The reappearance of an old enemy from the past spells trouble for young private investigator, Care, and her feline companion, Blackie.
Care’s reputation as a private investigator is growing and clients are starting to beat a path to her door. An elderly woman seeks her help in finding out what happened to her missing brother. Blackie senses that he has met this woman before, some time before he became a cat. But who is she – and what is their connection?
At the same time, a dockworker asks Care to find a colleague who has gone missing. But how does a poor labourer have the funds to pay for Care’s investigative services?
As Blackie and Care delve further into each case, it becomes clear that neither client has been telling the whole truth. Then a body is discovered at the waterfront, and the investigation takes a disturbing new twist …
Clea Simon is the author of the upcoming psychological suspense novel, "Hold Me Down," as well as the recent "A Cat on the Case," the third in her "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."
The first thing that caught my attention is the cover of this book. What a beautiful black cat! And then the premise of the series pulled me in the rest of the way..... Carrie "Care'' Wright is a private investigator. She solves cases for those in need with the help of her cat, Blackie. Blackie isn't just a cat....he's special. The story is told from the cat's point of view.
Cross My Path is the third book in this series. Usually I am picky and prefer to read a series starting at book 1. When I chose this particular book for review, I didn't realize it was part of a series. As I started reading, I was a bit confused at first....having no previous knowledge of the characters or their background. But I quickly figured things out. Blackie is a very, very special cat.....and I immediately loved him! Such a creative and interesting character! But, I think it would have been best -- and less confusing -- to start this series at book one. I'm going to backtrack and start over....beginning with The Ninth Life and As Black As My Fur before re-reading this book. Even with the slight confusion over prior events, I enjoyed this story and will definitely be reading more from Clea Simon!
This is the first book by Clea Simon that I have read. I like her story and writing style. And I definitely liked the characters in this series. It has a very gritty, noir feel. Fun and enjoyable read!
Ordered a copy of The Ninth Life -- I have to read this series from the beginning!
**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Severn House via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. All black cats encountered during the reading of this book had their ears scritched and tummies rubbed, as required by Cat Law.**
Backie is again narrating the story in the 3rd book from his perspective. Back in the decaying city, Clare's busy finding people or objects. There are scenes that that will hold you in suspense. Claire is visited by an elderly lady. She wants Clare to locate her brother. Blacks think he knows her. The same night she is hired. by a cripple to find a mate who has gone missing. As Clare searches for the missing people she sees AD and wonders why he put locked up. The twist and turns this book will have you turning the pages to see what is happening. Rumors are circulated that a ship is coming into port and there will be jobs. Men are being held in a stone building. The boss wants a cat similar to Blackie. Is he in danger? I recommend this book.
Many thanks to Severn House for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!
I love Clea Simon's writing, so imagine my surprise when I saw not one but TWO books come up on Netgalley. I hadn't read this series before, but that didn't matter. Most of the background is explained through some really exquisite writing. Some of the scenes from Blackie's perspective are almost poetic, and well suited to a cat. I will still be hunting out the other books, simply to see more of this duo at work.
Care and Blackie live in a gritty world, filled with crime and drugs, and yet Care finds a way to keep herself. She is basically a detective, but being from the world of crime herself can use contacts and sources others can't. Being female but still young, she can often blend in as someone people don't look twice at either. There is a mystery at work here, and although some things get an explanation, there is enough of a tantalizing glimpse that I need to know more.
If you haven't tried this author before, then I highly recommend either this or her other series. Beautiful writing and well...cats! Five stars.
Thank you to Net Galley and the publlisher for the opportunity to review this book. My opinions are my own.
I am a big fan of the authors work. Her writing captivates the reader and is crafted so well your instantly placed inside her wonderful stories. The added fun of the story told from the cat's perspective makes this series pure catnip to cat lovers . Clea Simon has a talent for writing about animals as well as humans.
