by: Cathy Ace
Series: Cait Morgan Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: April 5, 2016
The seventh book in the Cait Morgan series finds the eccentric Welsh criminologist–sleuth accompanying her husband Bud to Amsterdam to try to unravel a puzzling situation.
To Bud’s surprise, he discovers he has a long-lost uncle, Jonas, who’s met an untimely death. Bud's mother assures him Jonas was a bad child, but, from beyond the grave, Uncle Jonas begs his nephew to visit the city he adopted as his home to delve into the life he built for himself there, founded on his passion for art.
With an old iron key as their only clue, Cait and Bud travel to Amsterdam to solve the cryptic message left by Jonas—and to honor the final wishes of a long-lost relative.
Hi Cathy. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m just fine, thanks ever so much for having me along.
You’re welcome. I’m new to the Cait Morgan series. Can you please tell me about Cait and the series itself? Are the books standalones?
THE CORPSE WITH THE GARNET FACE is the seventh in the Cait Morgan Mysteries series and, while each book presents a complete mystery in itself, there is a continuing, and developing, relationship between Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson as their lives progress.
Cait’s a professor in the school of criminology at the University of Vancouver, and she first met Bud Anderson when he was heading up a homicide team. He hired her as a consultant; her skills as a victim profiler meant she was able to provide useful services for some of his cases. The books aren’t about those cases – her consulting gig has dried up since Bud retired, and we usually happen upon Cait when she discovers she’s faced with a puzzling, closed-circle mystery to solve that’s turned up right under her nose.
Like me, Cait is Welsh-Canadian, she loves her food, is a bit overindulgent, and is in heaven when there’s a new dish, or a previously-untasted drink to savor.
How has Cait changed over the course of the series?
In the first book, Cait is a happily single professional woman in her late forties who’s comfortable with her life, and her academic position. During the course of the series her relationship with Bud has developed, and, in becoming half a couple, she’s finding facing fifty as a married woman is not quite what she’d expected. Cait’s a contradictory character in many ways – she’s always sure she’s right, though knows she can often be wrong; she’s happy with her weight, but always jokes about her girth before anyone else can do it; she has a pretty tough exterior, though Bud knows how lacking in self-confidence she can sometimes be.
Cait’s husband, Bud, is a retired homicide cop. How has he helped her with her investigations?
Cait is a psychologist, so is always driven to work out why people do what they do. Bud’s background as a cop means he’s pretty hot on procedures. He’s able to help Cait keep her feet on the ground in many ways, though the couple shares a deeply held belief in the need for justice. They’re a good team – and are deeply in love.
They sound like a perfect match. What do you think Cait and Bud would say about all the situations you put them into?
I think Cait would adore all the places I send them – she loves to travel, revels in insights into different lives and lifestyles, and thoroughly enjoys trying new things. Bud? Not so much. He likes what he likes, doesn’t have an experimental palate, or outlook on life. He’d much rather stay on his home patch and work in the garden – preferably in comfy old clothes.
Was there anything about The Corpse with the Garnet Face which actually surprised you?
I really enjoy conducting research for my books and I’ve always had a great love of art and travel. I only set books in places I know well, and Amsterdam is a city where I’ve spent a lot of time. One of my favorite “discoveries” was unearthing the details of the life of a real Dutch art forger in the middle of the twentieth century by the name of Van Meegeren. I knew a fair bit about the man’s life story, but, as I delved deeper researching this book, I found out more bizarre things about him. He actually “cooked” his fake art in an oven to make them more convincing, for example.
Interesting. Tell me about the idea of having the names of gemstones in every title.
Yes, there’s always something precious in the title – a gemstone or metal, for example. It all began with the first book, where the titular corpse was a man who was good at winkling people’s secrets out of them – he had what’s called a “silver tongue”. With that in mind, I wondered if that type of title would work for other plots I had in mind. So far we’ve had that original Silver Tongue, a Golden Nose, and Emerald Thumb, Platinum Hair, Sapphire Eyes, a Diamond Hand and now a Garnet Face. We’re heading toward ten titles with that sort of theme, and I don’t seem to be running out of “precious body parts” yet.
Okay. You’ve partly answered my next question. Tell me a little about what’s coming next, for this series.
Book eight will be available in November 2016 – THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS is set in the wonderful city of Budapest. After that, there are plans for new books in 2017, but I have to keep them quiet for now.
Great! Congratulations, on the upcoming release. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Thanks ever so much for inviting me to join you. It’s been fun to introduce Cait Morgan to you – and I really hope you enjoy spending time with her. Happy reading!
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