I refuse to be categorized as a coffee addict; I think three mugs before being able to function is perfectly normal. Of course, since Bud and I have moved to our new home in an idyllic rural setting, my commute to the University of Vancouver where I’m a professor of criminal psychology (well, I am at the moment. . .though there are some worrying things going on in the department) has increased, so now it’s only really at the weekend that I have the chance to indulge in freshly ground beans and a strong, satisfying mug or three.
Luckily, today is Saturday, so I’m looking forward to the aroma of brewing coffee, the moistness of a lemon poppy seed muffin, and the happily relaxed company of my husband and Marty, our now slightly-less-tubby black Lab. Running around our five acres of heaven is good for Marty. I suppose it could be said to be good for me too – my relationship with the ride-on mower is progressing in leaps and bounds. When it works, that is.
Even though I know I have to head out and cut the grass today, for once I can also feel relaxed about it because we just had the machine serviced. One of the marvelous things about living where we do now is that there’s a less-hurried rhythm to the life out here, and there also seems to be a specialist who can do just about anything. An elderly chap named Greg runs the local “bring it and we’ll fix it” workshop. . .so we took our mower (we bought it second-hand and it’s always made an ominous clunking sound) to be diagnosed and repaired. Now there’s no more clunking, just a regular purring, and an eager response to my pressing the accelerator. Wonderful.
Bud delivered the mower on his own when I was at work, but we went to collect it together. I liked Greg’s barn. It’s a unique place; half workshop and half library, it appears to be the accepted hang-out for a group of about a dozen retired men who live in the area. They make themselves at home in the ramshackle old place that smells of oil and cut grass, and talk about all the equipment they use on their acreages, or else browse the collection of books Greg has piled on wide-plank bookshelves there – all of which are about World War Two aircraft. It was a bit of a shock to my system when I noted the spines on the shelves; my late father had a similar interest, and collection. That meant I was able to speak to Greg about his favorite topic while Bud nattered about chainsaws, weed-whackers and stump grinders to the little group of men who were at ease in the collection of sagging and torn – but apparently comfy – armchairs. I’m guessing the furniture has found its way to Greg’s after having been slung out of basements because some parts of it are more duct tape than upholstery.
It was an odd hour; as I reeled off facts and figures about designers, engines, air speeds and handling capabilities – all of which I’d read about when I used to indulge my Dad and pretend I found his books interesting – I could tell ears were straining to hear what this woman with an odd accent and comfortable girth was talking about to Greg. Bud finally gave up trying to engage the group, and I found myself being quizzed. Bud graciously listened for a while, then made moves to allow us to leave. Yes, he rescued me – again! He’s told me that, when he went back to get some oil, Greg quizzed him too – not about aircraft, but about me. It seems that, sometimes, I let all the facts my largely secret eidetic memory stores about a topic spill out a little too much and a little too quickly. I have to be more careful about that . . . I’d rather listen than be talked about. You never know what you might pick up. Oh, excuse me – there’s the phone. I have a feeling it’ll be Bud’s mother, Ebba. It usually is at this time on a Saturday. I hope it’s not a family crisis; I’ve only had one mug of coffee so far.
The Corpse with the Garnet Face is the seventh book in the Cait Morgan mystery series, published by TouchWood Editions, April 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.
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About the author
Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, and worked in marketing communications for decades across Europe. Having migrated to Canada in 2000, she now lives in beautiful British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband (and two chocolate Labradors) ensure she’s able to write full-time. Bestselling author Ace writes two series of mystery books: the Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. Her fourth Cait Morgan Mystery, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair, won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery.
You can find out more about Cathy and her work here: cathyace.com
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Corpse with the Garnet Face. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 13, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.