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A Spell of Murder

(Witch Cats of Cambridge #1)

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  296 ratings  ·  108 reviews
“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 de
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published December 11th 2018 by Polis Books
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In the first book of the Witches Cats of Cambridge, there are three siblings cats that have the power to various things. Harriet, the oldest can grabs objects from the ether, Laura is able to put thoughts in a person mind and Clara is able to walk through doors, walls and make herself invisible. Most of the story is narrated from Clara's perspective. I was very disappointed in the story as I found it very confusing and I was not able to connect with any of the characters. I could not separate th ...more
This was so not my cup of herbal witch tea.
I should have known. No, I did know but something about a cute mystery with witches and cats just seemed appealing at the time. I'd been reading too much heavy stuff and wanted something light, I suppose, and cats + witches are always of interest so I gave it a shot.
That was a poor choice on my part.

Becca, a young woman who has adopted three sister cats (littermates, I think) who are old-family witches, is trying to do witchcraft, herself, becaus
Lisa Morin
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The cover and description had me hoping this would be an interesting story. It's told through the perspective of cats, and while cute, it was a bit much.
I'm not sure if I would read another in the series, I had hoped it would get more interesting as I read on, but I was really not impressed.

I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Oh. :( It kind of sucks when you read a favorite author and don't like their book (even more so when you're approved for it on Netgalley!) I mean, I will forever love you Clea, but this one wasn't for me. I'll try to explain why.

This is about three cats, and it's a cozy mystery so I SHOULD love it. Instead, two out of three of the cats were completely unlikable and unneeded to the story. Clara was the main focus; but here
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-i-spy
The idea of the book was really awesome, cats who really were magical and talked to each other while their human thought she was a witch because of something one of the cats conjured up. I honestly felt confused the whole time I was reading, since a lot of the human dialogue consisted of who was dating which person. The back-and-forth dialogue between the cats, then the humans speaking had me needing to reread parts just to figure out what was going on at that moment. To me, it seemed like the m ...more
Reader of Books
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a cozy mystery book that’s seemingly told from the cats point of view. Need I say more? Well, apparently I must for this to be a full length review that’s more than a hundred words, so here goes.I loved the cats. I loved how accurate they were described in their behavior, I loved the humor and feel-goodness of it all. It was a perfect read, and I hope to be able to continue the series soon. I really liked the whole mystery set up too, and I can honestly say that there are very few books ...more
The Cozy Review
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Becca, newly single and 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. When Harriet, a cream-colored long hair with more fur than common sense conjures a pillow for her comfort, Becca believes her spells are working. Could that be why Trent, the coven's devilishly handsome leader, has been showing he ...more
Anna del C. Dye
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Spell of Murder by Clea Simon is unique and different from all the stories I have read. This story is told through the eyes of tone of the three sister cats that are magic, Clara. They live with a young woman, Rebecca Callwin, and she doesn't know about their abilities. One time, Harriet, one of the cats, accidentally summons a pillow while Becca has her magic group with her and she is saying a spell. Now, "The Coven" believes Becca is a real witch.
The main character is Clara the younger siste
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, I think I sprained something on this book! I had JUST finished Ms. Simon's "Dark as my Fur," the second in the Blackie and Care series, which is very noir, then immediately picked up "A Spell of Murder," which is the first in her Witch Cats of Cambridge series. OH MY, what a difference! This is as far from noir as you can get and stay on the same planet. There is, of course, a murder. There is our Heroine, Becca, who thinks that she is a witch, and her three irrepressible cats, who actuall ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries, 2018
I really struggled to get through this book. I only kept reading to find out the killer, and was rather disappointed. It was difficult to keep all the characters -cats and humans- straight. This was especially challenging when there was dialogue. I also found the characters to be bland and the plot was slow and boring. I doubt I will read any future books in this series.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Clea Simon’s cozies have a bit of extra edge and sparkle to them, and have ranged from a pet psychic to a rescue cat narrator in a long career spanning several series. In this latest outing, the cats are again front and center, and this time they are witch cats. They’ve confused their owner, Becca, who is a fledgling member of a coven – one of them made a pillow appear out of thin air and Becca thinks she’s done it herself, as does the rest of her coven.

