The Caline Conspiracy

Rated 4.75/5 based on 8 reviews
Calines are the perfect pets, perfect companions, perfect status symbols...and they might be perfect killers. PI Aidra Scott must put aside the shadows of her own conscience to uncover the truth. More

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Words: 51,270
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476367118
About M.H. Mead

M. H. Mead is the shared pen name of Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion
Margaret Yang is a writer and parent who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She loves living in the modern age, and can't wait for the day when she has her own flying car. Although parenting, writing and reading fill her days, her true mission in life is to find the perfect slice of key lime pie.
Harry R. Campion is a writer, teacher, and parent who lives in Harper Woods, Michigan. He and his librarian wife are doing their part to bring up the next generation of readers. In addition to reading and writing, Harry's favorite activity is camping in remote areas, especially when he has a canoe and a river to explore.
Margaret and Harry have been friends and co-authors for many years. To learn more about them, or to read more of their stories, visit

Also by This Author


Review by: C.R. Rice on Nov. 11, 2012 :
The Caline Conspiracy is M.H. Mead’s third foray into the Viker ‘Verse (I have no idea what the collective team of Margaret Yang and Harry Campion call their little world but this is what I call it, so deal). I’m going to start with the bad then go to the good: First (and worst in this humble readers opinion), IT. IS. TOO. DAMN. SHORT. Mead built up the pressure on the plot slowly and then put it on full blast somewhere in the middle and kept it up till the very (unexpected) end. Basically my brain was going full speed doing its SUPER-GNEIUS thing right until I hit the book-ending-meep-meep, and suddenly I realized I was over the damn cliff. Now don’t get me wrong the ending made sense and tied up the loose ends nicely (that is hard to do!) but I wanted more. I felt there could’ve been wayyyy more chapters till the final act. Second, speaking of the final act, I was (for some reason) expecting more Machiavellian plots not the end of McBeth (well partially McBeth anyways).

Okay my gripes aside to the good stuff!

