I’ve been away from my post at the University of Vancouver – where I am a professor of criminal psychology – for several months now, and I hate to admit it, but I’m missing the work! Here I am, sunning myself in the Caribbean, a few steps from a sugary-white beach, my hair tousled by the cooling sea-breeze that carries within it a hint of the turquoise sea’s saltiness. . .and I’m missing grading papers, arguing with students about the marks they’ve received, and avoiding my peers in the warren-like corridors where our offices are located.
Explain that, if you can. I’m a psychologist, for goodness sake, and I can’t even begin to understand it!
Maybe I’m missing it because I know I can’t return to that life for at least another nine months or so, and I don’t like being told what I can or cannot do. That said, I know I have to give myself time; I have to recover fully from the after-effects of a near-fatal run-in I had in Budapest late last year. (No, I can’t tell you about that now. . .that’s a whole different story.)
I’m not missing the work because I’m unhappy; I’m really enjoying spending all my time with Bud – I was a little worried that being with each other 24/7 might become a strain, but it’s all been wonderful. He’s popped back to our comfy little whitewashed bungalow to get some more sun-cream – I need an extra bit on my nose, because I don’t want to burn, but I also don’t want to leave the poolside yet. I’ve moved my lounger so I’m shaded by a palm tree; that will help too – and this drink with a little umbrella in it is keeping my insides cool. I gave in to these lovely Piña Coladas when we got here – I can only manage a couple each day, because even I think they’re a bit rich, but, oh my word, they’re yummy! And the fruit allows me to convince myself they’re good for me. You know what I mean.
To be honest, I can still hardly believe how lucky I am to be married to Bud. Did you know that we almost didn’t meet? Given my eidetic memory, it’s not surprising I can remember the first time I saw him, but if I tell you that my clearest impression of him after that first encounter was of his nose-hairs, you might be intrigued. I suppose you could say we met “online”, because he was on-camera at a crime scene, and I was in a cavernous room at my university, delivering a lecture on victim profiling to a group of law enforcement officers; Bud couldn’t see me, but I could see him. He even “kissed me” that day – weeks before we met in person, and a very long time before our lips met in real life. As I think back, I can see it’s a long story. Or maybe several shorter ones, it’s hard to know.
Once Bud understood my theories about victim profiling, he began to retain my services on the odd case or two – cases encountered by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team he used to run in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. And, then, of course, his poor wife – Jan – was tragically murdered, while I was away in the south of France trying to talk myself out of a murder charge. But there, I’m running ahead of myself…or am I running backwards?
Whichever way around you view it, meeting Bud was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally, because I got the chance to use my theories on real cases. As for Bud becoming a widower? So dreadfully sad, and it’s such a shame our happiness had to have that loss for him at its foundation…but, as he’s said so many times since we got together, we didn’t choose it, but it’s how we had the chance to have this new beginning – for the both of us.
Yes, that was what meeting Bud was for me – even before his wife’s death – a new beginning.
You can read more about Cait’s adventures in Murder Keeps No Calendar, a compilation of short stories and novellas.
In Murder Keeps No Calendar author Cathy Ace finally tells how Cait Morgan met Bud Anderson, and how the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency set up in business together. Eight novellas and four short stories (each connected with one month of the year) also give her the chance to introduce two new recurring characters – Detective Inspector Evan Glover, of the Glamorgan Police Service in South Wales, and his wife Betty – as well as a host of other murderous “one shot wonders”, so to speak.
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About the author
Cathy Ace’s criminal psychologist, overindulgent-foodie sleuth, Cait Morgan, has stumbled upon Corpses with a Silver Tongue, Golden Nose, an Emerald Thumb, Platinum Hair, Sapphire Eyes, a Diamond Hand, a Garnet Face and Ruby Lips during her globetrotting. Ace’s WISE Enquiries Agency series features four softly-boiled PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English) who solve quintessentially British cases from their stately home-based office in rural Wales. Ace won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery, was shortlisted again in 2017 when she was also a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story. Visit Cathy at cathyace.com.
All comments are welcomed.