In memory of Blaize

Blaize Clement 1934-2011

I’m Blaize Clement, author of the Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series, which is about a pet sitter on Siesta Key in Florida. The first book in the series was Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter, the second was Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund, and the third is Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues. The fourth will be Cat Sitter On A Hot Tin Roof and I’ll write a Dixie Hemingway mystery every year until I run out of ideas.

Before I became a mystery writer, I was a family therapist in Houston. Being a therapist is a lot like writing a mystery. In either case, you have clues that help you find the thread that explains how something unwanted came to be. Therapists work their way backward, finding clues in the past to explain the present. That’s how I write a mystery, too.

This blog will talk about life, about mystery writing, about pet sitting, about cats and dogs and other critters, and about any other thing that wants to be talked about. I welcome your ideas and comments.
Blaize

132 thoughts on “In memory of Blaize

  1. (your e-mail is bouncing. Let’s see if this works)
    Thought you would like this, written to another friend. I foresee a pot of catnip on the balcony in the spring.
    Mary

    During a brief dry spell my cat neighbors were playing on the balcony. Their owner was afraid I’d mind, but it’s the closest I can come to having cats with these allergies. The black one is Willie and the orange one is Hank — and I’ll bet you can guess for whom they are named. I’ve noticed them chewing on the dead dry plants, so I’ll have to be careful when I put
    plants out next spring, nothing dangerous or too very special.
    I already had a squirrel chow down on a Hawaiian plant, plumeria, I think, that I bought at Walgreens of all places.

  2. Dear Ms. Clement,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your first two Dixie Hemingway mysteries and look forward to your third, and hopefully, many to follow! You have an irresistable writing style and I find myself reading your books far past my usual bedtime.
    Being an avid reader and an animal lover, your books touch a special spot in my heart. Keep them coming.
    Jackie Mead

  3. I read about Dixie’s adventures in Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter and Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues and thoroughly enjoyed both well-written stories. Dixie’s cynical wit is really fun and you write with a fine style that keeps the pages turning and interest keen. Thanks and keep ‘em coming!

  4. Write faster!

    (no pressure, just kidding)

    I live in Tallahassee; it’s fun to discover a new Florida-based series to enjoy. But I’ve gone through the three books rather quickly so am eager for number four!

  5. Thanks for asking. Actually, the first book is also sold on Audible.com. They have my name spelled wrong, as Clemente, but if you search for the title, it’s there. I’ve emailed them about the misspelling of the name, and hope they’ll correct it.

  6. I have really enjoyed all three of your books, and am waiting on the fourth. I have spent a few weekends in the keys so it is fun to read about a place that I can picture. I am also a cat lover (currently at 7 rescued furballs). Your “Dixie” character is great and very easy to believe because of your “first person” writing style. When is book 4 due?

  7. I got “Even Cat Sitters Get The Blues” from one of my book clubs. I have now gone to NetLibrary.com to get your other two. I can hardly wait until ’09 for your next book.
    Keep ‘em coming!!

  8. I am really impressed by your books, mysteries with a lot of depth. I really appreciate the issues that you are addressing and that you don’t preach, just put them out there. I look forward to more in the series. Thanks so much for writing them.

  9. Read your third book first and enjoyed the writing so much,
    dashed off to the library and just finished your first and second
    Dixie Hemingway mystery. Love both mysteries and books
    dealing with cats. I now have a new author and leading
    character to add to many others I read. You do make all
    your characters very real and human.

  10. I received “Curiosity Killed The Cat Sitter” as a gift at The Mystery Lovers Festival in Pittsburgh recently. I am loving it. You can be sure that I will be looking for your other books.

  11. My sister got me hooked on your books. They are great
    We are looking forward to your next book. When we were kids our aunt and uncle owned a little restaurent on Siesta Key. We have such fond memories of visiting there, that we are taking a trip with mom to Siesta Key in June. Can’t wait to enjoy the beach and sites. Not to mention the seafood.
    Thanks for such an enjoyable read.

  12. I just wanted to let you know my mom and I are eagerly awaiting your next Dixie Hemingway novel. It’s good to know that there are still quality writers out there!!

  13. I have just discovered your books and I love them. They are witty and fun. I just picked up Curiosity killed the cat sitter and am already half done. This si the first book seris that has ever interested me that much. Thanks.

  14. Hi Ms. Clement, I picked up your first book and was hooked!!! I have always loved a good mystery and yours is written about an area where my husband and I raised our daughters. Can’t wait to hear what Dixie is up to next .. with her love life and her mystery solving!! Thanks so much for the enjoyable time in your books!

  15. So far, I have really enjoyed your book about the elderly dachshund, Mame but you need to do your homework on firearms!
    A Smith and Wesson .38 is a REVOLVER and does NOT have a magazine. It has a cylinder.

    Still, a pleasant light-hearted read.

