Author Q&A & Review: Cathy Ace, author of The Corpse with the Golden Nose

August 1, 2013 Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Interview 6 ★★★★

Author Q&A & Review: Cathy Ace, author of The Corpse with the Golden Nose

Author Q&A & Review: Cathy Ace, author of The Corpse with the Golden NoseThe Corpse with the Golden Nose by Cathy Ace
Series: Cait Morgan #2
Published by TouchWood Editions on February 26th, 2013
Genres: Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, The Corpse with the Garnet Face
Also by this author: The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, The Case of the Dotty Dowager, The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer, The Corpse with the Garnet Face

The second book in the Cait Morgan Mysteries brings overindulgent foodie and criminologist Cait Morgan to the vineyards of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

A world-famous vintner is dead. And when a heartfelt plea to look into the matter is paired with an exclusive gourmet event in BC’s stunning wine country, Cait Morgan cannot resist. She is sure the owner of the family-run vineyard was murdered. But her companion, Bud Anderson, is convinced that the woman took her own life. That is, until death strikes once again. Uncovering obsessions and murderous thoughts among the victim’s wacky neighbours is a start. But, as Cait unravels the clues, she realizes that more lives are at stake. Can she think, and act, fast enough to prevent another death?

 

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

 Interview with the Author

I’m very excited to have Cathy Ace with me today.  Cathy is touring The Corpse with the Golden Nose, the second book in her mystery series featuring foodie and criminologist Cait Morgan. Cathy, welcome to The Bookwyrm’s Hoard, and thank you for agreeing to talk with me today! 

Cathy Ace:  Thanks very much for inviting me along – I’m looking forward to it. 

Lark:  You had a successful career in marketing and training.  When did you start writing? 
CA:  I’ve been very fortunate to be able to write my whole career…but not fiction. I’ve written everything from business reports to advertising copy and press releases, articles and information packs. The amount of technical literature I’ve written over the years is quite astonishing, and then I shifted to write training courses and manuals. I wrote my first murderous fiction short story in 1989, but then focused on my business career until 2007, by which time I’d already had nine textbooks published. It was while I was teaching at University in British Columbia that I began to write fiction again, and I’m so pleased that I did. 
L:  What inspired you to write The Corpse with the Golden Nose? 

CA:  I adore BC’s wine country and, for a foodie like Cait Morgan, I knew it would be a super setting for one of her mysteries.  The death of a vintner, famous for her award-winning nose, seemed to be a good fit…so Cait jumped into the truck and off she went! The fact that the area has a well-established community, and a lot of newer arrivals, also interested me . . . I enjoy the interplay of local/visitor, and Cait gets to meet some quirky characters in this book. 

L:  Where do you do most of your writing?

CA:  Winter writing is all done in my study, in the summer I try to do at least some writing on the deck, but there are so many distractions that, if I’m honest, I must admit that I find my study to be more productive. Even though there can be a little disorder on my “filing” desk (ie it’s covered with papers that will, one day, be filed away) the rest of the room is very calming . . . to me. Its eau de nil walls comfort and soothe me, I’m surrounded by my books – my oldest friends – and a lot of art on the walls that I brought to Canada from the UK. My biggest indulgence when I decorated the room, which is very art deco in style, was a black carpet – with two chocolate Labradors it’s very rarely pure black…but, when it is, it gives me an unreasonable amount of joy!

L:  When you are writing a mystery story or novel, are you a “plotter” or a “panster”? 

CA:  PLOTTER! Some might say I’m obsessive about preparing before I begin to write, but I can’t help it – I’m very process orientated. I make pages and pages of notes about my characters before I begin . . . not just their physical attributes, but their entire backstory too, even if that doesn’t end up on the page of the book. My plots are classic whodunit, traditional mysteries, so clues, red herrings, false possibilities and the detailed recounting of all of the above in the denouement are critical – so poor planning cannot be an option. 

L:  Your biography mentions Agatha Christie as one of your early influences.  What are your favorite Christie tales, and why? 

CA:  Christie herself was most satisfied by the work she did in the book that is now called And Then there Were None, and it is true that it is a mold-breaking masterpiece with a wonderful sense of isolation and terror growing through the text. That said, for me, I prefer some of her more sweeping books, where location is totally interwoven with plot. The Murder on the Orient Express could only have taken place on a train and Death on the Nileis a plot that works because of the boat. By The Pricking of My Thumbs is, I feel, Christie’s best Tommy & Tuppence novel (I love those characters, especially in their later years), Nemesis is my favorite Miss Marple and, when it comes to Poirot (other than the two I have listed already) I’ll plump for The Mystery of the Blue Train, which involves death and a missing necklace, in the south of France . . . three elements I featured in my first Cait Morgan Mystery, THE CORPSE WITH THE SILVER TONGUE. 

L:  Besides Christie, what do you read for fun? 