In this book we are transported to a darker world. One her books have not been written about before. This Noir feeling to the book gave it a mysterious and darker edge that added to the story. Jobs and food are hard to find, people are darker and survival for Care and her Blackie is dependent on Care's ability to copy. As she has taken over her mentor's business she depends on Blackie who is of utmost importance to her well being and success. Two subjects come asking her help for two very different reasons. Care soon finds out the cases are wound together by clues and secrets. The secrets and mysterious happenings that occur have both Blackie and Care soon fighting for their lives . Wow what a great mystery this is ! I love the Noir feeling, the kind of dystopian world the reader is transported to. This book is a fantastic read and I always love spending time again with Care and Blackie. This will be a must read for all animal lovers and those who love a great mystery. Well done to the author. A very fun read
I loved this book as much as I loved other by Clea Simon. I found it atmospheric, dark and poetic at the same time. I loved the way Blackie, the cat, and Care, the girl, were and the mystery part was really good. It was the first I read in this series and it starts a slow, dreamy way but you keep on turning pages to see what will happen. Recommended! Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC
People seem desperate as jobs and food are hard to find. Blackie the cat tells this story. Blackie is not just a cat but is/was his owner Care's mentor. Care's work is to find what is lost. Two cases: a dock worker searches for his young partner and an old woman seeks her brother. Blackie thinks he knows her. The two cases intertwine. The author knows feline behavior. I should have read the first two in this series first. I will.
Clea Simon is an astounding author with a unique talent for capturing the essence of both humans and animals in writing. Since its start, this series has been one of my favorites. The world of Cross My Path is a decaying one. There is limited commerce, and jobs and food are hard to come by. Few are literate, and women and children are always at risk from the more powerful who seek to profit off the weak. Care has taken over her mentor’s business, finding the lost and righting what wrongs she can - a difficult and dangerous job. Her cat Blackie does what he can to help and support her. If you have read the previous novels in the series (spoiler) you already know that some of her mentor’s consciousness survives in Blackie. This is of central importance to Cross My Path.
First, an old woman calling herself Blaze hires Care to find her brother’s effects. Care accepts the case after she is told that Blaze was referred by Querty. Then a dockworker comes in search of his younger coworker who has disappeared. It’s clear that he isn’t telling the whole truth but his worry is real. The cases are surprisingly intertwined, and there are secrets that pose a very real threat to Care and Blackie.
Cross My Path is a terrific addition to this addictive series. Part mystery, part dystopian fiction, Cross My Path will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who love animals.
5 / 5
I received a copy of Cross My Path from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
An enthralling and totally enjoyable book. Care and Blackie have become two of my favorite characters. Their adventures continue to hypnotize me. Since Blackie narrates the story we get to experience things through the eyes and thoughts of a cat. He senses things we humans cannot. Many surprises await you as you accompany them in their mysterious investigations. Twists. Turns. Great dangers. Fine friends. I hope a 4th novel is in the making.
I so enjoy these books written mainly from the observant cats, Blackie, perspective. Friends Care and Blackie bring their detective skills together to find a missing person for a client in the seedy waterfront district.
This is book three in the series and, although the main story contained within is stand alone, I really wouldn't recommend diving straight in with this one as, shall we just say, the characters and their backstories are a little convoluted and it could be a little hard to get to grips with and follow. Once again, Blackie is back narrating the story. When I read the previous books in the series, it did take me a little while to get to grips with things being told from a feline perspective but here, I just dove straight in. Maybe it helped that my own black cat, Malcolm, had been especially loving and present with me recently. Maybe he knew I was about to start this book! Anyway, as usual, we follow Blackie and Care as they go about their business together and Blackie alone as he does all the special cat things he needs to do to get by. His obviously very important grooming, his hunting and, more importantly, his missions to help Care in her work. We know by now that Blackie isn't just a cat, instead he is/was Care's mentor in the body of a cat, his consciousness so to speak. So, he has the same mind, reasoning and deductive skills as before but no way of communicating his evidence to Care. Well, he does and he doesn't. He has some ways and means, some of which are very impressive but, on the whole he does get a bit frustrated when he feels powerless. He does his best though and his best is more than helpful on occasion; assisting Care in her work of finding that which is lost. In this book, she has two cases. A