  16. Oh wow, I can’t believe I goofed on that! Obviously I’m not an expert on firearms, but I have accumulated tons of material on them to avoid making that kind of mistake, and I still did it.
    Thanks for alerting me. I’m glad it didn’t keep you from enjoying the overall story.

  17. I just read your 3rd book and it was wonderful! I don’t know how I found out about it, but already have the other two on hold at the library! I am a fan of yours now and will keep watch for every new book you have out. I expecially love it that I can get the in LARGE print, so it is easier on the eyes! I am down to 3 cats now, the youngest that is 9 years old and have two dogs and a bird. Your writing is wonderful! Please keep it up for many more years!

  18. I picked up “Curiosity” during a week I happened to be pet-sitting for three cats. It seemed the appropriate book to be reading at the time. I got “Daschund” book today and finished it a few minutes ago. I had to come online to see if you had another book. I look forward to reading the “Blues” one soon. Thanks for the books, even if this one did make me cry. So glad to hear that another one will be out in early 2009.

  19. Actually got Duplicity….as a gift to a friend who has the littermate of my mini doxie, Greeley. Both were rescued from a breeder’s mill. She loved the book and let me borrow it back to read it. I have my own copy, now, and went out and got the other two books! Can’t wait for the fourth! Greeley and the Meow Sisters (rescued callicos) are enjoying listening to the stories although they have noted my lax grooming schedule!?! Thank you so much for advocating responsible pet adoption and caretaking while providing a great read. You really captured the funny, adventurous, loyal, stubborn intelligent and independent spirit of a daschshund. Glad Ella Fitzgerald is part of Dixie’s life now! The great ones….Patsy, Roy and Ella!!!

  20. I’ve read the first three of your Dixie Hemingway books and enjoyed them immensely. One suggestion: You need to write faster! :)

  21. I am a pet sitter in NJ and LOVE your books. Read the first two and am on to the 3rd and looking forward to the 4th :) I see a little of myself in Dixi and can’t wait to see what she’s up to next. As long as you keep writing them, I’ll keep buying them!!!

  22. on your comments about sarah palin, please advise where we can get info on press release about the “kill obama” comments in her speeches. thanks you.

  23. I just recently found and read your third book,” Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues”. I loved it. I am a big mystery book reader especially when there are pets involved. The thing that makes yours so much fun is I spend my winters in the Sarasota area. It is fun seeing places in print and knowing where they are. Keep up the good work.

  24. Living in Sarasota as I do, I love your books. I have one wish though, that they would be published in hard cover large print. Or even soft cover large print. When we get old, the large print books are so much easier on the eyes.
    If in fact they are available in large print, I have been unable to find any.

    • Actually, the books are all available in large print from a British publisher. I’m not sure where they’re found in the US, but the library might be a good place to look.
      Chapter 2: I just found a source for large print books in the US. They’re published by Thorndike Press, and you can order them from Target online. They’re probably available in other outlets too, but I don’t know which ones. I’ll keep searching.

  25. I got the first three at a bookstore, since I read quickly and was on my Thanksgiving vacation. They were great, and the growth of Dixie emotionally strikes home. HOpe your fourth book comes out soon.

  26. I’m a petsitter in Louisiana, and when I saw Even Catsitters Get the Blues at a bookstore, I couldn’t resist. I went back and bought your first two books, and have just finished the first. Petsitting can certainly bring surprises, but I’m happy to report that I haven’t found any dead bodies–animal or human. Please keep the adventures coming.

  27. Granted . . the Page 99 Test works very well . . but so do the other 274 pages of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF! I just finished it and decided that Dixie’s many showers are going to be “cold water only” if Guidry doesn’t get moving soon. Maybe in book five, he can peel off his fine linen sport coat long enough to hop in the shower with her.

  28. About 3 weeks ago, I bought “Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter” to relieve bordom on a long flight. I loved it! And quickly located and read books 2, 3, & 4! Like someone else wrote before me, write faster!

    I will point out one inconsistency. In book 4, Todd is 30 in his photo and would now be 33, the same age as Dixie is now. In a previous book when Dixie was 32, Dixie says she is the same age now that Todd was “then”, implying that he was 3 years older than her.

  29. I received “Curosity killed the pet sitter” and “Even the Cat Sitters Get the Blues” for Christmas from someone I pet sit for. I enjoyed both, and have since purchased Duplicity and Hot Tin Roof. What fun, and adventuresome reading. Keep them coming. Prior to full time pet sitting I was a social worker for DPW. This has been a wonderful transition and really enjoy it

  30. Hi Blaize!
    Well, I just finished your third book and eager to get my hands on your fourth! I purchased your first book at Circle Books in Sarasota while on vacation. I saw it displayed in the window and had to get it.

    To tell you the truth, I thought it was going to be a fluffy (pun intended) beachy read…boy was I surprised! Your writing is supurb and the mystery elements keep me guess.

