The Corpse with the Iron Will
The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
by Cathy Ace
About The Corpse With The Iron Will
The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
10th in Series
Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (June 3, 2021)
Number of Pages: 325
Digital ASIN: B08YRQP569
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 favourite 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!
Chapter One: Be It Ever So Humble...
I like Saturday mornings at home; there’s something about the prospect of the whole weekend stretching ahead that makes a Saturday morning sparkle with promise, and glint with possibilities. This one followed a bit of a late Friday night; late for Bud and me, anyway. We’d been binge-watching a Scandi-Noir television series and had decided to watch the last two episodes of the season, rather than go to bed. Now I had a telly-hangover; I was a bit bleary-eyed and worn out – from all that being stretched out on the couch nibbling salty snacks, no doubt.
As I looked out of our bathroom window my spirits lifted. The light as September becomes October is magical here in our little part of beautiful British Columbia; long shadows were reaching across the glittering grass toward gold-green trees, glowing through the dazzling mist, and I could hear a loon calling in the distance – such a mocking, yet mournful, sound. It certainly conjured Keats’s season of mellow fruitfulness, but a Canadian version.
My phone rang in my dressing-gown pocket. Marty – our ever-helpful black Lab – barked to alert me to the fact, just in case I hadn’t heard it. I answered as I petted his head.
“Cait, are you up yet?” Bud’s voice sounded strange – guttural.
“Bathroom. Teeth. Just a minute.” I rinsed my foamy mouth, tied my robe around my ample midsection, and headed for the kitchen, praising Marty along the way. He stayed close beside me, just in case I was unexpectedly set upon by stealthy marauders.
“You okay, Bud?” I hoped for a reassuring response from my husband, but the silence that followed made my tummy clench. “What’s wrong?”
Bud’s tone was grave. “I’m sorry, Cait. I’d have preferred to not tell you this on the phone, but I’ve got no choice. It’s Gordy. He’s dead. I can’t leave his property until the authorities get here.”
The news hit me like a physical blow. “What? How? When?” I could feel tears snag the back of my throat.
“I don’t know, exactly. He didn’t answer when I phoned him this morning, so I popped next door to see if he was okay. I found him on the floor beside his bed about fifteen minutes ago. Cold to the touch. No pulse. I’ve made the necessary calls. I’ll have to make statements. Not sure how long it’ll take, and I didn’t want you to not know what was going on. Sorry it has to be this way, Wife. You okay?”
I wasn’t. “Did he fall?”
Bud and I had been taking it in turns to phone our next-door neighbor around eight-thirty every night and every morning, and we’d made sure to drop in on him at least once a day for the past couple of months. We’d also shared the responsibility for taking him to the doctor for his appointments, and on trips to the pharmacy, the grocery store, and bank – then that had morphed into us making the trips on his behalf. Gordy Krantz was ninety-three, quite frail, and recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; I’d been worrying about him falling for some time. I’d hoped we’d been doing enough to ensure his safety. It seemed not.
Bud’s tone shifted to the professional; in his years as a homicide detective before his retirement, he’d observed many scenes of death. “He was in a vest and pajama bottoms, supine on the floor beside his bed, almost as though he’d slipped out of it, rather than falling. I checked his head – no obvious signs of trauma, no visible blood or bruising. His comforter was a twisted mess, pushed against the bedside wall, so he hadn’t tripped on that, and I couldn’t see anything on the floor that might have sent him tumbling, or slipping. But the medics are more likely to know what to make of it all, I dare say. Sorry, Cait. I know you liked him. And he liked you.”
“And I know you felt a great deal for him too, Bud. You’ll miss him, and your chats.” Marty’s wet nose pressed against my hand; he seemed to sense my distress. I stroked him; the shape of a Labrador’s head is incredibly soothing. I was rewarded with two warm licks and the sound of Marty’s tail beating against the wall.
I could hear a sad smile in Bud’s reply: “We’ll both miss him.”
I sighed. A deep, heartfelt sigh. “I’ll even miss the way he used to joke about my Welsh accent. I’ll let Marty out to do his necessaries, then how about I bring a couple of thermal mugs of coffee over? I can wait with you. Marty’ll be fine indoors.”
There was a slight pause before Bud replied. “The coffee’s a good idea; it’s a chilly morning, and not much warmer inside – Gordy’s woodstove is just about hanging in there. And maybe something to nibble? This could all take hours. And wrap up warm. See you when I see you. I’ll go back to his house now, but give us a wave first, eh?”
I looked out of the kitchen window toward the split-rail fence which marked the boundary between our five acres and Gordy’s fifteen; Bud was standing beside the gate we’d added not two months earlier. He raised an arm, I waved back, then he turned and strode off toward Gordy’s place.
I picked up the kettle to check if there was water in it and pulled a ratty old tissue from my dressing-gown pocket to wipe the tears from my chin. There was a bitterness in my throat that had nothing to do with hours of salty snacks the night before, and everything to do with the loss of an elder I had come to know, and had grown to respect, over the past year or so. Gordy Krantz was gone, and the world would be a poorer place for him no longer being in it.
About Cathy Ace
Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, then migrated to Canada aged 40. Having traveled the world (for business and pleasure) for decades, Cathy put her knowledge of the cultures, history, art, and food she encountered to good use in the Cait Morgan Mysteries – a series of traditional whodunits featuring a globetrotting Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology. These books have been optioned by Free@LastTV (Agatha Raisin). Ace also writes the #1 Amazon bestselling WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring four female PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English). They tackle quirky, quintessentially British cases from a Welsh stately home in the rolling countryside of the Wye Valley. Her standalone tale of psychological suspense, The Wrong Boy, also became an amazon #1 bestseller, and is due to become a bilingual TV mini series. Cathy lives on five rural acres in British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband ensures she’s able to work full-time as an author, and enjoy her other great passion – gardening. She’s been shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award three times in four years, winning in 2015, has won an IPPY Award, and was shortlisted for an IBA Award and an Arthur Ellis Award.
June 7 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 8 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
June 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?