14 March 2013


  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 554 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1927129095
  • Publisher: Touchwood Editions (March 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Source: review copy supplied by publisher.
Synopsis (supplied by publisher)

In the south of France where hatred simmers in the heat, a man seemingly admired, but certainly feared, is killed during a dinner party. All of the guests fall under suspicion, as each one has a possible motive for murder. Add to that the disappearance of an ancient gold collar that’s said to be cursed and you have the ingredients for a Nicoise salad of death, secrets and lies. Will the resourceful Cait Morgan find the killer before she, too, becomes a victim of a murderer who is driven by a surprising, and disturbing, motive?

The first novel in the Cait Morgan Mystery Series, this is a classic whodunnit, featuring Welsh Canadian Professor Cait Morgan — a criminologist who specializes in profiling victims, when she’s not over-indulging in gourmet food.

My Take

This debut novel begins with one of the most memorable opening scenes I have read recently:
    THE CHATTER AMONG THE DINNER guests was bubbling along nicely, when Alistair Townsend suddenly clutched at his chest, made gurgling sounds and slumped into his bowl of escargots. Reactions around the table varied: his wife told him to stop messing about, one of his guests looked surprised, one a little concerned and a couple were quite cross. All of which led me to suspect that “How to react when one’s host drops dead at the dinner table” is not tackled in any modern etiquette books.
It really was purely coincidental that Professor Cait Morgan was at this dinner. She had known the host through work some years before and had bumped into him at lunchtime that day. She was in Nice to deliver a paper at a conference for a colleague and due to fly back to Vancouver after the weekend. She surprised herself by accepting his invitation to dinner even though, if the truth be known, she really disliked him

And so she is the only one at the dinner party who knows no-one else and then finds herself a suspect for murder.

I found this an easy and engaging read although I thought there were some plot twists that got into trouble. The style is confident and easy to read. There are a number of characters each of which has a credible motive for the murder, but the police seem to need some convincing that Cait could not be responsible.

Alistair Townsend's death is the main plot which runs alongside another that involves Cait's good friends Bud and Jan back in Vancouver. This part of the story is essential for background to Cait, and for the continuance of the series. (The second novel THE CORPSE WITH THE GOLDEN NOSE is already available.)

My rating: 4.2

About the author

Born and raised in South Wales, CATHY ACE moved to London after graduation to pursue a career in marketing communications. Since relocating to British Columbia in 2000, she has taught at various universities, and is currently lecturing at Simon Fraser University. Cathy’s love of crime fiction began at an early age: she graduated from Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie when she was ten and has never looked back! Cathy makes her home in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and beloved Labrador dogs. The Corpse with the Silver Tongue is her first novel.

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