CA:  If I’m in the mood for cops: Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson, Louise Penny, Andrea Camillieri, Donna Leon, Ruth Rendell, Henning Mankell, Elizabeth George, Reginald Hill. Thrilling/gritty/psychological reads: Lynda La Plante, Linwood Barclay, Val McDermid, Ruth Rendell. PI’s: Lawrence Block, Robert Crais, Robert B Parker, Lindsey Davis, Sara Paretsky, John D MacDonald. Traditional/cozy: although PD James’ Dalgleish books are “police” novels, I always think he acts like a sleuth, so that’s when I read/re-read those, plus, of course, Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Ellis Peters, Ralph McInerny, Tamar Myers…and this list runs and runs. I often have several books “on the go”, and I’ll pick up one that is the right genre for my mood. By the way, I do read things other than crime too – though very rarely, and they tend to be biographies/autobiographies. I admit that I read cookbooks as books, and don’t just use them as a reference source – Julia Child was a wonderful writer! 
L:  That’s an impressive list!  Describe your ideal vacation.  Where would you go, and what would you do there?  Would you take your writing with you, or take a break from it? 
CA:  Me, hubby, family and dogs, with a few suites on a fabulous  cruise ship, taking a four-week round trip from Vancouver to the Hawaiian Islands, and back to Vancouver – so no flying at all! Lots of time at each island, wonderful weather every single day, fabulous food and drink at arm’s reach – and, no, I wouldn’t BE writing, but I’d certainly be plotting . . . I can never stop myself plotting! I’d need a butler for the dogs, and dog-sitters too…then I’d be 100% happy. What would I do? LOTS of reading, and not much else. 
L:  What’s next for Cait Morgan? 
CA:  Following her time in BC’s Okanagan, she’s going to have to go back to work for a few months, before she gets the chance to take a break at a friend’s place in a resort  on the Pacific coast of Mexico. THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB will be published in the spring of 2014, and, once again, the titular corpse is on the first page, and Cait has to solve a tricky case . . . this one very much against the clock! There’ll be another Cait Morgan Mystery in the fall of 2014, which I am currently writing, and two more in 2015 – Cait’s looking forward to all the traveling she’s about to do, and I’m looking forward to spending lots of time with her.
 
L:  Finally, a few quick questions: 
  • Favorite beverage?   Coffee or champagne — they’re both breakfast drinks, right??
  • Favorite color?  Blue is my gut reaction, though I know I wear black more than anything else.
  • Favorite TV show?  REALLY tough one.  Doctor Who and Columbo.
  • Favorite non-reading activity?  Cooking.  Oh, who am I kidding? Eating!
  • Favorite ice cream flavor?  Chocolate sundaes at Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour in Swansea, Wales.
  • Pencil, pen, or computer?  Computer

L:  Thank you, Cathy!  It’s been lovely to have a chance to get to know you.  Best of luck with THE CORPSE WITH THE GOLDEN NOSE!  

CA:  Thanks very much for having me to visit — it’s been fun!   

 

My Review

I really enjoyed The Corpse with the Golden Nose.  Cait Morgan narrates the book.  She has a distinctive voice: practical, very confident professionally, but a bit insecure personally and emotionally.  Her training in criminal psychology and her work as a victim profiler give her a much better background for investigation than the typical cozy’s amateur sleuth; she has a real talent for extrapolating from what she observes.  In addition, Cait possesses an eidetic memory, a highly useful attribute for any detective.  It’s fascinating to “watch and hear” her replay scenes in her head, focusing on minute details and drawing conclusions from them.  Cait’s eidetic memory also provides insight into the ghosts in her own past: an abusive ex-husband and her parents’ death.

Cait’s “sidekick” is her former colleague and current boyfriend Bud Anderson.  As a retired policeman, But is no stranger to investigations, and in fact, he instigates this one on behalf of his online “grief buddy” Ellen, who is convinced her sister’s suicide was no such thing.  Bud is clearly devoted to Cait; equally clearly, she’s not quite sure of him yet — or rather, she’s very unsure of her own attractions.

Cathy Ace cites Agatha Christie as one of her formative influences, and it shows.  The mystery is tightly plotted and exhibits Christie-style misdirection with all the clues available to the reader, who is nonetheless led down the garden path.  A number of quirky secondary characters add to the Christie-like feel, yet this is very much a contemporary mystery, not a pseudo-Golden Age novel.

I found very little to dislike in The Corpse with the Golden Nose.  I did feel that at times Bud took more of a backseat than he should, given his background and expertise.  The exposition of the mystery held together pretty well, with one exception: the explanation of the suicide note didn’t ring quite true for me.  (I can’t go into details without giving away spoilers.)   Still, the mystery was so well-crafted over all that those are very minor quibbles.

I heartily recommend The Corpse with the Golden Nose to fans of Golden Age mysteries as well as cozies.  I plan to read the first book, and I’ll definitely be watching for the next installment!

Click here for my review of The Corpse with The Golden Nose!


Tour Participants:

July 18 –A Blue Million Books –  Guest Post
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog  – Review & Guest Post
July 20 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review & Giveaway
July 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy  – Interview
July 22 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK  – Review
July 23 – Storeybook Reviews  – Review & Giveaway
July 24 – readalot  – Review & Giveaway
July 26 – Books-n-Kisses  – Review & Interview
July 28 – Brooke Blogs  – Review, Guest Post
July 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post
July 30 – Escape With Dollycas  – Guest Post & Review
July 31 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading  – Review & Interview
August 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard  – Interview & Review (That’s me!)
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog  – Review

 

This book counts toward the Cruisin’ thru the Cozies challenge hosted by Socrates’ Book Reviews.

 

four-stars

About Cathy Ace

Welsh Canadian mystery author Cathy Ace is the creator of The Cait Morgan Mysteries. Born, raised and educated in Wales, Cathy enjoyed a successful career in marketing and training across Europe for twenty years before migrating to Vancouver, Canada. There she taught on MBA and Undergraduate marketing programmes at various Universities for a decade. Her eclectic tastes in art, music, food and drink have been developed during her decades of extensive travels, which she continues, whenever possible. Now a full-time author, Cathy and her husband are keen gardeners who enjoy being helped out around their rural acreage by their chocolate Labradors.

6 Responses to “Author Q&A & Review: Cathy Ace, author of The Corpse with the Golden Nose”

  1. Cathy Ace

    Hello Lark – thanks for inviting me along to your Bookwyrm’s Hoard…it was interesting to visit. Happy Reading! Cathy