dockworker is searching his young partner, how he has the money to do this is a bit beyond Care. The other one is a bit more interesting. An old woman seeks her brother. As she starts to tell her tale, Blackie's memory is jogged. Could this case turn out to be a bit close to home for him? Care is also worried when a face from her past returns and she has to go back to the life she left to find the answers. I really love these books. Narrated by a cat you say, what?! Well, believe me, it works. Really well too. I love it when he is being typical cat. Like when, in the middle of some action he has a quick wash, or catches a few shallow zzzs when on stakeout. Sometimes though, you can forget he is a cat, so good his mind works, but then he sees a piece of paper and wished he could read it, but alas, he is just a cat. But his skills are strong in other ways, his sneaking around, his fitting through gaps, his eyesight and, of course, his sharp nose. I especially love the bits where he describes scenes by smells. Brilliant! Going back to the cases for a minute. They are deliciously plotted, convoluted and intertwining and Care has her work cut out for her trying to get to the bottom of things. Especially when there is another body, one which has has personal connection to her, one which she needs to investigate too. More intriguing is the old woman and her missing brother. I am going to say no more about that apart from the feeling I have that there is more to tell than is contained within this book. Can't wait to find out. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Princess Fuzzypants here: Be prepared to enter a dystopian world when you pick up this series. It is cruel and bleak and violent and dark. But there are characters for whom the reader can root. It happens to have a great feline star in Blackie. He is an aging cat whose backstory has been parsed out with each book and many of the assumptions that the reader has built up are confirmed here. Blackie was not always as he is and retains some memory of his former self, the “old man” or mentor of the female lead, Care. He was murdered but then transformed into a cat whom Care rescues from dying. The two form a partnership as Care continues the work that the old man did and trained her to do. Over successive books she has gone from a child to a force with whom to be reckoned. Blackie tries his best, with the limitations in communication he possesses as a cat, to guide and instruct her. She still has much to learn and Blackie tries his best to keep her from harm. But both Care and Blackie have caught the attention of the evil powers that be in this horrible world. There are those who seek them out for help and those who seek them out for ill. The danger lies in trying to determine where each contact resides. There are some very close calls in this book, Care may have developed a few new and potentially positive allies including a mysterious lady who has come to seek the old man. When she sees Blackie, she seems to know who he is. Her arrival brings back memories for Blackie too. This is not light summer fare, unless you revel in the darker corners of literature. It is very good. In fact, it is my favourite of the series so far. I am not sure how well it would stand as the first book you read in the series. I suspect, the reader might want to go back to the beginning and build from there. I give it five dark purrs and two paws up.
This book is STRAIGHT TRASH. Written in the eyes of an author trying to convince the audience that we're being narrated to by a cat. Despite her efforts, we never can forget that the author is posing as a cat as the narrative constantly reminds us of the fact that said narrator is a cat! It takes so much away from the storyline and the action as every other sentence is littered with comparisons between the "cat" narrator and his human friend. (ex. "my keen cat feline eyes see what her puny human eyes cannot.. my feline senses saved us.. I'm a cat.. unless you haven't noticed every time I mentioned it....). Aside from this complaint, I also found this book extremely sexist.. the narrative constantly telling the audience that being young and female is a threat, a danger, a risk, even if it's subliminal it's a constant. The use of drugs adds nothing to the storyline, and is used as a cheap way to make the reader dislike the antagonists. The book is 90% cat description and 10% desperate attempt to string together an ending.. the last two chapters are deplorable at trying to resolve a conflict that has no substance and makes no sense. Weak.
I'm hooked. Although noir fiction isn't generally my thing, the adventures of Blackie and Clare have grabbed me and dragged me into their dystopian world, kicking and screaming. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I've become enamored of our plucky, barely teen heroine, and her sidekick, Blackie...a cat who is...something more. The two of them navigate their dark Some Where Some When city with grace, style, and a certain elegance. I've rarely met characters who manage to be so admirable under such trying circumstances.
Best entry in the series to date. Care is approached by two different people with requests: to find a man's missing friend, and an older woman wants to find something left by her brother. There's a stronger story arc here, hinting at an overall goal while we get some hints about Blackie's past and that Care has the grit and courage to take on the overlords. I won't go into detail-- too good to spoil it here!