    Thank you also for being so diverse in your characters–Gay folks, Hispanics, Native Americans…

    Your site is so inviting as well! You seem like a fun, informed, open-minded and intellegent person. Keep writing! I love it! Cheers, Audrey

  31. I just discovered your series and I’m so glad there’s more to be had! I stumbled upon book 3 and checked it out of the library for my pet-sitting neighbor, but then read it myself! I’ve already placed books 1 & 2 on hold at the library and was excited to see that book 4 is “on order” :) Thank you so much for writing a genuine character with fun content and just my age, too!
    Keep it up, Please & Thank you!!

  32. Love your books. I’ve read them all and will be happy to see the next one. However, I do agree with the gal above who pointed out the age discrepancy with Dixie. Please age her. It’s much more realistic than to have four murders happen in one year in the same town. Also, give Dixie a bra! Any woman over 30 should wear a bra, at least outside the house. Looking forward to your next Dixie book.

  33. I find it interesting that Dixie is a widow who starts the series 3 years after loosing her husband and daughter when people are urging her to get over it and move on. I read that you were a therapist. Did you do grief counseling? As a widow myself, I found the book insighful about Dixie’s grief journey.

  34. I was a therapist for over 20 years, and frequently had clients who were grieving the loss of a loved one. Grief is a terrible thing, but necessary if one is to ever be happy again. People who try to make a grieving person cheer up do so because somebody else’s grief makes them uncomfortable. There is no time-limit to grief, and I don’t think anybody ever truly “gets over it” but as Dixie says, grief that never ends will eventually turn into a monument to oneself.

  35. I have just discovered your books. I am currently reading Curiousity killed the Cat Sitter and I am quite impressed. I love it when I come across a writer who captures my attention and my heart. Good job. I’ve literally read thousands and thousands of books and yours are great. I can’t wait to hunt down your other books. Keep them coming, please.

  36. Well, you have answered the question I was wondering about yesterday. I was thinking I needed a Dixie Hemingway fix and was debating how long I could wait before asking when the next publication would happen.
    Too bad the powers that be can’t make this take place a
    month earlier so we would have a new book for Christmas presents and/or stocking stuffers. Oh well . . life goes on.

  37. I wish that too, Sandy…the before Christmas part, that is. On the other hand, maybe it’s good to relax after all the stress of the holidays with Dixie. Take a day off, stay in your robe and slippers, make hot chocolate and bring a plate of cookies to the sofa along with RAINING CAT SITTERS AND DOGS.

  38. read the newest 2009 book when it came out already waiting for another / keep them coming / the only bad thing i can say is i can’t ask for one of your books as a christmas gift alas patience is a virtue they say

  39. I am ready for that day, really ready, to relax after the holidays and read RAINING CAT SITTERS AND DOGS.
    Have not heard a word or read anything about it. Is
    the book out yet?

    • I’m so sorry! I sent out emails announcing the pub date — Jan 19 — but some addresses got lost or were wrong or got blocked as spam or something, so some people didn’t get the notice. Anyway, it’s out. I did a signing at Circle yesterday and will sign at B&N Saturday. Stop by and say Hi. BTW, Cat Sitter on a Hot Tin Roof was just officially named one of 5 nominees for the Mary Higgins Clark Award that will be given during the Edgars in NY. So I’m jazzed.

      Best, Blaized

      Author of The Dixie Hemingway Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Minotaur) http://www.BlaizeClement.com “Kitty Litter” blog: http://www.DixieHemingway.wordpress.com

  40. I just finished book 5 and loved it. I have all of your books. What? Has Dixies sworn off bacon?? I love the way you allow Dixie and Guidry to progress through the healing process. I am a cat owner for the first time and I relate to the cats in yoiur books to the behavior of my Nelson. Thanks and keep the books coming.

  41. I am in the middle of Raining Cat Sitters and Dogs, this book keeps me running to my computer to look up things.
    Like that cat I never heard of. Now, my mouth is watering for Mame’ Sapote fruit. A fruit with a chocolate flavor???
    Dixie says she has that tree, so I am assuming it can grow around here. Does anyone know where I can purchase that fruit? An online search turned up nothing. If you know of somewhere, even if I have to have it shipped, please email me at Yoakaholic@aol.com. Thanks bunches!!
    Of course, living in Sarasota, these books are so special to me. I mentally follow Dixie as she goes around to visit her clients.

  42. Mame Sapote is also spelled mamey sapote, and the tree is grown in southern Florida as well as Mexico and other warm places. I’ve never seen the fruit sold at a supermarket, but sometimes you’ll find a few at a farmer’s market. Probably your best bet would be to find somebody with a tree and become their best friend.

  43. Hi
    You are my favorite writer. Read all your books this past month, oh how I wish I knew what will happen with Guidry.
    Hurry up please and write more.
    I have two Abyssinians, Sand and Ruskin and I might write children’s books about them, called Sand Sand and Rusky.

