I had not intended to review another story from Cathy Ace's Murder Keeps No Calendar anthology, until I read The Corpse with the Fake Purse. Fans of Ace's Cait Morgan will recognize the title in the same style as her mystery series. This short story features the Welsh university professor living in Canada, and shows why the series is popular.
Set in June, Morgan is giving a lecture to a group of police officers on victimology - developing a profile of victims to assist with solving a crime. She is put on the spot by Chief Superintendent Dufray, who seems intent upon both disproving her technique and making her appear foolish.
Dufray has stationed a young constable at a murder scene. He is streamed into the lecture hall via webcam. The proposition is for Cait to view the apartment, then deliver both a victim profile, and surmise the identity of the killer. Cait resent being publicly put in this position, and imagines the pleasure of putting Dufray through a wood chipper.
Pressured into the challenge, she directs the constable to different rooms, asking him to show her the victim's possessions. The way Cait reveals the victim's personality and lifestyle is fascinating. All this would make a good story, but Ace pushes it to a higher level with the way in which Morgan reveals herself as much as the victim.
If you're already a Cathy Ace fan, this short story will confirm why you enjoy the novels. If you haven't yet read her longer work, let this story serve as your invitation to some entertaining reading.
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