Award-winning Canadian author Cathy Spencer lives in Ontario with her husband, an actor/teacher.
Cathy is the author of the Anna Nolan mystery series featuring an amateur sleuth who works as an administrative assistant for a fictitious university. Book One, Framed for Murder, was the winner of the 2014 Bony Blithe Mystery Award. In it, Anna discovers the body of her ex-husband while out for a walk one evening, and quickly becomes the focus of his murder investigation. Book Two in the series, Town Haunts, is set at Halloween. Cemetery custodian Sherman Mason asks for help from Anna and her friends when he hears his dead wife calling to him from beyond the grave. In the third book, Tidings of Murder and Woe, Anna is looking forward to a happy Christmas when her new friend, the CEO of a big oil company, starts receiving anonymous death threats.
Cathy has also written two romances. The Affairs of Harriet Walters, Spinster, is an historical novel about a spinster whose life is turned upside when she is sent to live with a persnickety aunt after her father's death. The Dating Do-Over is a contemporary romantic comedy about a thirtyish school teacher with a sympathetic heart and lousy taste in men.
Cathy is also the author of 2 short story collections, Tall Tales Twin-Pack, Mysteries, and Tall Tales Twin-Pack, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
Connect with her online:
on Nov. 02, 2016 :
funny and engrossing..
(review of free book)
on Dec. 29, 2012 :
Road Kill by CM Spenser is a delightful mystery that will keep readers guessing. Mrs. Spenser is able to accurately portray life in a small town, where everyone knows everyone and their dog.
The main character of the story, Anna, comes across the dead body of her ex-husband. Spenser uses Anna's drive to find her husband's killer, and in the process clearing her own name, to propel the story along. The story is a little slow in the beginning and often mentions characters that aren't developed throughout the story. However, the book does have its highlights including a funny bedroom scene.
Anna's antics left me wanting to give her a good shake from time to time. While trying to find the killer she is often in the way and accomplishes nothing. By the end of the novel Anna has begun to find her life a bit lacking. Thus, allowing her character to evolve in subsequent sequel books. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a sweet little mystery.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on Dec. 14, 2012 :
Road Kill is a cozy murder mystery where a woman finds the body of her ex-husband and becomes the prime suspect in his murder. She feels that she must investigate to clear herself and her son. Some of the things she did while investigating bordered on ridiculous, but it makes for a good story. Sometimes I felt is was a little slow moving and would have been helped with a subplot. Motive did move from one suspect to another which did keep me wondering until the end. A little more romance would have been nice, maybe in the sequel?
Thanks to the author for the free copy which in no way influenced my review.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Dec. 13, 2012 :
Beware of Walking Your Dog, You May Find a Body
Road Kill by CM Spencer is a cozy mystery set in Chinook (a small town in Canada). We follow the life of Anna Nolan, starting with (while out walking her dog) literally stumbling across the body of her estranged ex-husband (Jack)- and then immediately being found my a local cop over said body.
Evidence against her piles up and Anna has real reason to investigate his death. Which is to say, so she can prove her innocence. However- as she puts it- she's more of a liability to the police, bumbling around and damaging her case. Not only that, it puts her on Sergeant Charles Tremaine's (a British investigator brought in for the case) bad side. Constantly getting in his way and on his nerves.
As her life unravels and she struggles to find not only Jack's killer, but also peace after memories best left forgotten resurface. When she had been married to Jack, he had had a string of affairs. Anna's response had been to look the other way. Her reason was simple. She now had a son and no steady job or income. Without Jack to provide either, she would have to live of welfare. So instead she turned a blind eye until, years later, she finally draws the line and ends it. Now four years after that, her determination to find his killer leads her to meeting some of his past affairs. There are suspects galore and she's determined to find the guilty party.
Of course there are obstacles along the way. Meeting some of the women your husband cheated on you with is no small task, let alone trying to surreptitiously question them about his murder. Talk of Jack also brings to light his situation with Ben, Anna and Jack's 19 year old son. Having had no contact with his father for years, he is dealing with abandonment issues, hatred of the man his father had been and also love of the man who was the only father he had.
There are humorous attempts on Anna's part to ferret out the killer and prove herself to the police, especially Charles Tremaine. As a cozy mystery, it's a pretty light-hearted read. Though usually cozy mysteries have two points of interest- the murder and a subject the protagonist is passionate about. Generally, these will be tea rooms, flower shops or similar things to which the murder takes a back-seat. However, in this book the cozy mystery feel comes from the same writing style as with Agatha Christie books. They tell of grisly murders and yet somehow are pleasant to read, hence "cozy" mystery.
The ending is entertainingly Bond-ish. We have a dramatic villain who spouts all the usual cliches, even finishing off with an I'm-going-to-have-to-kill-you-now statement. Enjoyable to read nevertheless. The only criticism I have is that the story can be a little slow moving at times. Cozy mysteries often rely upon a second point of focus to help keep interest as the murder investigation takes place. As I said earlier, that doesn't happen here and the result is a missing second focus point. However, we do have some side-stories and entertaining events, so it's certainly not a reason not to read this book.
If you're looking for a good cozy mystery, a little bit of romance or just a nice read this is great for you.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on Dec. 08, 2012 :
I seldom give five stars for a book but in this case I don't have another possibility. It's an absolutely brilliant story. I would put it into the category of cosy mysteries. It's a mixture between Miss Marpel and Murder she wrote only in a modern version and set out in Canada.
I got quickly familiar with all characters. CM Spencer described them, the actions and the surrounding so vivid that I've felt being into the plot on my own, being a part of them as a ghostly observer. I suffered with Anna Nolan when she was trying to track down her ex-husband's murder in her unorthodox ways. Sometimes I felt to give her support or held her back on the other hand I had to roll my eyes and and could laugh out loud.
It's marvellously written and I wasn't able to stop the reading. It kept me guessing up until the very end if Anna will get him or not and this made me all tingly.
I can strongly recommend this book.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on Dec. 07, 2012 :
This is rollicking good fun. Lead character is gutsy and just a tad annoying - which is balanced with an honesty and charm that disarms the reader. well written and would take another from this author
(reviewed 45 days after purchase)