    You are also very pretty. Thank you so much for all the great books and laughs as well.

    Best
    Denise
    Cosmetic Surgery Consultant
    NYC

  44. I just wanted to let you know that your books are the greatest. I love reading books that don’t have a lot of profane language in it. Your books are really interesting and I have read four of them and am now going to pick the latest book today. All I can say is keep up the good work. I hope you are working on another one and may God bless you.

  45. I LOVE your books! I came across the newest one at the library and in reading the jacket, was thoroughly intrigued. I love animals (having five dogs and two cats of my own) so the premise of a pet-sitter was GREAT! I was raised in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. Actually my mom and I lived in a small town in between called Cortez and my stepdad had a charter fishing boat that was based at the Anna Maria Yacht Club on Anna Maria Island. Reading books with names and places I actually know was wonderful. I have finished the first book, am partway through the second book, and the other three are sitting on my nightstand waiting their turn. They are absolutely wonderful. Even with the one and one-third books that I have read so far, I’ve learned several things, mostly about the grief process and also about dogs and cats. Keep up the wonderful work – it’s most appreciated!

  46. I just started reading your books and loved the first two – am now out to buy the rest of the series – i hope you don’t run out of ideas any time soon

  47. I really enjoy your books. Have read them all and loved each one. While we don’t live in your little corner of paradise we do try to get there in March and November. Can’t wait for your next book – will it be coming out in January 2011? Does it have a title yet? Just want to know what to look for. Keep up the great work!

    • I’m not positive, but I think the next title will be Cat Sitter’s Cradle. The publisher has final say about titles, and I think that’s the current favorite. Thanks for your note!

  48. Dear Blaize ..I wrote a note to your address on the back of Raining Cat Sitter and Dogs and it wouldn’t go there! I was glad to find this site to thank you for enabling me to enjoy another of your books and claim it for my very own. I am 92 years old, read constantly, and enjoyed your previous books…a LOT! Your people are “real” to me, I let myself get nervous and worried when reading and it’s a big part of my life, finding someone like you to read. And thank you for adding your book to Suzanne’s giveaway column. Marion

  49. Dear Blaize,

    Since I’m truly hoping you never run out of ideas for plots and subplots: did you know that orchid growers (in the day) used to space their plants a cat’s width apart? Before high tech, that’s the way we knew they were a healthy distance from each other and not too crowded. Some of us still use that rule of thumb. If the cat can wind it’s way between the plants to kill the gecko’s, mice, etc. in the shade house, then all is well.

    Waiting for Dixie’s next adventure.

    • No, I never heard that! I’ll have to find a way to work that into a Dixie story. Does that mean that every greenhouse had a resident cat to take care of things that ate young plants? I knew farmers always kept barn cats to keep rats out of stored grain, but I never knew that flower growers did too. It’s good to remember that the animals we make dependent on us were once independent workers with specific jobs to do. There’s a moral there somewhere….

  50. In June my colleague gave me one of your books as a thank-you-present for minding his two cats. Thank God *my* catsitting job was utterly harmless. (I prefer to read about murder and mystery but live a quiet life.)

    And now I intend to get the rest of the series. In English, though some of the books have been translated into my mother language, German.

    Well, in September I’m catsitting again. Maybe my colleague will buy me another issue …?

  51. Ms. Clement,
    I have a long commute to work daily and picked up your first book (on cd) and immediately fell in love with Dixie and her spunky personality. I quickly finished the first and immediately picked up with second and now looking to locate the third. I find myself sitting in the driveway when I arrive home not wanted to turn the car off and see what happens next. Thanks for a fun mysteries, sweet care of beloved pets, and of course, the obvious intrigue between Dixie and Guidry. Your books have inspired two things: first, seeking a pet sitter rather than boarding my dogs at the kennel and second, we are planning a quite vacation trip to Siesta Key — if I can just find a place like Dixies…

  52. My mother picked me up a copy of your newest book, Raining Cats and Dogs! I absolutely loved it!

    I just finished Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund!
    I plan on grabbing a copy of the other books too and I know that I’ll love them too!
    Thanks for writing these books for us pet lovers!

  53. I listen to audiobooks while I groom dogs (creating this kind of environment is the sole reason I own my own business!!).

    Just wanted to send a THANK YOU for the entire Dixie Hemingway series, as I adored each and every minute!!!

    Really can’t wait for MORE, MORE, MORE,!!

    And, in case it crossed your mind . . . YES, the dogs just love your books too!

  54. I have read & thoroughly enjoyed many of your books, keep writing so we can keep reading. What I was wondering, would it be possible to get a few of any of your bookmarks (for me and to share with my book reading friends)?
    Lynn/MI

  55. Dear Blaize,
    I was introduced to your wonderful Dixie Hemingway mystery series by your son, Don, who is a co-worker of mine at the City of Durham. I’ve finished the first two (was sad that you killed me off in the first episode!) and just got “Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues” today. Can’t wait to start it.

