Code Grey (Dulcie Schwartz)
by Clea Simon
Review by Gayle Surrette
Severn House Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780727885067
Date: 01 August 2015 List Price $28.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It's Spring Break and campus is nearly empty. Dulcie Schwartz figured this would be the perfect time to push through on writing her dissertation. So, her boyfriend has gone to visit his mother, most of her friends are also gone away, and Dulcie plans to write enough to at least get a complete draft before the end of break.
Of course the best laid plans of even the greatest tacticians never make it past actual contact with reality, so things do not go quite as planned. During Stages of Grey
Her mother called with the usual vague warnings, and then Special Collections was evacuated due to a burst pipe and flooding nearby. Things were definitely not going as planned. Her boyfriend was making her feel guilty for not writing more, but she was having difficulty finding places to work. The weather was cold, the walk from campus to her apartment at night was a lot lonelier, and with Dulcie's imagination heightened by working with Gothic literature all day the walk was getting scarier. Taking a break to warm up in an alcove by the library's back door on the way home, Dulcie runs into Jeremy "Mumbles" Mumbleigh, who once had been a grad student in her area until he had a nervous breakdown. He was also spouting warnings and cryptic messages. He was very frightened and nervous about … something. The next day, Dulcie learned he was in an accident.
Readers of the series know that Dulcie can't let a mystery alone. Besides, she feel responsible for Jeremy as she'd seen him before his accident. Once she starts digging, she learns a lot more about Jeremy, Mr. Griddlehaus (the head of Special Collections), and some information on the new segments of the manuscript she was working with. She also is threatened.
The pressure and tension mount to a surprising and quite satisfying conclusion. Dulcie must cope with her fears, her desire to continue her research, her need to finish her degree, and her need to exonerate Jeremy, all while dealing with vague warnings from her mother, and even more cryptic hints from her cats.