I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.The Corpse with the Ruby Lips on November 1, 2016
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Quirky criminology professor Cait Morgan is invited to be a guest lecturer at a Budapest university, and although she’s hesitant to go without her husband and trusted sidekick, Bud, who must stay home to care for his aging parents, she decides to make the month-long trip on her own.
Soon after arriving, one of her new students, Zsofia, pleads with Cait to help her uncover any clues about her grandmother’s unsolved murder, which happened decades ago on the campus of Cait’s own home university in Canada. Cait agrees, but when she is repeatedly hassled by an creepy colleague, and as bizarre details about Zsofia’s family members come to light, Cait is beset by uncertainty.
As she gets closer to the truth, Cait’s investigation puts the powers-that-be on high alert, and her instincts tell her she’s in grave danger. Bud races to Budapest to come to Cait’s side, but will it be too late?
1) Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Although I now write two series of books (The Cait Morgan Mysteries and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries) I began with Cait, and she’s the character – out of all my characters – who is most like me. Maybe it’s not so unusual for a beginning-author to use a first-person central character much like themselves, but – rather than falling into this decision because it was easy – I specifically chose to put a person very much like myself front and center, because I couldn’t find any female Welsh sleuths in the entire range of mystery novels I researched, and I thought it was high time there should be one. The choice to send her to the same schools I went to, to have much the same general background as me, and so forth, was also a conscious one. To be honest, that was just so I wouldn’t have to waste such good names for schools…Brynhyfryd Junior School and Llwyn y bryn Senior School were real places, so I used them.
2) How much time do you spend writing each day?
I’m not like a lot of authors who HAVE TO WRITE each day. I certainly do write every day, but often what I’m writing is a blog post, or emails/letters etc. When I’m working on a novel there are periods when I am not “writing”, but I’m editing and rewriting – I’m not sure if that counts. What I think of as “writing” is my favorite part of the writing process – the pure unbounded bliss of working through the first draft and getting the entire story out of my fingertips and into the keyboard. To me, that is the best part of the writing life, and it’s what I still think of as “writing” even though I understand the entire process of planning, researching, plotting, outlining, writing, rewriting, editing, copy editing and proofing is all “writing”. So…when I talk about how much “writing” I do in a day it’s a period of about six weeks when I write for about seven hours per day. During the last two weeks of that period it might go up to about ten hours per day – but much more than that and I find I’m typing what looks like a poor hand at Scrabble!
3) What is the best part of being an author?
As I mentioned – it’s the thrill of the first draft. I think about writing a bit like three-day-eventing: there’s the thrill of the steeplechase…galloping, jumping the hurdles, getting all muddy, and racing to the finish line; then there’s the show jumping round, where technique and timing come into play – the rewriting and editing; finally there’s dressage – which seems to be as far away from the first round as possible and, for me, is the least creative, and therefore least enjoyable, part of the process. I suppose I’m a storyteller in my heart, and I enjoy telling the story, am happy to finesse it…but then I have to really push myself through the last parts where it gets buffed up to a sparking shine.
4) If you could write from anywhere in the world, where would you write from?
Honestly? Here…my home. I love it here. I can take a break and walk out of the door to enjoy the five acres upon which we live, or air out my frustrations by working on the three acres we actively garden. I like the weather here in south-west BC…it’s never too hot, usually not too cold (we have very little snow, compared with the rest of Canada) and I much prefer grey, wet winter, temperate days with the doors open so the dogs can come and go as they please than the sunny, frigid days our snow-covered neighbors endure. To be honest, the weather here is pretty similar to that which I know from Wales.
One other place I could happily write from (though not while there are dogs at home who love and need me – and whom I love and need – see below!) would be a cruise ship sailing around the world – that way I wouldn’t have to keep packing and unpacking, but I could enjoy my stately apartment (um…yes…it would need to be an apartment on the ship, not just a little cabin…I hope that’s OK?) then take a break from my writing when we arrive at a new place. Of course, I’d share my travel experiences through my writing.
5) Do you have any writing buddies (pets)?
Oh yes…my darling girls Gabby and Poppy! Two chocolate Labradors who have forever stolen my heart. Gabby will be thirteen years old in November, and Poppy is ten and a half, so they are getting on…Gabby’s finding it less exciting to run for tennis balls these days, but she’s still enthusiastic when she runs down the stairs to go out and sniff her way around the acreage each morning. Indeed, they both enjoy taking a good walk with their noses down, sniffing out all the smells of coyotes, bunnies, bears, and deer. That said, despite the fact they can come and go as they please, they’re usually within a few feet of me when I’m at my desk. In the winter they’re quite often right on top of my feet, so I get to type while wearing “puppy-slippers”…my favorite sort.
6) What are you working on right now?
It’s a busy time – as usual, I’m pleased to say! With this launch of Cait #8, THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS, happening now, then the launch of the paperback version of WISE Women #2 (THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER launches in paperback in the US and Canada in November) and finally the launch of WISE Women #3 (THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS COOK launches in hardcover in the UK in November, and will be available in the US and Canada in March 2017) I’ll admit I’m in full launch-mode at the moment! Once these babies are out in the world, I’ll turn my attention to WISE Women #4 (titled yet to be finalized) the manuscript of which is due to my UK publisher in February 2017. I’m also working on a couple of short stories for anthologies due out in 2018 (short stories really do require a good deal more “hours per word published” than a novel) and I have a bit of a secret project up my sleeve too, at the moment…about which I can, honestly, say nothing. Sorry. I also have my work as Chair of Crime Writers of Canada to keep me out of trouble.
-Thanks for having me along today, Cathy
The Corpse with the Ruby Lips
I can hardly believe this is the 8th book in the Cait Morgan series. I absolutely love this series. One of my most favorite things is the exciting locales. This one is no exception. In this installment, Cait Morgan is a guest lecturer in Budapest! I have never before read a story set in Budapest, so that made this mystery doubly exciting for me.
Cait once again finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery. Trying to find out whodunit is proving quite dangerous. She definitely needs help from Bud on this one. The mystery is quite intriguing and I found myself flying through the pages on my Kindle. This is one of my very favorite classic mystery series, and I thoroughly enjoyed this installment in the Cait Morgan series. I always know I am going to get a book filled with exciting locations, colorful characters and an un-put-downable mystery that will keep me up past my bedtime. If you enjoy classic mysteries, you should check out the Cait Morgan series.
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