I don’t really know where my nearly lifelong interest in history started. I do remember that, when I got my first library card at the age of eight, the first book I checked out was a juvenile biography of Abraham Lincoln. I went on to read many, many more of those juvenile biographies, and then I moved on to Greek and Roman mythology. Later on, as a teenager, I began reading historical fiction of various flavors – everything from historical romances to romantic suspense and straight historical fiction. If it was set in the past – and particularly if it was set in England – I would give it a try. In college, I majored in history and even went on to get both a master’s degree and a Ph.D., emphasis on medieval history.
I think one of the main reasons I’m so fascinated by history is knowing that there are connections from the past to the present. Some are more clear-cut than others, but the connections are always there. There are connections on a grand scale as well as connections on a more intimate, definitely personal scale, like tracing one’s ancestors to see from whence you came.
These same connections are, for me, what makes a mystery plot interesting. What actions in the past are connected to events in the present? Did one event, an action by a single person, set the course that ended in a murder? Or perhaps several murders?
These are the questions at the root of every story in the “Cat in the Stacks” series. In the latest book, Claws for Concern, those actions lie twenty years in the past. Four people, two adults and two children, were killed on a farm. The murderer was never brought to justice. Will Charlie and Diesel be able to identify the killer after all these years?