Catharine Manset Morreale; pen name, Catharine Riggs.

Catharine Manset Morreale; pen name, Catharine Riggs.

The public is invited to meet Santa Barbara resident and author Catharine Manset Morreale at a book signing for her debut novel, What She Gave Away, 3-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22 at Tecolote Book Shop, 1470 E. Valley Road, No. 52, Montecito.

Manset Morreale’s pen name is Catharine Riggs.

She has called Montecito and Santa Barbara home for most of her life, having grown up locally as a part of a large Montecito tennis family. Her father, George Manset, was one of the organizers of Knollwood Tennis Club.

The book is Riggs’ first work of psychological suspense and her debut novel.

Set in Montecito and Santa Barbara, the plot centers on an outsider with a dark past and a bitter grudge who moves to Montecito, only to find herself enmeshed in the secrets of her boss and his hapless wife.

Publisher Thomas & Mercer will launch What She Gave Away on Sept. 4. The book is part of a series of thrillers loosely linked by location and secondary characters.

A graduate of UCLA with a master’s in business administration from Drake University, Manset Morreale is a former business banker, adjunct college instructor and nonprofit executive with a handful of starter novels tucked away in a drawer.

She is currently at work on What She Never Said, the second novel in her Santa Barbara suspense series. Riggs is a member of the International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

Early reviews of What She Gave Away have been positive, including this review from New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni who called the book:

“A superb novel from a unique writer with a distinctive voice. Honest, terrifyingly believable, and destined for best seller lists.”  

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— Jennifer Goddard for Tecolote Book Shop.