    I was telling Don the other day that I think I’m hooked on Dixie because the stories are light and funny, but smart. I like the theme of diversity in people/community that is woven in the stories.

    Anyway, just wanted you to know that I love your books and that me and all of the other project managers with the City of Durham have really enjoyed getting to know Don this past year.
    -Marilee

  56. Living in Sarasota, the fact that the stories take place here was the reason I started reading these books, but I soon discovered that I would read them regardless of what city the action was in. I would like to ask this of Blaize. I received the bookmark and the catnip. I always keep catnip handy, but this sample seemed far superior to what I have been getting. I wonder if you could tell me where you get it, and the brand. I would like to switch.

  57. That is especially nice catnip, isn’t it? It’s organic, and I get it from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon. Mountainroseherbs.com. Their phone is 800-879-3337.

  58. I do the night audit at a hotel in the middle of nowhere. I’ve had eye problems and stopped reading — and missed it terribly. At the library one day, I happened on Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues. I was hooked!! Just started Hot Tin Roof. I wanted to comment on the “head pictures.” I once had a beloved Chow Chow named Sheba. We lived in WA and she had been in the yard and came in. She was tagging me around and that was unusual — she would usually follow, but lie quietly. Something was bugging her. I said, “Sheba, what’s up?” and I suddenly had a picture in my head of her overturned water dish! I went into the kitchen and, yes, the cats had been hard at play and Sheba’s water bowl was turned over and water everywhere. I KNOW she sent me that picture. My sister and I share a house now with 10 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs. I use pictures all the time and it does seem to work. I LOVE your writing, your characters…like visiting with old friends. Thank you so much.

  59. Last winter we rented on Siesta Key for a month. I found Publix and Borders on day 2! I was picking up books on the area to read about the history of Sarasota when I saw the table of “local authors”. My husband’s daughter had just started her Pet Sitting business,so I bought your first 3 books as a birthday gift for her. She loved them and even commented on them on the NAPPS website (National Association of Pet Sitters).
    Last summer she gave me the first book to read on a plane. I was hooked. We’re back on the key now and I just picked up “Among the Pigeons” at Borders. Thank you for the gift of reliving my time on Siesta Key when I am not there, for your humor, and for a mystery that I can not put down.

    • Thank you so much for telling me that, Jane. And thanks to your daughter-in-law for mentioning the books on the NAPPS website. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Dixie is a member of NAPPS, and proud of it.

  60. I love your books and just finished Cat Sitter Among Pigeons in one day. But every time I read your books I get hungry for chocolate bread. Is there really a receipe for this bread or is it just fiction?

    • It’s based on real bread that a dear friend used to make in an ancient bread machine. She was generous with the bread, but wouldn’t share the recipe. She hinted, though, that the secret was in when to add the chocolate chips. She took her recipe with her when she died, and I’ve always imagined that she intended to leave a copy but forgot. I appealed to the folks at the King Arthur Flour Company and they came up with what they think might be what she did. I’m not a baker and don’t have a bread machine, so I don’t know if it’s the same, but this is it:

      Chocolate Bread

      1 packet instant yeast
      3 cups unbleached bread flour
      ½ cup sugar
      ¼ cup cocoa
      1 egg
      ¼ cup soft butter
      ½ teaspoon vanilla
      1 cup milk
      1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
      3/4 c. frozen semi-sweet chocolate chips

      Using the directions for your particular machine, place all of the ingredients except the frozen chocolate chips into the pan of your bread machine. If possible, program the machine for raisin bread. 

Add the frozen chocolate chips at the signal; or, if you have no raisin bread cycle, add them about 3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle. Yield: one 6 to 7-inch loaf.
      If this is like my friend’s bread, it is better broken into chunks rather than sliced.

  61. I’ve just discovered your Dixie Hemingway series, with “Even Cat Sitters Get the Blues”. Was attracted to the title because I am a pet sitter from Colorado, but Florida is my favorite place to visit! What a perfect setting for a story.

    It is typical for me to get so involved in a story that I forget that it isn’t true; therefor I fancied that you, the author, were truly a pet sitter. Then I went online and discovered your blog. So, you were a therapist and now a very sought-after author. Have you never been a pet sitter? If not, I am very impressed by the way you descibe Dixie’s visits, even to the mentioning of Anti-Icky-Poo! (The only other place I had heard of it was from my sister, who works at a different veterinary hospital than the one from which I retired).

    I see some of myself in Dixie, such as the detailed notes she leaves her clients, and the way she really cares about the pets.

    Am anxious to finish reading “Blues”.

