Catherine writes cozy mysteries that take place in places like her home in the English countryside with her wonderful dogs. Her dad was in the military and she spent most of her first 14 years abroad. Her love of Nancy Drew books prepared her for writing cozy mysteries. She writes the Tommy & Evelyn Christie Mysteries and the Martha Miller Mysteries. You can find out more about her books from her Website (be sure to sign up for her newsletter!) and her Amazon Author page. You can follow her on Facebook too.
Catherine’s book in Mysteries, Summer Sun and Murders is Murder at the Seaside.
Keen to enjoy some time relaxing before the birth of their first baby, Tommy & Evelyn Christie decide to take a family holiday to Scarborough. No sooner have they settled in to the Majestic Hotel than a rather sweet old lady tumbles down the main staircase to her death. The hotel manager, aware of their reputation as successful amateur sleuths, begs them to show Mildred Montgomery was the victim of murder rather than an accident caused by a safety issue that could affect the reputation of the hotel. What will come first: the end of their holiday, solving the murder, or the birth of the Christie’s baby?
Lets find out some more about the author!
Everyone takes a tote bag with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
I’ll take my Kindle, a paperback in case it gets too hot for the kindle, probably a second paperback just in case I finish the first one. Next is sunscreen, bottles of water, and a bit of change for an ice cream J
Share something readers wouldn’t know about you.
I have had a wide range of jobs that include legal secretary, care worker in a nursing home, bar worker, legal assistant, childminder, foster carer, car sales worker, HR Manager…and finally an author. Funny thing? When I was young, I always wanted to be a teacher!!
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
Always the characters. Sleuths first, then the victim, and finally the suspects and ancillary cast. I might have a vague idea about who dies, and how, but never why. Once I have a cast of characters, I then assign each of them a ‘secret’ they would do anything to keep hidden. Of course, during the book, that secret will be uncovered by my sleuths. Finally I work out the ‘how’ of the crime and if there needs to be a second crime – this is always my favourite part – I love plotting murder!!
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
If the book is set somewhere I have never been, then I tend to do as much research as I can. For instance, I have never been to Belgravia so before I started writing Murder in Belgrave Square, I watched a talk through the Women’s Institute about Belgravia so I had an idea of its history, and the buildings, so my book was more authentic. As Scarborough is closer to where I live, and Covid restrictions are less stringent, I took a trip for a few days so I could explore before I started writing Murder by the Seaside. I also have countless books on my bookshelf about life in the 1920s and 1940s so I make sure I get the social aspects of living during those times right. I’m also proud to say that when I started the Tommy & Evelyn Christie series I watched Downton Abbey in its entirety as ‘research’ 😀 Often things come up during my writing that I need to check. I always stop and research immediately – I’m too worried to put in a ‘placeholder’ and come back later to fix that part. Also I like to be certain that when a chapter is finished, it doesn’t show gaps in my knowledge that might affect later parts of the book. All that to say, research might take me anything from a day or two up to a week or more before I feel that I have enough information to start writing. It’s also one of my favourite parts of writing because I love learning new things.