The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer:
A cozy mystery set in Wales
(A WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery)
About The Author –
GUEST POST BY CATHY ACE
Thanks for having me along today – it’s so exciting to talk about the second WISE Enquiries Agency Mystery, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER.
One of the questions I’m often asked is “Why do you set these books in Wales?” and I suppose the answer seems pretty obvious…I’m Welsh! But it goes deeper than that, I believe; not only was I born and raised in Wales, but my mum and sister still live there (and my dad is buried there) and it will always be “home”, even though I’ve now been living in Canada for sixteen years. So, yes, my roots will always be there, even though my “new growth” will be in Canada.
The next thing people ask is “What’s Wales like?” It’s easy to find lots of beauty-shots of Wales online…its rolling green hills dotted with sheep; its craggy cliffs and beautiful beaches; its wonderful wildlife and ancient woodlands; its pre-historic stone circles and imposing, magnificent castles…they’re all there for you to see and marvel at. But what’s it really like to grow up there and have Wales in your blood? Well, a good deal of Wales is still rural, but its flint, slate, copper, gold and coal mines mean it’s always hosted dirty and dangerous industries, too. The place I come from, Swansea on the south coast, was known as Copperopolis, and rivers ran full of lethal chemicals for decades.
More recently, post-industrial Wales has cleaned itself up, and its stunning beauty has been “officially” recognized as such – for example, the Gower Peninsula (around which my dad used to drive the family in our old Ford Anglia) was the first Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, a designation created in 1956, on the strength of its stunning coastline, remarkable wildlife and unique historical identity.
Welsh people work hard, and play hard. Yes, there’s singing…everywhere; I actually belonged to five choirs at the same time at one stage of my life. There’s laughter, too; the Welsh have a pretty wry sense of humor, quite often directed toward the English…something they share with the Irish, and the Scots.
And that’s another aspect of these books – I’ve put four women in a situation where they work together closely, having to trust that each have the others’ backs as they pursue their chosen path as private investigators tackling puzzling, and sometimes dangerous, cases. They come from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England – so tension, and camaraderie, come into play as they work with their clients to do what needs to be done to keep their business afloat.
I enjoy writing about Wales, and I hope you enjoy reading about it. In these books the part of Wales I write about most is mid- to south-Wales, the part I grew up in. I’ve invented the stately home and estate of Chellingworth Hall, and the nearby village of Anwen-by-Wye, and I’ve populated them with the sorts of people I know from my life in Wales. I hope you enjoy visiting my “homeland” with me, and the WISE Women.