Welsh criminal psychologist and globetrotting sleuth Cait Morgan and her retired-cop husband Bud Anderson are enjoying some well-deserved peace and quiet at home, in moody, mountainous British Columbia. The sudden death of a neighbor is a significant loss for them both, so Cait’s honored when Gordy Krantz’s “unusual” will requests that she eulogize him at his memorial.
However, delving into the dead man’s background becomes a pressing priority when a puzzling theft and some surprising discoveries put our favorite sleuths on high alert. Might someone living in their seemingly tight-knit—and certainly off-beat—rural community have wanted their neighbor dead? And if so, are more people they know at risk?
The tenth Cait Morgan Mystery from Bony Blithe Award-winning author Cathy Ace, THE CORPSE WITH THE IRON WILL, forces Cait and Bud to use the skills they’ve honed tackling cases around the world to unmask a killer who’s too close to home for comfort!
Cathy Ace recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, THE CORPSE WITH THE IRON WILL:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
In this instance—because Cait Morgan and Bud Anderson are series characters—it was the location that was the main driver of the book. Cait and Bud are always “away from home,” somewhere in the world. This time they’re at home, so, rather than considering people they don’t know very well as suspects, this time it’s their neighbors who are under the microscope.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
The Cat Morgan Mysteries have a different location for each book, usually somewhere that most would think of as ideal for the armchair traveler. The challenge in setting the book on Cait’s home turf (which is also my own home turf!) is that I have to gauge how to make a place I know intimately appeal to readers, without overdoing the local details. This is also the biggest opportunity—where I live is wonderful…and I want folks to know that!
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Written during a pandemic, I didn’t want this to be a book that featured the aspects of life we’ve all had to become accustomed to. Each Cait Morgan Mystery is set in a different country—she’s a highly peripatetic sleuth!—but this time she has to solve a puzzling murder on her own doorstep. This book allows me to examine the concepts of “home” and “community” at a time when we’ve all had to reconsider what those things mean to us personally, and globally.
Cathy Ace’s Welsh Canadian criminal psychologist sleuth Cait Morgan encounters traditional, closed-circle whodunits around the world, while her WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries feature a quartet of soft-boiled female PIs who solve more cozy cases from their office at a Welsh stately home. Her standalone suspense novel, The Wrong Boy, has been optioned for TV (as have her Cait Morgan Mysteries). Shortlisted for Canada’s Bony Blithe Award three times in four years, winning in 2015, she’s also won IPPY and IBA Awards, and has been shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award. Cathy lives in Canada, having migrated from Wales aged 40.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.