Sunday, May 10, 2015


I'm so excited to be a stop on 
author Monica Shaughnessy's blog tour for
Book 1 in the Cattarina Mystery series

The untold story behind Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."

Philadelphia, 1842: Poe's cat, Cattarina, becomes embroiled in a killer's affairs when she finds a clue to the crime - a glass eye. But it's only when her beloved "Eddy" takes an interest that she decides to hunt down the madman. Her dangerous expedition takes her from creepy Eastern State Penitentiary to Rittenhouse Square where she runs into a gang of feral cats intent on stopping her.

As the mystery pulls Cattarina deeper into trouble, even Eddy becomes the target of suspicion. Yet she cannot give up the chase. Both her reputation as a huntress and her friend's happiness are at stake. For if she succeeds in catching the Glass Eye Killer, the missing pieces of Eddy's unfinished story will fall into place, and the Poe household will once again experience peace. 

Full of Victorian wit and rich detail, this cozy cat mystery is a fictional account of Edgar Allan Poe's real-life animal companion. Fans of historical and animal mysteries are sure to like this series.

Available now!

Author Monia Shaughnessy is giving away one 
e-Book copy of 

Enter for a chance to win 
using the Rafflecopter form below. 

A word from author 
Monica Shaughnessy

Dangerous Digging: Why It’s Murder to Research Cozies

I have a confession. I know way too much about the three Ds: death, danger, and dismemberment. As a mystery author, I have to understand how to kill and/or maim people. In detail. In great detail. And I find most of this information on the internet. I lay awake at night, wondering if the FBI will someday pull records of my browsing history. If they do, what will they find? Pages and pages of bright little gems like, obscure poisons of the nineteenth century, the best caliber weapon for ripping a man in half, religious cults and mass murders, the rate of decomposition, and my personal favorite, eye socket wounds. Ick.

I am not alone in this. A friend and fellow author told me that after days of researching serial killers, her husband begged her to write “a happy book next time.” I can only imagine their dinner conversations!

Luckily, cozy readers have nothing to fear reading my books. They carry just enough detail to be authentic, but leave out the unsavory parts most of us find unsettling. And yet translating this to the page is not without peril. After a day of digging, it’s hard NOT to reframe things in a grisly perspective.

Husband: I ordered a new chainsaw. Can’t wait to use it this weekend.
Me: Unless I use it on you first.
Husband: Er, I’ll be in the garage. Hiding the chainsaw.

My Kid: This bread’s a little dry.
Me: Don’t choke. Did you know 2,500 people a year die from choking?
My Kid: Cough, cough. I’ll have the hotdog without the bun. Thanks.

My Friend: We finalized our will last week. What a relief.
Me: Now you’re free to kill your husband whenever you like.
My Friend: Check, please.

All kidding aside, well some kidding aside, I’ve always been fascinated by the macabre. So when I began researching my series, the Cattarina Mysteries, I stumbled onto new Victorian approaches to murder, and their flipside, crime detection. Before the formal organization of a citywide police force, it must’ve been terribly easy for a criminal to evade detection in Philadelphia or any other early American city.

In my books, I fictionalize Edgar Allan Poe’s inspiration for stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat” and “The Raven,” using his real-life companion, Cattarina, to solve the mysteries. But Mr. Poe drew real inspiration for “The Mystery of Marie Roget” (the sequel to “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”) from a real life murder in New York.

I often wonder what Mr. Poe would’ve researched, given access to the World Wide Web. Today, though, I have only my own bloody internet bookmarks to draw from, and what a tale they tell.

The first two books in the Cattarina Mysteries collection, The Tell-Tail Heart and The Black Cats, are available now. The third book in the series, The Raven of Liberty, will be available in June.

Click on the above link for a full list of tour participants.

Check at the other stops for more chances to win and e-Book copy.

Monica Shaughnessy has a flair for creating characters and plots larger than her home state of Texas. Most notably, she's the author of the Cattarina Mysteries, a cozy mystery series starring Edgar Allan Poe's real-life cat companion. Ms. Shaughnessy has nine books in print, including two young adult suspense novels, a middle grade superhero novel, an Easter picture book, two cozy mysteries, and numerous short stories. Customers have praised her work time and again, calling it "unique and creative," "fresh and original," and "very well written." If you're looking for something outside the mainstream, you'll find it in her prose. When she's not slaying adverbs and tightening plots, she's walking her rescue dogs, goofing around with her family, or going back to the grocery store for the hundredth time because she forgot milk.

The best way to learn about her books is to join her mailing list, which can be found on her website: You'll receive advance release notices, special discounts, and the occasional ARC (Advance Readers Copy).

Note from Lisa: My apologies to Monica Shaughnessy, Lori (Dollycas), and my readers. I was supposed to have a Review of THE TELL-TAIL HEART with today's post, but the evil stomach bug hit me (again) and I haven't been able to finish my review. I will be posting it at a later date.

I can say this much about THE TELL-TAIL HEART, is a fun and different spin on mysteries and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks, Lisa. Hope your Mother's Day is filled with good memories.

  2. Thanks for hosting me, Lisa! Sorry to hear you're under the weather. Hope you feel better soon!

  3. Thank you, Lisa! The interview with Monica was a lot of fun!