Friday, June 29, 2018

Cross My Path - a New Blackie and Care Mystery by Clea Simon #FridayReads #CleaSimon @Clea_Simon

In the Blackie and Care series, best-selling author Clea Simon treads a darker path than she has followed before. In Cross My Paththe third book in the series, readers find the young seeker, Care, going from one dangerous situation to another, her conscience, bravery, and youthful fervor pushing her forward—often at considerable risk to herself—to help those who cannot or will not help themselves.

The books are narrated by Blackie, an aging black cat whom Care rescued from drowning. We find out along the way that Blackie was once a man who may have had some connection to Care in his human form. This bit of information intrigued me and made me want to read the first two books in the series, The Ninth Life and As Dark as My Fur, to make sure I had a complete picture of the world Blackie and Care inhabit. Here we get bits and pieces, enough to know Care lives in a dangerous city and that her work puts her at particular risk from the nasty men who seem to run the world she and Blackie inhabit. But the focus of this novel is narrow, gritty, and intense, so we know little of the larger, dystopian universe the duo inhabits. This gives the novel an almost claustrophobic feeling, which is well-suited for the unsettling, edge-of-your-seat atmosphere Simon creates for her protagonists.

The story opens with Care suddenly finding herself hired to pursue two new cases in one day, a rare circumstance indeed in the economically constrained times in which she lives. And both clients have cash, an even rarer occurrence. As she pieces together disparate bits of information, Care realizes the two seemingly separate cases may, in fact, be intertwined. But is that a mere coincidence or part of a larger plan?

Blackie worries constantly about the young girl and tries his best to keep her from harm. But her determination often places her directly in the path of danger, and nothing Blackie can do will sway her from her course, especially if she believes a friend is in trouble.

The ending wraps up the main storyline in a satisfying way while carrying other threads forward to the next book. It is an intriguing way to create continuing interest in the series. Readers who enjoy mysteries featuring cats will be particularly drawn to Cross My Path, especially as it is narrated by a cat who is struggling to remember if he once had a human form.

Connect with Clea Simon on Twitter, and follow the conversation about #CrossMyPath 

Reviewed by Patricia B. Smith. Pat is a journalist who is the author of 11 published books, including Idiot’s Guide: Flipping Houses, Alzheimer's For Dummies and Sleep Disorders for Dummies.

Pat is also an experienced professional developmental editor who serves as an Editorial Evaluation and Developmental Coordinator for Five Star Publishing. She works with private clients as well and has helped many authors land their first publishing contracts. Many of her clients have achieved notable success, including two winners of the Missouri Writers’ Guild Show-me Best Book of the Year Award.

Connect with Pat on Facebook or Linked In.


  1. Thank you so much for this! I read this too quickly at first - but you've really captured what I hoped to convey with this book and with these characters. Thank you.

  2. Is it always in the cat's POV? He'd have to follow the protagonist about, I assume? Interesting angle.

  3. This series sounds like fun. Three additions to my "Want to Read" list.

  4. Makes me want to read it! Great piece of writing, Pat. Thank you.

  5. Thanks, Pat, for exposing us to an interesting premise. Nicely done, Clea.

  6. The elements of good writing seem to abound in this book. As an editor, I applaud authors who create excellent reads for those of us who treasure a great story. Thanks for this intriguing review, Pat. :-)

  7. I was not familiar with this series, but I can't resist a book that has a picture of my black cat on the cover. LOL


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