From the Booking Desk:

It has been a while since I have posted a Composite Sketch and this one is unlike the previous. Whereas the others have been profiles of real people within our community, today we are going to meet a fictional character. (Credit where credit is due, this idea was inspired by a suggestion from Catriona McPherson – who will, in fact, join us next month with a profile of Lexy Campbell.)

But today, we are fortunate to have Cait Morgan with us. Cait is the main character in Cathy Ace‘s excellent traditional/cozy mystery series. If you haven’t tried the Cait Morgan mysteries, now might just be the perfect time. Since we are all stuck at/around home, it’s important to know that the Cait Morgan books are each set in a different exotic locale, allowing for some arm-chair travel mixed with murder. You can go to the South of France, Mexico, Las Vegas, Hawaii, or Budapest to name but a few. The most recently release book in the series, The Corpse with the Crystal Skull, finds Cait celebrating her 50th birthday in Jamaica.

Let’s get to know this college professor, amateur sleuth, and foodie just a little bit better.

Name: Cait Morgan
Location:  About 40 miles east of Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

I have to begin by saying that my late parents inspired me throughout my formative years; I’ve always had to strive to achieve anything, but maybe not in the ways some others have, because my eidetic memory has given me certain advantages. However, being able to recall something at will isn’t the same as being able to act usefully, so it’s the direction and fortitude my parents allowed me to develop that’s come into play time and time again to allow me to become the person I, ultimately, have become.  

That being said, my husband, Bud Anderson, has inspired, and continues to inspire me most, as an adult. When we met it was on a purely professional basis, and my admiration for him as a leader and colleague grew as I developed an understanding of his views about justice and the rule of law. As a man whose entire life has been spent in service of the community first as an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, then as a detective in, and later as head of, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for the Vancouver Police Department, he has witnessed some of the worst possible human actions. The fact he stepped up to head an internationally coordinated team of specialists working toward controlling global gang activities showed me he was prepared to acknowledge that crimes which might seem remote can impact the lives of people who live in any neighborhood. Now that he’s retired, we’re supposed to be able to relax, but he still inspires me to follow my heart, and supports me in every way, when it comes to facing the challenges of exposing wrongdoers whenever we encounter a criminal problem to solve.

One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:

I suppose I have to say “Cathy Ace” – after all, without her my stories wouldn’t be told – and I think they’re worth telling.

STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:

I spend a great deal of my time dealing with reality; I very much enjoy my research into victim profiling, and the application of my theories to real situations…which means I am dealing with real crimes, happening contemporaneously, all the time. This means I don’t, overall, indulge much in fiction reading, except when I am on holiday, when I find I can revel in the works of JRR Tolkien, largely because I don’t experience any internal stress about the veracity of the author’s depiction of a world he created himself. I am always striving to understand and explain things in the real world, so I think Gandalf would be a fictional character I’d stalk – not that stalking is something to be taken lightly – because he is so deeply unknown and unknowable, human-like yet fabulous and mystical. An exhilarating mix.

People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):

I’ve never really understood the concept of idolization or fandom. Yes, I had posters of rock stars on my walls when I was a pre-teen, but since those difficult years I’ve never idolized anyone. Everyone has feet of clay because none of us is perfect, and I don’t see the point of putting someone on a pedestal just so you can be disappointed when their frailties are discovered by the world – which, for me, can change the way I view their artistic output. But I do have an enduring love of Shakespeare – the greatest artist with words, ever. My entire adult life has been spent trying to understand human nature – that’s why I studied psychology at university, and why I then went on to apply that knowledge, and expand it, in the field of criminal psychology. When I read Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets in my early teens (and, no, I don’t need to read them again because I can recall them when I want) I was blown away. Long before the field of psychological investigation was even considered, Shakespeare observed and cogitated on the human condition in ways we have yet to better today. As a psychologist I revel in his understanding of the complexities of human motivation and criminality; he was writing in a world where some heinous opinions about race and gender were the norm, but, for all that, his insights are extraordinary. Is this a surprise to anyone who knows me? I have no idea – I’m not terribly concerned about what people think, or know, of me.

My personal catch phrase is (or should be):

“It’s always worth trying to understand why people do what they do.”

Find out more about Cait Morgan, Cathy Ace, and this mystery series here.