Sunday, November 6, 2016

Review (+ Tour Giveaway): The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer

The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer
By Cathy Ace
WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries #2
Severn House, 2016


The Women of the WISE Enquiries Agency are back in a witty and intriguing new mystery.

The Anwen Morris Dancers are to play a pivotal role in the imminent nuptials of Henry, eighteenth Duke of Chellingworth. But it looks as though the wedding plans might go awry unless Mavis, Annie, Carol and Christine can help Althea, the Dowager Duchess, by finding a missing Morris man and a set of ancient and valuable artefacts in time for her son’s wedding.

Anwen-by-Wye might look like an idyllic Welsh village where family values reign and traditions still mean something in a modern world, but what will the WISE women find when they peer behind the respectable net curtains?

My thoughts

Powys, Wales
The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer gave me several hours of pure reading pleasure, and Cathy Ace has just become one of my favorite mystery writers. I have long been a fan of stories with British small-village settings and it doesn’t get any better than Wales. Rather than fast-paced action, the well-written narrative is relaxed, filled with interesting historical detail, good characterization, and witty dialogue.

Set in the picturesque village of Anwen-by-Wye in Powys, Wales, The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer is steeped in atmosphere and tradition. According to Dowager Duchess Althea, “Traditions hold fast. Time is allowed to pass us by as we choose. We grasp only at those parts of it we want.”

Morris Dancers
One of those important traditions is the performance of the Morris Dancers at the wedding of the sitting Duke of Chellingworth, Henry Devereaux Twyst. The dancers consist of a troupe of six Morris men and a dancing Morris musician, who lead the bride and groom and most of the inhabitants of the village along a mile of winding pathways as they make their way from St. David’s Church to Chellingworth Hall. Some even believe this tradition affects the couple’s future fertility. There’s only one problem, however – the musician has gone missing – and this is where the four delightful ladies of the WISE Enquiries Agency step in. From age to cultural background, Mavis, Annie, Carol and Christine couldn’t be more different, yet they are good with people and at making “discreet” inquiries.

I loved everything about The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer and am eager to read more from Cathy Ace. Highly recommended.


Cathy Ace loves crime! It’s true – she discovered Nancy Drew in her local library, then found Agatha Christie on her Mum’s bookshelves, and she never looked back. Cathy happily admits that the characters she met between the book-covers as a child have influenced her writing. “Nancy Drew was plucky, strong and independent, and Agatha Christie’s puzzles engaged me every time. I love the sort of book that mixes intricate plotting with a dash of danger, and that’s what I’ve tried to create with my Cait Morgan Mystery Series. Beginning my new series, featuring the women of the WISE Enquiries Agency, I have been able to indulge my love of stately homes, village life and the interplay between characters that can take place in that sort of setting.”

Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, and worked in marketing communications for decades across Europe. Having migrated to Canada in 2000, she now lives in beautiful British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband (and two chocolate Labradors) ensure she’s able to write full-time. Bestselling author Ace writes two series of mystery books: the Cait Morgan Mysteries , and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries. Her fourth Cait Morgan Mystery, The Corpse with the Platinum Hair, won the 2015 Bony Blithe Award for Best Canadian Light Mystery.


Purchase Links:  AmazonB&N

I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.




  1. Would love to win on of Cathy Aces books.
    Thanks for the review.
    Carol Smith

  2. I haven't read any of Cathy Ace's books yet and this book sounds like a great place to start. Book sounds amazing.

  3. I haven't read any of her books Carole, but Nancy Drew was one of my favs growing up and I love a good mystery. Thanks for sharing!