The Corpse With The Sapphire Eyes
by Cathy Ace
So happy to be part of this tour!!
The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes
(A Cait Morgan Mystery)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: TouchWood Editions (May 5, 2015)
E-Book ASIN: B00S5HU4ME
It’s Cait and Bud’s wedding weekend and for the first time she feels like a bride—or at least, she’s supposed to. But then the rain won’t quit, the supposedly romantic Welsh castle feels creepy, and there’s a dead body on the stairs.
What first appears to have been the untimely, unfortunate, and accidental death of their wedding choirmaster quickly reveals itself to have been a murder. And when a series of mysterious events occur around the castle, Cait, Bud, and Cait’s sister Sian tackle the case of The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes, attempting to solve the mystery before another sinister event can ruin their destination wedding.
My interview with Cathy Ace
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a short, slightly-older-than-middle-aged (unless I last long enough to set a record!) overindulgent Welsh Canadian whose lifelong passion for crime fiction has finally invaded her “real” life. Born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, I migrated to Vancouver, Canada in 2000.
2. What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I have eaten and drunk everything my character Cait Morgan has eaten and drunk (by way of research, of course).
I have either lived in, or have spent a good deal of time (usually months) in all the places Cait takes in on her travels.
I suspect I love my two chocolate Labradors more than most people!
3. What is the first book you remember reading?
My parents always made a point of reading to me, then with me, at bedtime. The first book I can remember as being one I read more or less on my own was “Little John Little”, I think! Or maybe “Paddington Bear”?
4. What are you reading now?
I find it impossible to read fiction when I’m writing, so I am honestly reading nothing except research materials. My WIP is a Cait Morgan Mystery that will be set in Amsterdam…so lots of stuff about Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Impressionist painters, tulips, and I shouldn’t say more than that for now!
5. What made you decide you want to write?
I’ve always written. Yes, I started with “cat”, loved to write at school, studied English at University for a while – until I swapped to psychology – then was fortunate enough to work in marketing communications, so really made my living by writing…advertising copy, press releases, articles, brochures, websites etc, then I wrote training courses and finally marketing textbooks and university courses. I’ve made my living by writing for decades, but only turned to crime fiction later in life. The success I experienced with my first criminal short story spurred me on to write more.
6. Do you have a special place you like to write?
I used to only write in my study, but just wrote my last book at the dining table (better light during winter days), wrote one on the back deck (longhand, in the sun) and I am beginning to eye up the sofa and coffee table for my next effort but suspect my bad back might rule that out! I find I stick to one spot for the whole of one book – it works for me.
7. Where do the ideas for your books come from?
It’s a combination of setting, people and the nature of the victim’s backstory…they always seem to arrive with those attached. The title often comes first, rapidly followed by an understanding of how the victim was killed, why, and by whom.
8. What books have most inspired you?
I read Agatha Christie’s works when I was very young, as well as books by Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers and I waded through all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels before I’d ever seen them on the screen. That said, it might have been the snacks enjoyed by Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” that really made me believe that every adventure was worth the risk, if only for the goodies you got to eat along the way!
9. Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Sitting down and writing. I kid you not – if I could just waft about the garden weeding and plotting all the time, life would be perfect…it’s the hours at the keyboard with an ever-encroaching deadline that are the challenge. Not getting up and walking away when I’m frustrated at the paucity of my own efforts is the toughest bit of it all…it’s still much more fun than packing “Monster Munches” on the night-shift production line, however, which was an especially painful job because I was allergic to the flavouring they used.
10. What do you think makes a good story?
People. People I want to know about. Love them or hate them, I have to want to understand them better, or I just cannot read on.
11. Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
It has to be Cait Morgan. My build, my age (well, she’s younger than me now, but that’s because I cannot write as fast as she encounters corpses), my weaknesses, my background. But I have endowed her with many characteristics that – in my own defense – I do not possess!
12. Why did you pick your particular genre?
I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, especially puzzle-style crime stories with a traditional bent. I write the sort of book I’d pull from the shelf to read.
13. What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I made a bit of a rod for my own back by having the titular “Corpse with the Silver Tongue” drop dead in the first paragraph of my first book – since then, the titular corpse has always been presented within the first couple of pages. Most authors don’t slap readers in the face with the body that quickly in every book, but I like to approach the mystery that way and it’s sort of become “my thing”. Cait Morgan is a professor of criminal psychology who specializes in profiling victims, so working with Cait to build a picture of the dead person is always the shape of the journey, even though the destination isn’t always clear.
14. What’s next on the horizon for you?
After the May 5th launch of Cait Morgan’s fifth Mystery, The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes, I’ll be looking ahead with great excitement to the launch of the first book in a totally new series. I’ll be introducing the Women of the WISE Enquiries Agency to the world when “The Case of the Dotty Dowager” launches in the US and Canada on 1st July. Already out in the UK, this is a series featuring four female private investigators (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish and one English, hence the acronym) and they’ll be working on quintessentially British cases from a base at a Welsh stately home. In October, Cait Morgan’s sixth Mystery finds her on a cruise ship sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver with “The Corpse with the Diamond Hand”, and I’m working on two more Cait Morgan Mysteries for publication in 2016. I should also mention that Cait’s fourth mystery, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair”, has just been shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award for the best Canadian light mystery of the year; the winner will be announced in Toronto on May 29th. It’s a great honour, and I am thrilled to bits!
Thanks so much for having me here today – happy reading.
Thank you so much Cathy for stopping by today!! Readers watch for my review of The Corpse with the Sapphire Eyes soon as I am still playing catch up from when I was away.
About This Author
Originally from Wales, now-Canadian Cathy Ace writes the Cait Morgan Mysteries. In The Corpse with the Silver Tongue her foodie criminologist sleuthed in the south of France. The Corpse with the Golden Nose found Cait sniffing out a killer in BC’s vineyards. The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb met her when she was meddling in murders in Mexico. This time Cait is caught up in a true closed-room mystery in a classy casino restaurant in Las Vegas. When not helping Cait solve traditional, closed-circle mysteries, Cathy’s a keen gardener, ably assisted by her green-pawed chocolate Labradors.
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