Monday, January 27, 2014

Grey Howl

Grey Howl
A Dulcie Schwartz Feline Mystery
Clea Simon
Severn House Publishers
New York, New York
ISBN: 978-0727883469
March 1, 2014
$ 27.95
208 pages

For Dulcie Schwartz, working on her final thesis at Cambridge University while balancing her school schedule with her private life is challenging, especially with a boyfriend who works night. Her boyfriend, Chris, has finally changed his schedule from working nights to days and hopefully will be seeing Dulcie more frequently now. Computer technicians, especially competent ones, are frequently needed at all hours, especially at universities.
Cambridge is hosting this year's prestigious ELLA conference, the Association of English Language Literature Academics which is a big deal since usually the conference is in exotic places such as Dubai and Oxford. Dulcie feels privileged to be presenting her paper on the genealogy of a Gothic novelist. She realizes that she has not earned fame or notoriety in the field yet, but this is a phenomenal opportunity and the first major step in her chosen career.
Martin Thorpe is currently the acting head of the department and the keynote speaker. Since the university is also interviewing for this permanent position, he is extremely nervous and relies on Dulcie to be the university liaison keeping all the behind the scenes planning moving smoothly. The university is planning on interviewing certain presenters while visiting Cambridge for the conference for this cherished position. Being that this is a field known for its rivalry among the members, the competition will be fierce. Would someone purposefully sabotage another person to gain favor with the university?
The conference is be using the Science Center. Since there will be little use of the building since this is the time between classes and final exams, the use of this building's large lecture hall and numerous classrooms are perfect. However someone in facilities maintenance thought this would be the perfect time to update the plumbing. They hope of have most of the restrooms available when the conference opens.
Dulcie has an unusual talent. She can communicate with certain cats with the guidance of a deceased much-loved pet, Mr. Grey. His insight guides her where humans cannot begin to comprehend.
As one visiting professor is setting up her presentation, a disaster occurs. Her presentation has disappeared. It was on her computer but now there is no trace of it. Can Chris recover the presentation? Was the presentation ever on the computer? Is this a tactic? Where is the missing professor? Are there unknown relationships between the presenters? Is he avoiding Dulcie or is he purposefully hiding? Why?
Clea Simon currently has three series of cat mysteries. So far, there are four novels featuring Theda Krakow and three with Pru Marlowe. Grey Howl is the seventh in this Dulcie Schwartz series following Shades of Grey, Grey Matters, Grey Zone, Grey Expectations, True Grey, and Grey Dawn. She currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts working on her novels and contributing to various publications with her husband who is writer, Jon S. Garelick.
Grey Howl is a fun, fast-paced mystery into the world of academic literature conferences. Some of the conferences probably have more drama than the novels discussed.  The humor with Mr. Grey makes the reading light but with the real world of graduate classes at any major university. 
I look forward to reading more of these delightfully fun mysteries by Clea Simon.

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