Interview: Carolyn Hart

Please welcome Carolyn Hart, author of numerous mysteries (the 50th novel comes out in spring 2013), including her most recent, What the Cat Saw.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Strolling on the beach at Hilton Head.

Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
Phrase – It never hurts to ask. If you don’t ask, no one can say yes.

Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Edith Hamilton.

Do you listen to music when you write?

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Dark chocolate raspberry truffle. Both bitter and sweet.

What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Cats always watch. They know everything about their surroundings and the people who are near them. And then I thought, what if a cat saw . . .

What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
That personal relationships determine everything in life.

Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality.
Nela Farley is bright, smart, a good reporter now out of a job. At loose ends, she is glad to come to a small town and take her sister’s place at her job so Chloe can have a holiday. Since her fiancé’s death in Afghanistan, Nela has struggled with an eerie sense that she understands the thoughts of cats. She believes her mind is playing tricks on her and the connection to cats is a means of avoiding sad memories. But when she walks into a strange apartment on a cold winter night, she looks into the eyes of a cat and sees more than is safe to know.

Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Oh my. I don’t see her in that way. To me, she is Nela.

If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, Josephine Tey, Eric Ambler, and Manning Coles.

What’s next for you?
Coming out next spring is Dead, White and Blue, 24th in the Death on Demand series.


Carolyn Hart’s new book is What the Cat Saw, a suspense novel about missing jewels, a cat who watches, and Nela Farley, who finds herself twisting and turing to avoid arrest. Carolyn’s 50th novel will be published in May 2013. Dead, White and Blue, Berkley Prime Crime, is 24th in the Death on Demand series. Her series include 23 Death on Demand titles, 3 Bailey Ruth Raeburn titles, and seven Henrie O titles. She is also the author of a half dozen suspense novels. Also new this fall is the e-book edition only of Cry in the Night, a thriller set in Mexico City. In November, Seventh Street Books will reprint Skulduggery, the deadly search for the missing Peking Man bones. Visit her at


4 thoughts on “Interview: Carolyn Hart”

  1. Carolyn, I’m so happy you included the Mysteristas on your blog tour! We’re honored to have you here today.

    I can’t wait to read What the Cat Saw–I’ve been looking forward to this one! And I love your signature phrase–“It never hurts to ask.” 🙂


  2. Carolyn, thanks so much for visiting Mysteristas today!

    The Death on Demand series has long been one of my favorites, and I’m also a fan of Henrie O. Looking forward to reading What the Cat Saw soon!

    ps: Think I may have to adopt this as a mantra: “If you don’t ask, no one can say yes.”


  3. Carolyn–Thank you for your thoughts on Mysteristas. Your long list of writing accomplishments is inspiring and interesting. The premise of your next book is intriguing–I’ve often thought the same thing about cats. They are such observers of life (and death.) Look forward to reading What the Cat Saw.


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