“Mew is for Murder,” the first in a series introducing freelance writer-cat lover Theda Krakow, opens on a downer: Theda is in a funk. Her sometime boyfriend’s gone. Her beloved cat has passed on. And the career leap she’s made to go freelance has left her finances--and her spirit--flat. She desperately needs a headline to get her life back on track.

Following an adorable stray kitten, Theda stumbles upon an old woman holed up in a decrepit house full of cats. Is she a neighborhood do-gooder or a “crazy cat lady”? More important: Is this the story to pull Theda out of the dumps? But when she returns to interview the cat lady, Theda finds her fascinating subject dead under very suspicious circumstances. The neighbors are celebrating, and the police aren’t interested. So Theda marshals her investigative journalism skills to turn gumshoe--and to save the friendly felines left behind!
Read A Review:

Theda Krakow is a freelance writer. She goes to interview cat lady Lillian and finds her dead. Everything points to her death being an accident except for the fact that someone keeps breaking into Lillian’s house. It is rumored there is hidden treasure in the house. Theda is determined to get to the bottom of things and prove Lillian was murdered and why.

There are quite a few suspects including the real estate neighbor, the schizophrenic son, and a waitress who helped Theda with the cats. Can Theda find out who the killer is without putting herself in jeopardy?

I really enjoyed this first novel. I can’t wait to read another one in this series. I am not fond of the many cat mysteries, but even though this was is billed with a cat, the cat is not prominent and does not solve the crime.

The characters and setting were well written. The plot was well crafted and there are plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

I highly recommend this book.

Dawn Dowdle

[A]n auspicious fiction debut with a well-plotted cat mystery that’s not your usual four-footed cozy caper...a strong start to what one hopes will be a long series.

Publishers Weekly

A chance meeting with a kitten on a sidewalk in Cambridge, Mass., leads a freelance writer into a mysterious maze with murder at the center.

Theda Krakow is still down in the dumps over the loss of her beloved cat and the breakup of a relationship when she follows Musetta the kitten to a run-down house where an old woman lives with numberless felines. She returns to interview Lillian Helmhold for a story on what she thinks may be cat hoarding only to find her dead. Now Theda's interest turns to saving the cats and helping purple-haired rocker Violet Hayes prove her friend's death was murder. Lillian has a schizophrenic son living in a group home that has recently been robbed and nearly lost to arson. Apart from the rumors that Lillian had a treasure hidden, the house itself proves valuable enough to interest Patti Wright, the realtor next door, to apply to oversee the estate. Theda encounters a sexy artist, an investigative reporter, the police officer in charge of the case, and divers cat lovers and denizens of the clubs she cruises in her attempt to find answers to her questions.

Newcomer Simon's exploration of the real-life relations between women and cats (Feline Mystique, 2002) gives her and her complicated heroine an edge on other ailurophiles.

Copyright 2005 Kirkus Reviews

Journalist Simon (The Feline Mystique) makes an auspicious fiction debut with a well-plotted cat mystery that's not your usual four-footed cozy caper. Theda Krakow, an appealing freelance feature writer, really gets down to “kickin'” blues and the Boston rock scene. When Theda goes to interview “cat lady” Lillian Helmhold at home in Cambridge, she finds Lillian dead and her cats circling the woman's big Victorian house in distress. Lillian's death appears to be an accident, but someone keeps breaking into her house, which is rumored to contain treasure in the late owner's stacks of boxes and papers. Suspects include a coffee-bar waitress who helped Lillian with the cats, Lillian's schizophrenic son and an avaricious realtor who lives next door and hates cats. Simon writes well about the visceral tug of today's rock music. We feel the feral heart of true hard rock, and the way the sound, the dancing and the booze all blend into something close to good sex. If the ending borders on the saccharine, and a cat named “Aslan” who saves the day is a little much, this is still a strong start to what one hopes will be a long series.

Agent, Ann Collette at Helen Rees Literary Agency, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (July)