Thursday, February 12, 2015

Book Review & Special Offer: The Black Cats by Monica Shaughnessy

Blurb: Philadelphia, 1843: All is not well in Spring Garden. Fresh from her Glass Eye Killer adventure, Cattarina is once again thrust into mystery when she makes a ghastly discovery - a dead black cat hanging from a tree. Human authorities are uninterested in feline affairs, so Cattarina takes it upon herself to find the culprit.

With the help of her new Green Street Troop and her human companions, she ferrets out the murderer. But her plan to exact justice unleashes a new set of horrors. Now, much more than Eddy's unfinished story is at stake. If she fails to thwart these events, a dear friend may suffer the black cat's end.

Full of Victorian wit and rich detail, this cozy novella 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.

Tortie Shorties
Book reviews that are short and sweet...just like Truffles!

While I adored the first Cattarina mystery, The Tell-Tail Heart, I think The Black Cats is one of the best cat mysteries I have ever read. The Poes have moved to a different area of Philadelphia and life is good until a black cat is found hanging from a tree outside the local hardware store. Since this is a crime that falls under "feline jurisdiction," Cattarina takes it upon herself to catch the savage. Is it the creepy old man who is rumored to have a cat cookery book? The hardware store owner or the cobbler? With the help of the neighborhood cats and her loyal humans Cattarina solves the mystery faster than the law ever could, and devises a plan to seek revenge. It doesn't exactly go as planned or without collateral damage, but the killer does not go unpunished, and Poe's masterpiece "The Black Cat" is born.

This book is actually the story of two black cats, hence the title. The second is Midnight who plays an integral role in Cattarina's plan and ends up stealing her heart as well. Their little love story broke my heart at the end. I also enjoy the way the Poe marriage is portrayed, as Eddy and Sissy love each other deeply and the entire household lives with a cloud of impending doom over it because of Sissy's illness.

I loved every single word in this book and recommend it without reservation. Cattarina is the epitome of "tortitude" and uses it to solve local crimes against both humans and animals, while in the process continuing to be her beloved master's muse.

Our review of the first Cattarina mystery, The Tell-Tail Heart, and Truffles interview with Cattarina can be found here.

Special Offer

Author Monica Shaughnessy has just released an illustrated companion for The Black Cats, Mr. Eakins' Book of Cats, the journal that plays a pivotal role in the novel.

Between now and March 16th, Monica will be giving away free e-copies of Mr. Eakins’ Book of Cats to anyone who purchases The Black Cats and leaves an honest review. Just buy her novella, review it on Amazon (and anywhere else you like), and email her at to receive your free illustrated companion.


The Island Cats said...

This sounds like a great one. The mom will definitely check it out. Thanks for the review.

pilch92 said...

I am sure it is a good book, but the first part of a dead cat in a tree has turned me off.


Wow that sounds like a terrific book!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the terrific review, Melissa and Truffles! Now I'm off to work on book #3...

CATachresis said...

When I read about the dead cat in the tree, I thought a bad review would follow! What a surprise! Thanks for highlighting this. Will check it out :)

Marty the Manx said...

I agree with 15 and Meowing on this one, sorry :(