    • I’ve never been a pet sitter, but I’ve talked to a lot, and I research as carefully as I can. When I first started the series I had no idea that pet sitters were so well organized as a profession! I’ve met several who are former police officers, and I went to a pet sitters convention in Miami a few years back where I heard pet sitters discuss giving massage and CPR to pets. I don’t imagine there’s any imaginary thing I can write that some real pet sitter hasn’t experienced. Well, maybe not the dead bodies…

  62. Thank you so much for sharing your gift of writing. I absolutely love your Dixie Hemingway books. She is a great character. Keep up the great work. I really appreciate the way you portray the pets in the stories. Blessings to you!

  63. Hello Blaize,
    I wanted to know what age recommendation you would give for your series. I was wondering if it was appropriate for me to read, since I am only 13!

    Thanks!
    Natasha

    • That’s a hard question, Natasha! If you take the series as a whole, I’d give it a PG rating, but some of the individual books are R’s. The tricky part would be knowing before you read it which was which. I’d suggest waiting a few years before you read them. On the other hand, you have to be a pretty mature 13-year-old to ask the question! I trust you to use your intuition and come to the right decision.

  64. We were vactioning near Sarasota and had to go see beautiful Siesta Key. We now know why you love it so. It was just as adorable as you described in your books.

    Donna and Joe

  65. Hallo Miss Clement. We love your Books in Germany. But it’s difficult to get your Books here. So me and my friend by the Books in English. Barbara my
    firend is a Fan abourt Dixies Friend Guidry and she hope we will here about him in the next Book. She hopes to a Happy End of Guidry and Dixie. The last
    Book Catsitter among the Pigeons makes her a little bit sad. But I think it was
    a very good book. We both enoy us to the next Adventure from Dixie. With
    many Greetings from Germany
    Claudia and Barbara

    • The last book made a lot of us a little bit sad, Claudia, but Dixie and Guidry still have a long way to go. The next adventure will be out in January of 2012 and will be titled THE CAT’S PAJAMAS.

  66. Hallo Miss Clement,

    Thanks that you will Answer so quickly. But I’ve forgotten to ask you
    when will be your next Book in German Language . We have 3 Books byed by
    Weltbild und we hope the next Book will came in German Language soon.
    With many Greatings from a lot of Friend from Germany . ( Cats. Dogs and Humans.

    Barbara and Claudia

  67. Just finished Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons … was expecting a Siamese cat since the cover has the very cute kitten on it. Cheddar was a good substitute! Can’t wait for Cat’s Pajamas. I’m a new reader, have read all the “Dixie” adventures … am missing Lilian Braun. Loved her Koko and Yum Yum adventures. I try to read all the cat mystery writers … great fun. Thanks for adding fun to my reading.

    Carol Angle

    • We will surely miss you. But it is just like you to make provisions for US. Thank you, John, for taking over and writing the next books. You are a great family. God loves you.

      • Jannas, thank you for your kind words – it really means a lot to me that Dixie’s fans want to see the books go on – and I know it meant the world to my mother. Thanks again.

  68. Hi Ms Clement-I am reading Cat Sitter among the Pigeons and I believe I am hooked! The cat you have in your picture is exactly like my cat MoJo! I hired a pet sitter this year-1st time-she was very nice but I could only afford 3x per week when we went away and although MoJo was well fed I knew he was lonely.When we got home he talked constantly for 2 days-in cat ramblings of course- He made me promise to never leave again!!!!! Dixie is a wonderful character. I am semi-retired now from nursing so I am trying to read more. So sorry about your Mom. That was a beautiful discripition of her attitude toward death. As a Nursing Home Nurse I spend alot of time with dying people and I give them time to talk and it is surprising how many are ready to go-peacefully.Thank you for your books- Judy

  69. So sorry to hear of Blaize’s death just as I was discovering her works. Good luck in continuing her work-I love Dixie and her family of pet sitting critters.

  70. I too am a mystery writer, and I was at Bouchercon ths past week and heard about her passing.And when I heard, I broke out in tears.She was a fabulous writer and I waited patiently to read every book.The reading/writing world has lost an exceptional person.
    I also heard that someone will be taking her place and writing the pet sitter mysteries on her behalf.
    Who will that be? Where can I find out more?
    Judi

    • Judy, thank you so much for your message and I’m sorry to be so slow in replying! The next mystery, “The Cat Sitter’s Pajamas,” will be in bookstores this January. I’m currently working on the next installment – and (hopefully) there will be many more to come! My mother would have been so thrilled to read your note – thanks again for that.

  71. Dear John , This is the first time at your site. I recently discovered your Mother’s books and have really enjoyed each one. I am a library reader and had to wait for my copies, which was difficult because I wanted to read them in order. My daughter, who is 26, found one of the books and hasbeen reading them too. She usually doesn’t get excited by this style of story telling, butane has taken the time to actually discuss the character’s lives with me. How amazing! I looked up your Mother ‘s site and read your Thanksgiving blog. I thought it was your
    Mother’s blog. I am so sorry about your recent lost and after reading all your mother’s writings on this site, I realize what a special person she was. My prayers are with you and your family as you continue on, as we all must, when those we love die. Keep writing, cooking and living.