The cats are a little disgusted by this bu
Mollie Hunt
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cat-mysteries
Clea Simon’s new cozy paranormal mystery, A Spell of Murder, is as captivating as a puzzle ball, a satisfying cat mystery in the truest sense.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of reviewing Clea Simon’s newest book, A Spell of Murder: a Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery. A Spell of Murder is the first of the new series which I foresee to be purringly successful. Clea is a cat writer, and what I love about all her cat-themed stories, is the overwhelming presence of the cats. They come alive on the page
The first in Clea Simon`s Witch Cats of Cambridge series is perhaps unlike anything you have ever read. It is a cozy mystery in the sense that the sleuth is not a police official. In fact, one could say the main sleuth is a cat and her litter mates. Clara, the youngest, by minutes, of three cats narrates this tale for us. It is an introduction of things to come, with an interesting ending with some exciting news.
The main human protagonist is struggling and unsure of where her future will take he
Caroline Leavitt
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The prodigiously talented Simon has done it again, with a wonderful book featuring three of my fave things--cats, Cambridge and murder. A totally wonderful, wonderful read.
Kris Sellgren
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cats, reviewed
This is the first in a mystery series with a woman who thinks she is a witch (she isn’t; her three cats are). This book spectacularly fails the Bechdel test. The heroine is out of work and can barely afford cat food. There is an unsolved murder in her coven. Yet every conversation between the many women characters seemed to be about who is dating the one man in the coven (answer: almost everyone) except for a few conversations about the human heroine’s sleazy ex-boyfriend or about the guy she me ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mcn
12/2/18 Cute and v in-genre. Full review tk.

S Mille
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the blurb describes, Becca is a young woman going through some rough times - she lost her job around the same time her boyfriend broke up with her - but she has one huge benefit that she doesn’t realize: she owns three magical cats. And these aren’t just your average magical cats (for all cats have some magic), but witch cats. When Harriet, a lazy creamcicle cat concerned more about treats and dinner than anything else, conjures up a pillow, Becca thinks she’s done it. Which leads to all sort ...more
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy a good cozy mystery featuring pets, so Becca and her three cat sisters were exactly the type of story I like. The story moves along at a good pace and there are plenty of suspects to keep you guessing until the end.

Becca is an unemployed researcher, who is also is part of a coven. Her cats, Clara, Laurel and Harriet, are magic practitioners. We are introduced to the group via a gathering at Becca's. Later we get to meet Maddy, Becca's best friend, Jeff, her ex-boyfriend and Natha
Jay Strafford
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Anyone who loves cats knows that they have special powers. They can vanish instantly and reappear just as quickly. They have an unerring instinct to ferret out the one person in a room who dislikes them and then kiss up to that person.

But sisters Harriet, Laurel and Clara have real magical powers in the opening installment of Clea Simon’s Witch Cats of Cambridge series.

Their person, Becca Colvin – recently laid off from her job and dumped by her boyfriend – is in training to be a witch. As she’s
Susan Johnston
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Princess Fuzzypants here: A good mystery has lots of moving parts. I like when the clues are there but with a sleight of paw, the reader gets fooled. There is a risk of having too much going on at time so that it all gets a bit jumbled. Unfortunately, there were times in this book, I found myself having to go back and reread because things were too confused. Which is a shame.
I liked the premise. Three kitty sisters live with a human who has delusions of being a witch. She belongs to a coven and
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Clea Simon's books and I love the way she writes her cat characters.
The cat were the main characters in this book and they all were likeable and realistic, my favourite one is Clare.
This a books were the cats are the main characters and things that happen are seen through their eyes.
Their human, Becca, her dysfunctional wiccan coven and the other characters are interesting, Becca is also very quite and likeable, but they pale and if you can like them but you end up loving the three cats.
Cozy Reviews
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am always thrilled to read a new book by beloved author Clea Simon and this did not disappoint. I loved the premise that 3 cats have powers and solve crimes with their owner. It is utterly fascinating and fun to read. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the ARC. My opinions are my own.
The first in Clea Simon`s Witch Cats of Cambridge series is a cozy mystery where the main sleuth is a cat and her litter mate Clara narrates the book. I love the witty fun repartee throughout among
Cheryl H.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Becca lives with her three cats (Clara, Harriet and Laurel). Becca is unemployed and recently broke up with her boyfriend. Becca also recently joined a coven.

