Monday, February 22, 2016

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for The Ninth Life by Clea Simon

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for The Ninth Life by Clea Simon.  Please leave a comment or question for Clea to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter the tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may visit all of the stops on Clea’s tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning.  Good luck!

The Ninth Life
By Clea Simon,
A Blackie and Care Cat Mystery, Book 1  
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Format: eBook/Print
Length: 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0727885715

Buy Links:  Amazon | IndieBound | Severn House | Kobo | B&N

About the book: 

Introducing Blackie, an unusual feline hero, and his companion Care in the first of this dark new mystery series.

Three figures, shadowy against the light. That’s all I remember from my past life, as I am dragged, dripping and half-drowned, from the flood. My saviour, a strange, pink-haired girl, is little help. She can barely care for herself, let alone the boy she loves. And although she has sworn to avenge the murder of her mentor, she must first escape the clutches of drug dealers, murderers and thieves. I would repay her kindness if I could. But we are alone in this blighted city – and I am a cat.

The past is an enigma to Blackie, the voice of Clea Simon’s dark new mystery. Combining elements of feline fantasy and cozy whodunit, The Ninth Life introduces this unusual hero and his companion, Care: two small creatures in a nightmarish urban landscape, fighting for their lives, and for the lives and memories of those they love.

Advance praise for The Ninth Life:

Forget everything you think you know about ‘cat mysteries.’ The Ninth Life is a dark and gritty story of life on the streets, told from the unique point of view of a narrator who sees things humans can’t. Clea Simon has given us a window into a world of constant and surprising dangers, frustrations and almost unbearable tension, and it’s one I won’t soon forget.
Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of The Fixer and Suspicion

A tour de force of point of view – the talented Clea Simon flawlessly portrays a main character the likes of which we’ve never encountered! With skill and style and profound understanding, she entertains readers with an exciting, compelling, and utterly unique adventure.
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author

The Ninth Life is a tour through a criminal wilderness of alleys and gutters, guided by a hunter as canny and fierce as they come.  While Care is a smart, tough, and vulnerable young protagonist, narrator Blackie steals the limelight, showing us these dark places through his sharp feline eyes.  A good noir tale will reveal a shadowy existence that parallels our own; Clea Simon goes many steps beyond, creating a terrific story that draws us in and makes us relate to a narrator whose life is a world away from our own.
Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Award winner Dana Cameron

About The Author

Clea Simon is the author of 19 cozies in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoing and include her most recent books, Code Grey  (Severn House) and When Bunnies Go Bad  (Poisoned Pen Press). The Ninth Life , the first book in her Blackie & Care mysteries, a darker series, will be published by Severn House on March 1. A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at

Author Links:
Twitter:  @Clea_Simon 

Edgier than a traditional cozy mystery, Clea Simon’s The Ninth Life, is the first book in a new series featuring an untraditional hero: a cat.  Yes, you read that right, the main character in this story is a cat named “Blackie”.  A black furred cat rescued from drowning by a pink haired girl named “Care” (aka Carrie Wright). Unlike the traditional “cat” characters usually found in cozies, Blackie is intelligent, thinks in English, independent, concerned about the safety of the girl who saved him and very savvy when it comes to solving a mystery.  A homeless girl, “Care” is unusual too – quickly forming a friendship with Blackie, she’s determined to find out what happened to her “mentor” – a private investigator who had been recently killed.  If you want to try a captivating and different kind of mystery, then this is the book for you.

Ms. Simon does an excellent job introducing us to both primary characters, Blackie and Care, right from the start.  I easily connected with both of them and worried about their safety as they conducted their investigation on streets filled with some real low life criminals – especially the ones who were somehow connected to the last case Care’s mentor, The Old Man, was investigating.  Hoping to solve his murder, and maybe take over his business, Care definitely needs Blackie’s “cat senses” and instincts to stay safe.  I liked how Ms. Simon humanized Blackie and how he devoted he is about keeping Care safe.  He definitely knows who to trust, and who not to trust, before she does, though he is hampered by his “feline” abilities when it comes to communication.

The secondary characters are mostly criminals or people Care and Blackie can’t trust.  There is one character Blackie and Care don’t agree on; Tick, a young man who Care feels responsible for.  Blackie questions his loyalty from the start and doesn’t trust him because of something he senses but is unable to “talk” to her about.  I admired Care’s desire to help Tick, but like Blackie, I sensed his divided loyalties and worried about whether or not he would betray her. 

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing about what will happen next and what Blackie and Care will discover.  The action takes place in the streets, back alleys and less savory parts of town, putting both Blackie and Care in dangerous situations as they deal with drug dealers, thieves, and murderers.  While Blackie is a cat, and Care is a young teen, Ms. Simon covers some very dark and mature issues as a part of the stories plot.

Will Blackie and Care discover who killed “The Old Man”?  Will Blackie be able to help Care find a home off the streets?  You’ll have to read The Ninth Life to find out.  I loved it and can’t wait to see where Ms. Simon takes these characters next.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns

a Rafflecopter giveaway
FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour from the Publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review.  


  1. Thank you! I'm so glad you took a chance on a darker, non-traditional cat mystery. And don't worry, I'm working on Blackie and Care's next adventure now.

  2. Sounds like a great title to add to my challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.