If I ever write an autobiography, I have the perfect title for it. It would be called Taking The Cacti For A Walk. My husband has an affinity for ugly things (we will not extrapolate on this thought) and began collecting cacti and succulents just shortly after our second child was born. Since he worked in aerospace (on both the space shuttle and the space station), at times my husband would be required to keep long hours. Long hours during which time the sun could do undesirable things—like turn the temperature very hot. Or shift position in the sky, as the sun has been known to do. All of which would be fine—if it wasn’t for the fact that certain types of his beloved cacti and succulents cannot tolerate too much heat, while others needed to be in direct sunlight for long periods—longer than they were getting. Since I was home (with kids and a laptop, not to mention other responsibilities—including taking care of a mother-in-law), I was “free” to move these sharp, prickly things around. So I did. From one spot to another. Now mind you, we’re not talking about a plant or two—or twelve. At one point, there were close to four hundred plants in a whole host of sizes for me to move—more than once a day. And let’s not even talk about the times it rained. All bets were off then and those little darlings had to be kept dry, which meant moving them quickly to some forms of shelter. Consequently, I began to think of my life in terms of pockets of time when these nasty plants had to be moved around, hence the title: Taking The Cacti For A Walk.
This latest Cavanaugh book is a direct result of all the field trips my husband and I took, going to this one particular out-of-the-way nurseries, looking for specimens to add to his collection. As I wandered around the sprawling 7 acre spread, I couldn’t help thinking that it was a great place for a murder. Took me fifteen years to find the right story—and the right murder—to fit this property, but I finally found it. Hope that you find that it was worth the wait.
All the best,