PLOT. My gawd it was so pretty, so simply constructed and perfect. It was like when your son/daughter/young relation gets a hold of an erector set or Legos and builds a structure the first time. And they do it perfectly. Mead incorporates enough science to give you the idea of what is going on but doesn’t bludgeon you with Neil Degrasse Tyson’s figurative whoompum stick. (Side note: whoompum stick, isn’t that a awesome pair of words? I just like saying it out loud: whoompum stick, you should try it is fun). Second, you can tell that Mead has put real work into the universe her books take place in, that is to say nothing feels…contrived. Either the Mead duo are madcap writing geniuses cranking out loads of manuscripts no one will ever see or they got a setting bible. I’m good for either theory. Third (and finally because I know by now reader you are getting grumpy and possibly need a cookie and a glass of milk*), the characters are very very fleshed out. Very real. I don’t get the cardboard cutout feeling when someone new comes onto the stage. For instance, I got the creep vibe near instantly from Edo, the whiny teenager vibe from Jon, and (as I did when I read Fate’s Mirror) the kick-ass action hero vibe from Aidra. Though I doubt she’d describe herself as such. Overall, it is a great book but I just want more of it. It is worth the buy in and while you are at it go ahead and get Good Fences and Fate’s Mirror. Also worth it.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Brenda Maxwell on Sep. 05, 2012 :
In a way this book reminded me a bit of the movie “IRobot”, but with a pet instead of a robot. Very intriguing concept, and I especially enjoyed the premise because although it isn’t real (yet), it totally feels like one day it will be! With all the advances in genetic engineering that have taken place over the past few decades, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before scientists will create the perfect companion pet for people, like the calines. So I was definitely pulled into this story, and was impressed with the quality of clear, descriptive writing from the authors. This is a fast paced read, and fans of good mysteries, pet lovers, scifi readers…heck, anyone who enjoys an excellent read should be sure to pick it up. Definitely recommend.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anabella Johnson on Aug. 30, 2012 :
Every once in a while I’ll read a book that’s outside my normal preferred genres and take a chance on an unknown author. Sometimes I regret it, other times I am pleasantly surprised, and every blue moon I am totally floored and feel excited to have discovered a talented author. Well, this was definitely one of those “blue moon” moments! From the very first page I was drawn into the world that M.H. Mead constructed, complete with the nifty gadgets and inventions of a futuristic society, and of course, with the addition of the “perfect” pet…the calines. But one might be a killer, even though her owner swears that is not the case. PI Adria Scott is a fabulous character and she is on the case, whether she wants it or not. What unfolds in a complex and riveting tale of mystery and suspense, one that kept me flipping the pages as fast as I possibly could. I was happy with the conclusion, and although I won’t claim that this novel is perfect by any means (is any?), I thought it a terrific read and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out other works from M.H. Mead.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Karen Matthews on Aug. 27, 2012 :
Wow, what an awesome book! First off the writing is absolutely top-notch; some of the best I’ve come across in the Indie circuit, and I read A LOT. It was fast paced, had a great hook right from the get-go, and continually built the tension right up to the end. I admit I was bit wary about reading it at first as I am not a huge sci-fi reader, and only picked it up because the premise sounded interesting. But I’d say that although this book is set in the future and had some sci-fi elements, it wasn’t heavy on them, they more like enhanced the story instead of really driving it, and for me this was a huge bonus. All in all a wonderful read that I will definitely be recommending to my friends.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Stacy Decker on Aug. 24, 2012 :
A beloved companion is accused of murder, but in this case it isn’t a person but a pet named Madeline. Madeline is special, she is created to be the perfect companion to her owner. Unfortunately one of her owners ends up dead, and his widow swears that Madeline is innocent. But who would want to frame a caline? Why? “The Caline Conspiracy” starts off strong and pulls you right into the thick of the action. The writing is great…one of the things that drives me nuts are when authors are all “tell” and no “show”, but M.H. Mead pulls you right into the action the whole way. This novel ended up being a lot different than what I expected, and in a good way. I thought it would be more serious…formal almost (In my experience most science fiction takes itself way too seriously). But that wasn’t the case here. The tone was easy, almost causal, with a perfect balance of lightheartedness (with the scenes with the other characters) that balanced out the darker subjects perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and would love to read more from this author in the future.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sophia Renee on Aug. 23, 2012 :
Could NOT put it down. This book totally caught me off guard…I intended to only read a few chapters before turning in for the evening and found myself reading straight through to the very last page. It was THAT good!! I thought the writing was flawless, and it sucked me in right away. The story is mad creative – it’s about a genetically engineered pet (kind of like a dog but not really) called a caline that is accused of murdering its owner. I say murder, not kill, as Calines are advanced creations capable of rational thought. But the victim’s wife swears the accused (Madeline) is totally innocent, so it is up to PI Adria Scott to get to the bottom of this mystery. There were twists and turns I didn’t see coming, and I devoured this in one sitting. Loved it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Kelly on May 13, 2012 :
“No that’s not a typo – the Caline in this conspiracy is a genetically engineered pet, which at first glance could be classed as a Canine. The mad scientist behind this ‘perfect’ personalised pet is Dr Frithke, and he’s apparently just been murdered by his own Caline – Madeline. Open and shut case? Maybe, but the widow is convinced that something is amiss and she’s called in a P.I. to some digging.”

I have to admit that this book was not quite what I expected from the blurb and continuing along the line of honesty – I was also supposed to be reviewing another book this week but in a brief moment of weakness I took a peak and got sucked in. Before I knew what had happened I’d eaten my way through the 200+ pages and suddenly had to find something else to do… or perhaps to start communicating with the outside world again…

Read full review at:
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Local Hero Press, LLC on April 20, 2012 :
This is another tale set in the same universe and featuring the same characters as Mead's previous work FATE'S MIRROR, which I've also read. In comparison to that work, THE CALINE CONSPIRACY is a much better book in my opinion. The character of Aidra, who is only a secondary character in Fate's Mirror, is a more appealing lead than Morris the hacker, and I found myself identifying with her right away. The story moves along at a brisk pace, peppered with cinematic action sequences. The book as a whole reads like a 90-minute detective/action movie. There's a definite twist that I didn't see coming, and it tied the plot up very nicely. My only complaint is that it was a fast read in the sense that most of the characters besides Aidra are undeveloped beyond talking scenery, and a few of the subplots which are begun are left virtually unexplored. Genetic manipulation makes for some fascinating and scary science fiction, and I felt there were some more opportunities to expand upon the horrors that man might create with it. The book would have benefited by adding some depth to the setting and minor characters. That being said, it was an enjoyable beer-and-pretzels read, and an admirable sophomoric effort. I'm looking forward to further adventures in M.H. Mead's near-future Detroit.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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