    • Hi Charlotte – thank you so much. Your words mean a lot to me and I hope you’ll enjoy the books to come – my mom would be so incredibly happy to know that her readers are cheering Dixie (and me) on!

  72. John,
    So sorry about your mom’s passing. I discovered her books while on vacation in Sarasota and loved ‘em. I’m so happy you are keeping Dixie going and your plot description sounds great! Best of luck with it and have a nice holiday season. Cheers, Audrey

  73. I am so sorry for your loss. I just found out when I picked up a copy of “The Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons”, read the Acknowledgments, and looked online to see who had passed away. I am sitting here crying at my computer for a woman I have never met, but whose books I have loved and looked forward to. I lost my mom in January of this year, also to cancer, so I really do know what you are going through. I loved your story about Thanksgiving. We do need to go on, but it is so hard. We have to think that they are watching over us and do them proud. I look forward to reading ‘”Pigeons” and “Pajamas” and any future Dixie Hemmingway books you write. I am sure you will do them justice from reading your blogs and from the obvious love you have for your mother.

  74. I came to the website and blog to ask a question of Blaize and learned the sad news of her passing. I’m sorry for your loss, but I imagine she will be frequently in your thoughts as you continue the series. I’ll ask the question of you,but I’m not sure if you can answer. In the most recent book, Dixie had a conversation with a psychologist who talked about being addicted to chemicals that our own brains produce. Do you know if this has any basis in research? As a social worker, this makes so much sense to me and I would like to talk with clients about it, but only if I can confirm it as a fact. I would appreciate any information you can give me. Thank you.

  75. Dear Karen,

    Yes! It is based on more than a century of studies – my mother was a psychologist for many years, so a lot of her knowledge of how the mind works found it’s way into her mysteries. The concept of thoughts having a chemical signature in the body is borne of a school of thought called psychoneuroimmunology. If you do a google search of that term I’m sure you’ll come up with tons of links to articles and research about it. Good luck and thank you so much for your kind words.

  76. I know it is hard to lose you mom, I lost mine a few years ago and still miss her. It gets easier to tell the stories we have about her. I know you will do fine writing the Dixie series. All you have to do is your best, that is all anyone can and should expect of you. I’m sorry for your loss, I just read about it. I have enjoyed your mother’s books and will continue to read your contribution to the series. I live in Houston, with the humidity and hot weather. I look forward to more, I have faith in you.

  77. Just read 1 book 3 weeks ago, enjoyed it so much that I took out 3 more in the series, finished 1, and wanted to see how many more of the Dixie books were out there, have read the 2nd and can’t wait to finish the other 2 and get back to the library to get the rest, sorry to see Blaize past away, but happy to see there still will be more books in the series. I too lost my Mother last year, but know she has brought much joy with her book, I am a big mystery reader and so glad I came across her books. Thank you Blaize

  78. I Visit the Sarasota area often, and always have a dixie book to bring with me. This last time in January 2012 we were going to take a trip to and drive down midnight pass road just for the fun of it.. so when we checked online,, I discovered that Blaze had passed away.. tears came to my eyes,,, I lost my mother on january 3rd of this year. so i feel the loss you feel. The books are amazing,, and I know you can recreate the series, in the way your mother did… I cant wait for the next dixie book,
    donna

  79. Dear Ms. Clement: You have no idea how I look forward to your Pet Sitting books. I have a parrot named Paco, so there was a little chuckle there for me.
    Come on, let Dixie have a ‘serious relationship’. She has suffered enough.
    Love your books. Keep ‘em’ coming. My Kindle is hungry. I would also like you to release this series on CD so I could purchase for my blind Sister-In-Law that is in a nursing home. They are ‘clean’ and the Nuns won’t mind her playing them.

  80. Dear John: I just went back and read all the entries. I am so sorry about your Mother. She was a wonderful writer and I am sure you will do her justice.
    God bless you!

  81. Just recently found this website as I did a search for Blaize Clement. I have been reading her books since I found them a year or so ago, and noticed in the acknowledgements in “Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons” that she had thanked her family for all their love during this “sad time” and also thanked her readers for giving her encouragement to keep writing through her grief. I fully expected to be sending her condolences on her loss, not realizing that SHE was the one we were losing. My condolences go out to her family–it will be a great loss also to we who have become so acquainted with her characters that we feel we know her personally. I lost my own Mom two years ago, and I feel your pain, but also know the memories they leave behind are a legacy we can keep with us to sustain our grieving hearts. Looking forward to seeing how you, John, will carry on in her absence. i know you will make her proud as she watches over your work. Thank you Blaize! R.I.P. Sincerely, Judi McGarry

    • Dear Judi – thank you so much for your kind words. It’s taken me a long time to reply because I’ve been struggling with just the right way. At the time my mother wrote the acknowledgements for “Cat Sitter Among the Pigeons” she was actually in fairly good health, and we had no idea what the following year was going to bring. The sad time she referred to was the passing of my brother’s wife and life-long companion, Kit. Kit had been my brother’s cheerleading companion in high school and was like a daughter to my mom. Her death was unexpected and very hard for the whole family… as I’m sure you can understand. Thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot to me and thanks for reading!

