by Kassandra Lamb
I write a series of novellas called the Kate on Vacation cozy mysteries that parallels my main Kate Huntington Mystery series. I recently released the story of yet another of Kate’s vacations that got a bit more exciting than she’d planned.
That started me wondering how Kate feels about all this murder and mayhem in her life, so I sat down to have a chat with her. Here’s what she had to say:
Kassandra Lamb: You have a real propensity for stumbling over dead bodies, Mrs. Huntington. How do you feel about that?
Kate Huntington: Please, call me Kate. And honestly I don’t care for it all that much. I do like solving mysteries, but I wish there weren’t so many corpses involved. It gets kind of stressful after a while.
Kassandra: Have you always liked mysteries?
Kate: Yes, I loved puzzles as a kid, and I guess that’s part of what drew me to psychotherapy as a profession. I like to help people of course, but I’m fascinated by the puzzle that is the human psyche.
Kassandra: So in this latest adventure on Maui, except for the whole people-going-missing thing, how did you like Hawaii?
Kate: I loved it! Hawaii is absolutely gorgeous. And the people are very friendly. And the food! The mahi-mahi and the fresh pineapple… And once Skip was able to shake free from his work and he and the kids got there, we had so much fun.
Kassandra: Speaking of Skip and the kids, what’s the deal with your name? I notice you still use Huntington, which was your late first husband, Ed Huntington’s name, but sometimes you go by Huntington-Canfield, which is quite a mouthful.
Kate: Well, I’d already established my reputation as a therapist as Kate Huntington, so I use that name professionally. My daughter is my first husband’s biological child, so her name is officially Huntington-Canfield. At her school and in some other settings, I use the hyphenated name. And sometimes I just go by Kate Canfield.
By the way, why are you asking me this? You’re the one who saddled me with these cumbersome names. Why couldn’t you have made Eddie’s name Smith? Then I’d be Smith-Canfield. That rolls off the tongue so much easier.
Kassandra: Sorry about that. When I wrote the first book, I hadn’t planned on you remarrying after Eddie’s death. You were supposed to be a young widow, raising your daughter and helping your clients, and solving mysteries on the side. But then Skip Canfield came along and… *sigh* He’s such a hunk. I guess neither one of us could resist him.
Kate: *grinning* I know I couldn’t.
Kassandra: Getting back to this latest adventure in Hawaii, what did you think of the wedding planner, Pali Moon? Did you know she’s the protagonist of another mystery series, the Islands of Aloha Mysteries by JoAnn Bassett?
Kate: No, I didn’t know that, but I guess I’m not too surprised. She really has a knack for tracking down clues. If she and I didn’t have several thousand miles between our homes, I’m sure we would have become good friends. We really hit it off.
Kassandra: According to Skip and Lieutenant Wong (he’s from JoAnn’s series too), you two got into plenty of trouble together.
Kate: We sure did. *laughs* But seriously, you need to stop doing that to me. I know the percentage of psychopaths is increasing in the U.S. population, but you’ve had me encounter far more than my share!
Kassandra: Hmm, I’m afraid I can’t make any promises there. This is a mystery series, you know.
Kate: Still, can I get a little rest, at least for a year or two.
Kassandra: Well, I’ve started a new series, so I was going to let you off the hook until around the end of the year, but then…
Kate: *shakes her head* All this murder and mayhem is getting old.
Kassandra: I know, and in the last full-length novel, Suicidal Suspicions, you were starting to feel pretty burned out as a therapist too. How are you doing now?
Kate: A little better. I cut back my client hours some, and I’m looking into some other things I can do. I might teach some classes at Towson University.
Kassandra: For real? I used to teach there.
Kate: I know. That’s what gave me the idea. And the governor asked me to head a task force on preventing PTSD in police officers in Maryland. But that hasn’t gone all that well so far. I was on a ride-along with an officer a couple of nights ago, and well…
Kassandra: Oh, no. You didn’t stumble over another corpse, did you?
Kate: No, he wasn’t dead, just seriously injured, but the really bad part is that I know him.
Kassandra: Oh no! I’m so sorry.
Kate: No, you’re not. You sent me there!
Kassandra: Well, yeah, I did. But I didn’t quite realize how much all this was affecting you. I’ll try to go easier on you.
Kate: I’d appreciate that. You know I’m not getting any younger. I had a hot flash right in the middle of being interviewed by one of the detectives on the case. He thought I was sweating because I was nervous.
Kassandra: Oh, dear.
Kate: Don’t worry. I set him straight and then threw him out of my office. Well, not literally, but he did leave.
Kassandra: You go, Kate! That’s one of the things I love about you. You’ve gotten more and more kickass through the years.
Kate: Thanks, I think. I’d better get back to my office. I have a client due soon.
Kassandra: I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today. I enjoyed it.
Kate: Me too. Let’s do this more often.
Kassandra: You bet. It’s really good getting your perspective on things.
And there you have it folks, straight from the character’s mouth. 🙂
Thanks so much, Marcia, for letting me guest post again. And for anyone who’s interested, below are the deets on the new novella.
~ Missing on Maui, A Kate on Vacation Mystery, #4 ~
It’s an awkward situation at best, and a deadly one at worst.
Days before Kate Huntington-Canfield is scheduled to leave for her niece’s wedding on Maui, she receives a frantic call from said niece. Amy’s mother–Kate’s rather difficult sister-in-law–is at it again, alienating the groom’s family and even the wedding planner. Can Aunt Kate come early and run interference?
Soon after her arrival, Kate discovers that young women are going missing on the island, and Amy’s maid of honor is hanging out with a notorious local player. Is he involved in the disappearances?
Hawaii is supposed to be a relaxing paradise, but Aunt Kate is kept busy locating a new wedding planner (the delightful Pali Moon), refereeing between Amy and her mother and chasing down errant wedding party members… Oh, and facing off with a psychopath.