The three cats each have distinctive personalities and it was fun getting to know them while their human, Becca, worked through the mystery and other problems she faces in the book. Also, Becca and the cats have an interesting backstory/genealogy, which I am looking forward to hearing more about in future instalments.

The coven members were
Katherine Decker
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing start to a new series! I absolutely loved that the majority of the book was told from the view of Becca's cats, particularly that of Clara. The interaction between the characters, both human and cat are magnificent. Harriet, Laurel and Clara act just like siblings and how I would imagine magical cats would act. The coven of humans are quite the bunch. Another aspect that I really liked was that it had me guessing until the very end. If you like cozy mysteries, cats, paranormal st ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Spell of Murder was very appealing to me; as I am a lover of cats. Clea, also has a cat that I enjoy seeing her post about. I believe cats are powerful and mysterious. There are the ones that don't seem to care and there are other cats, like Clara, that have a special bond with their owner. In this story, Becca shares her apartment with her three cats. She plays detective to try to find out who murdered one of the coven members. It was fun getting to know the three cats and their personalitie ...more
Rima Aiello
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A charming first in what hopes to be an enchanting new series. I always love a book that gives the perspective from an animals point of view as well as humans, it just adds that bit of character to the story. We are given a good first glance at the main characters in this series, and i cannot wait to learn more. The story had somewhat of a slow start, but when you stick with it, you will not be disappointed.
Catriona Lovett
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Clara the Cat May Be Small, But She's a Lion at Heart

This book is a charming cozy mystery with three cats and a lovely young woman at the center. It's an easy read and could be read by teens and young adults. It's well-written, and I didn't guess who the murderer was ahead of time.

I particularly enjoyed how author has turned the usual formula for witchy cozies around and given it an original twist. The cats’ roles in the plot and relationships with each other will delight feline fans.
May 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
Ah quarantine. Where the libraries are closed and you rely on a limited number of Hoopla/ Cloud Library loans. This means, that if you download something, you are going to finish it regardless.

When I glanced at the synopsis of A Spell of Murder by Cleo Simon, I was expecting something like Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy. If you love those books, don’t read Spell. Our protagonist, Becca, is an unemployed young lady with three cats. Becca has decided to join a coven, but it turns out her three cats
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this unique cozy told from a cat’s perspective and the heroine’s point of view. I loved the way in which the author gave the three cats different personalities, mannerisms and physical characteristics. Clara’s interactions with her feline siblings gave this story added punch. Clara’s primary focus, though, is being a staunch ally to Becca; guiding her, protecting her, and providing much needed comfort during stressful times.

Becca is at a bad place in life having recently been du
Jessica Robbins
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tour, own-kindle
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily chose to write an honest review for.

This is the most adorable kitty cozy mystery. A large chunk of the story is told from the POV of one cat out of a group of three. The rest by their owner. The cats have magic that they have to keep hidden which gives this a nice twist as Becca thinks she actually did something since she joined a coven. While trying to duplicate the results with no success a member of her group is murdered with her ending
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Witch Cats of Cambridge (3 books)
  • An Incantation of Cats (Witch Cats of Cambridge #2)
  • A Cat on the Case (Witch Cats of Cambridge, #3)

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