Today Lynn Cahoon is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about A Field Guide to Homicide, her latest novel in the Cat Latimer mystery series.
Welcome, Lynn. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
LC: A FIELD GUIDE TO HOMICIDE is book #6 of the Cat Latimer series. Cat runs a writers retreat in a mountain small college town in Colorado. Each book has four new writers, a student from Covington College, and of course, the crazy regulars. For this book, Seth (the Cat’s love interest and the town handyman) is taking the writing group on their own hike of the Colorado mountains, complete with a field guide to find local plants and animals. The one thing that wasn’t listed in the guide was the dead body. Then they find out it’s one of Seth’s army buddies. One that was thought to have died in Germany many years ago.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
LC: I really love the idea of hiding in plain sight and since Seth had gone into the service right out of college to make a life for him and Cat (before she married another man), I really needed to know what happened to make him leave the service.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
LC: Old friendships and relationships is a big theme in the story. Bringing in already built and sometimes failed relationships for a second chance gives me as the writer a lot of things to play with. Here, there are several couples who are brought back together after years of being apart. Healing old wounds is a cathartic event. And we always bring in the person as we think we know them.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
LC: For my main characters, they build as the series builds. Uncle Pete is dating a past retreat guest, Shirley. She’s been really fun to write since she started writing after a career in law enforcement. The students and writers are fun because you know they’ll be gone in the next book.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
LC: I love small town settings. And building the college town where Cat and Seth grew up and Cat went to school, was extra fun. The area was based on the area where I went to school in Boise. We lived in a small apartment on a street that had a lot of lovely old houses (like the house Cat owns). So it was fun thinking about living there in one of those houses.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
LC: Since I’m writing cozy mysteries, research isn’t a huge part of the writing process. I did pinpoint the area where my fictional Aspen Hills is located. I wanted it close to Denver, but not too close. Recipe testing is important because most of the books in the series have recipes included.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
LC: Cozy mysteries are fun to read and write. I personally started writing the genre because it was where I went for comfort reads during my cancer treatments. It’s a fun genre to write because these characters become real to me. I hope you enjoy your visit to Aspen Hills.
Thanks for answering my questions, Lynn, and good luck with A Field Guide to Homicide, the latest book in the Cat Latimer mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Lynn Cahoon: Lynn is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six-holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Readers can sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com.