"The Corpse with the Granite Heart" By Cathy Ace: Review/Giveaway

Review by Cynthia Chow 

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

After having an up-close viewing of John Silver’s acrimonious breakup in Jamaica with his previous girlfriend, Canadians Cait Morgan and her husband Bud Anderson were anxious about meeting John’s new fiancée Bella Quiller. Considering that it had only been six months since the breakup, Cait and Bud were willing to venture from British Columbia back to her home country and London for the Christmas season in order to meet the woman who had so enchanted John. That relationship already seems to be a little precarious, and meeting Bella’s family doesn’t make Cait any more optimistic for the couple’s future. It turns out that Cait once worked in PR with Bella’s twin sister Sasha Asimov, and it would be an understatement to say that Cait’s interactions with Sasha and her husband were unpleasant. It looks to be an extremely uncomfortable dinner for everyone, and that was even before the arrival of a third rivaling Asimov sibling. The entire Asimov family is steadfastly upper class and elitist, with the three adult children all benefiting from their father’s business as a developer and presumed Shakespearean lineage. Still, no one could have expected that the uncomfortable night would end prematurely with Sasha’s death from a fall, one which on the surface appears to be a suicide.

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Image Source Four Tails Publishing
Cait doubts that conclusion, both from her personal interactions with the self-centered woman and from her occupational knowledge as a criminal psychology professor. Someone from above has ordered the investigation closed, frustrating the resentful investigators and those who think themselves above plebeian justice. New avenues open when John uses his never-named, secret spy connections to seek out international assistance, which means that Cait and the retired policeman Bud find themselves sifting through the myriad of Asimov family exploits. Jeweler Bella felt herself at competition with her favored twin, while their aggressively flirtatious celebrity hairstylist brother absorbed the rest of the family's attention. An upstairs/downstairs arrangement with live-in servants is unsettling for the very liberal and modern Cait, who fled London years ago after being wrongfully implicated in her late husband’s death and hounded out by British tabloids. Visits to the National Gallery, atmospheric pubs, and glorious food-laden tables help to balance out the subsequent attacks and murders that plague Bud and Cait’s English holiday.

This eleventh in the Cait Morgan series is a complex murder mystery as much as it is an examination and criticism of the British class structure. Cait at times butts heads both with the establishment and the working class servants, the latter of whom resent her disruption of the order system and seeming criticism of their ability to do their jobs. Cait continues to deal with shocks stemming from the tragedy that drove her out of London, and her justifiable anger is filtered through her dry sense of humor. Cait and Börje Ulf Dyggve “Bud” Anderson continue to be adorably supportive of one another, calling one another “Wife” and “Husband” while venturing into secretive rooms and meeting with shadowy operatives. Tragedy, love, and optimism all meet in a charming British setting, where the enviable winter holiday Dickensian charm is matched only by the amount of intrigue. A surfeit of Shakespearean quotes starting each chapter further establishes the tone, making this the perfect Christmas mystery for any time of the year.  

To enter to win a copy of The Corpse with the Granite Heart along with a signed bookplate from the author, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "granite,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 20, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
 Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds like a fun and unique mystery.

  2. New author to me. Would really like to read.

  3. Sounds like a good read. thanks.

  4. I'd like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

  5. Thanks for a chance to win. I love this series. yscuny (at) Gmail (dot) com

  6. Thanks so much for this review, I appreciate
    your reviews. This is new to me sounds fantastic.


  7. The title of Cathy's book is enticing. Your summary makes it even more so.
    Thanks for the chance to win a book. Fingers crossed.


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