferreting out the truth.
Oh yes, and he happens to be a cat.

Mr. Grey is more than a garden variety house cat; he’s the ghost of Dulcie’s beloved pet feline, and it quickly becomes apparent that he’s more of a spirit guide” than a woo-woo presence in the book.

Dulcie, still mourning the lo
Dec 20, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read mysteries with talking cats and mysteries with ghosts. I'm pretty sure this is the first book I've read featuring a talking ghost cat.

It's well written and well developed. The paranormal aspect was present but not too heavy-handed, and the focus stayed on the human characters rather than the cat. I'm not entirely sure about Dulcie, the main character. I liked her, but she seemed too trusting, too naive, too willing to spill her guts to new acquaintances. But I liked the book overall a
Oct 07, 2013 Debby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really loved this book. I started reading it for some light refreshment as i just started a demanding Masters program myself. I also have an affinity for cats.
The characters were fun and interesting, the book was well written and suspenseful. A true delight and not nearly as mindless as some Mystery Lite authors I could mention.
Apr 18, 2010 Gogarcias8 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I love a heroine who is brainy, brave, and wonders what it would be like to marry every single man she meets. Also had the wonderful element of a mystery. I guess the only down side was the mystery was a bit see-through, but it did not deter me from loving the book. Looking forward to the next installment....
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This book was a very satisfying mystery. Also, I learned alot about being a Doctorial Canidate. At times, I will admit, the English Literature discussion went over my non-graduate mind, but I learned alot. I just love learning so I'm eagerly going into her next book!
Sep 23, 2009 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read and enjoyed author Clea Simon's Theda Krakow series, I looked forward to trying her new series featuring Dulcie Schwartz, a doctoral student specializing in gothic literature at Harvard University. Besides, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to meet a ghost cat, could I?