  82. Blaize,
    I have read three of your books so far. A friend referred Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter.. I just started Even Cat Sitters get the Blues on Saturday and finished it last night!!! Already, I”m in withdrawals….I can only find them on Amazon.com………..Is there any place here in SRQ that I can find them for sale? I live on Siesta Key and can actually place myself in Dixie’s whereabouts. I absolutely love your style of writing. Please continue and much success to you. It would be a dream to meet you one day at ”the village diner” or Anna’s Deli…you are aswsome!!! Kim DeNais

  83. I came to this website to give thanks to Blaize for writing such wonderful mysteries, only to hear of all of our loss. But I’ll tell her anyway: Blaize, if you are reading this over someone’s shoulder (!) then let me thank you for the greatest mystery writing I’ve read in a long time, for the sassiest detective, the best animal characters, the insight into people’s characters, excellent descriptions of settings (so much so I’ve booked a trip to Siesta Key!) and so much more. I hope you’re looking over that shoulder when I take my walk at dawn observing all the shore birds on Crescent Beach, and watch the sun plunge into the sea at end of day. Thank you, Blaize.

    Amy Prussack, longtime mystery reader and cat and Florida lover

  84. I just finished reading book 7 and already have my bookmark in number 8. I can’t wait to get started. I was so sad to hear of your mothers passing. I know the loss is great. I hope to hear that another book is on its way soon. I love cats. I have three little munchkins and don’t know what I’d do without them.

  85. I was wondering if there might be a “Cat Sitter’s Siesta Key Cookbook” in the future. Some of the things Dixie’s brother cooks sound amazing! Love all the Cat Sitter books too!

  86. I Had stumbled upon the Dixie Hemingway series in the Key West Library 02/2014. I really enjoy the quick reading, and your constantly curious as to what happens. Blaize Clement will be sorely missed, I hope your son will pick up on the mystery book series and run with it, keeping your unique touch.

  87. I was so saddened to hear of the death of you mom, mine died in 2012 so I think I know some of the siuff you are going through and I know it is tough, some days more than others. I have read the one book that you helped her finish before her passing; that was truly a sign of you love for her to help her know that fans, although understanding upset and somewhat apprehensive that Dixie might change and we are grateful that you are going to keep Dixie and her fiends and family going to remain the same.

    I try to read every book in sequence , but, since I check them out at my local library, I had to kind of read hem when they were available. I finally got to read them all.

    Looking though some of the comments; some made no sense until I had been able to read al the books; bit some of them t of them mark no sense, What I see; however, not poor writing but characters getting used to their own fears and showing more professionalism and understanding with each book. I sure know that I lived in lower Florida, that Dixie would be my to go-to pet sitter. She is a true professional pet sitter.

    I hope you are able to continue the Dixie Hemingway series: it you can’t those who have
    recently lost ones be can certainly understand.

    All my sympathy and love to your family. Your mom is a great inspiration to us all.

    Carol Woods

  88. Dear John,

    I am also saddened to learn of your mom’s death. You see, I was just sitting down to “find her” to let her know how much I appreciate the honesty with which she writes about the progression of deep grief that Dixie experiences. I lost my 18-year-old son in November 2013, and much of what your mom has written about Dixie’s losses resonated completely with me. The howl to the storm and churning sea was so real to me (in “Duplicity Dogged the Dachshund”) that I had to stop reading for a while to reflect about the keening and screaming I have done in response to my son’s death. Reading about Dixie conducting herself in much the same way on that occasion brought me great comfort because, you see, many people around me want me to move on and not suffer so much. I have remained true to who I am, though, and I am grieving my son’s loss in my own way. I will not rush it. I notice that Dixie is moving very slowly to reconnect with people outside of her trusted circle (Michael and Paco), slowing letting others in (Guidry and, perhaps, Crane). And I have to acknowledge the moments of pure humor throughout each books that make me chuckle and laugh out loud. I have not done much of either during the past 8 months, and Dixie’s reaction to situations and people can be hysterical. I especially liked the bathroom scene with the restaurant cook (in the first book, I think) where Dixie just had to hear the rest of the story. I could totally relate. Thank you for listening, and may you receive peace about your own loss. And, I know I speak for many when I say we are grateful that you will continue to write Dixie’s stories. I’ve ordered the current remainder of the series, and I look forward to watching for more published books!

    Michelle

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