In order to help pay the bills, Dulcie has sublet her roommate's room in their apartment to another college student, a rather obnoxious man who likes the ladies. Dulcie isn't too fond of him, but she would never have
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kira Barnes
Apr 29, 2014 Kira Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one and am eager to read the rest of the series. The protagonist, Dulcie Schwartz, is a Ph.D. student in English, studying 18th century Gothic novels, and the preoccupations of graduate students are quite familiar to me, as I spent the better part of the '90s in graduate school, first studying French literature, then leaving my Ph.D. at the ABD stage for a library degree. I also happen to have worked as a typist for an insurance-related company, which is what Dulcie's doing ...more
Oct 12, 2010 Leah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I finished this book was because it was a 14 day library loan and I needed to return it. I can't quite put my finger on why, but the main character fell flat for me. I got more out of the descriptions of Cambridge than I did out of the plot. It didn't help that my eyes kept missing the single quotes embracing the dialog, so I kept misreading thoughts, descriptions, and dialog.
Aug 02, 2016 Dawn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. The scatter-brained "smart" girl trope is tiring and has no place in a GOOD cozy mystery. This protagonist spent so much of the book stressing over her graduate thesis in English, her boring temp job, and which new guy in her life was right for her that she barely had time to focus on who killed her roommate or who was trying to frame her for fraud at her day job. Dulcie (short for Dulcinea) was also a bit self-centered and whiny. Oh, and kinda stupid for a grad student. The wrap-up of the ...more
Sep 24, 2009 Staci marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
literary feline
Kelly Macfarlane
It's a good first novel, but perhaps a bit slow and repetitive in parts. Not so much a mystery, though, since we didn't really see much in the way of clues and mystery-solving, but rather just a few paragraphs of "Hey, I've solved the mystery!" to which the Baddie says "You got me; it's a fair cop." But still, it was an amusing enough novel to read, and I'll try the next one in the series. How can you go wrong with academic / mystery / cats all rolled in to one?
Jun 30, 2016 Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE Clea Simon....and Mr. Grey in this one is one of my all time favorite kitty characters. Great mystery.
Deirdre S.
Dec 15, 2011 Deirdre S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this enough to summon the next two in the series from the library. It reminds me a bit of the Aunt Dimity books, with the sleuth getting supernatural help, in this case from her departed cat, Mr. Grey, who offers sage (if sometimes gnomic) advice at critical moments, and even manages to intervene on the physical plane when life-or-death perils demand it. This is a pleasing book for cat lovers, and scholars. It is as satisfying to see the struggling grad student protagonist settle on a ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nice. A dense academic and cat mystery. cool. main character has a thing for libraries too. It's a triple threat!
May 09, 2011 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this as I looked through the Goodread sponsors pages. I liked the idea - a kind of Ghost & Mrs Muir, but with a cat. I read the whole thing and for the most part it was fine. Tilted into the kind of romantic girl thing I dislike, but not irretrievably. Dulcie was a bit too obsessed with possible dates with guys she'd just met, a bit too victim-like. Doing anything plausible with computer technology & crime in a story is tough. Ariadne Oliver would have steered clear.
Mar 08, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me to read from a woman I work with, and I was a bit skeptical about reading it after finding out it was about a woman seeing her dead cat. However, I gave it a chance and I'm glad that I did. While the idea of an animal guardian coming back to guide their previous owner seems far-fetched to me, I still found this book an enjoyable read. It was full of action and suspense, and was very well written.
I don't know why this book was so hard to get through. The premise sounded really promising but it did not live up to my expectations. I think it was all of the information about some obscure Gothic novel (or part of one) that the heroine kept re-reading and trying to relate all that was happening to. I almost skipped to the end to find out whodunit without finishing the book. I didn't, but I seriously considered it.
I couldn't finish this one (rare for me), or even care enough to skim to the end to see 'who dunnit' (exceptionally rare for me). The main character, Dulcie Schwartz, is a real drip. She is so wish-washy that she cannot make any decision - no matter how important or how trivial - without first consulting her dead cat. Really, how did she choose what to wear each morning when he was still alive?
Sep 26, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Clea Simon and I have to say I am hooked. I really liked this book not only because it has a ghost cat, but it also has an academic atmosphere. I love books and I love books that includes books. I loved the fact that Dulcie was doing her thesis on an old Gothic novel. It was an enjoyable read.
Lynn Siler
Dec 11, 2012 Lynn Siler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
So far, so good: "The building, home to 3.5 million books, hummed softly, like a giant purring beast, and as she had edged down one narrow aisle, books shelved on either side, she'd begun to shed the all-around weirdness of the day." My kind of book!
Jun 09, 2010 Brad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly short, simple mystery about a female grad student whose finds who male roommate stabbed to death at their house, and is left trying to figure out who did it.
Judith Martin
Charming characters, especially the wise feline ghost, well written but the plot seemed a bit busy and shallow.
Feb 24, 2010 Erica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Easy ready, pretty weak story but I got it to read at the gym so I didn't have to concentrate that hard.
Dec 09, 2012 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was OK. Will give most anything a second book chance if there are possibilities.
Apr 02, 2012 Sallyla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not recommended
Pretty boring, no plan to read further on in series.
Apr 06, 2012 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too much spinning inside the protagonist's head.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Shades of Grey by Clea Simon 1 3 Jul 24, 2012 05:01PM  
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Clea Simon is the author of the upcoming The Ninth Life, the first in the Blackie & Care mysteries. She also writes 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 ...more
More about Clea Simon...

Other Books in the Series

Dulcie Schwartz (10 books)
  • Grey Matters (Dulcie Schwartz, #2)
  • Grey Zone (Dulcie Schwartz, #3)
  • Grey Expectations (Dulcie Schwartz, #4)
  • True Grey (Dulcie Schwartz, #5)
  • Grey Dawn (Dulcie Schwartz, #6)
  • Grey Howl (Dulcie Schwartz, #7)
  • Stages of Grey (Dulcie Schwartz, #8)
  • Code Grey (Dulcie Schwartz, #9)
  • Into the Grey (Dulcie Schwartz, #10)

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