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Claw & Disorder By Eileen Watkins: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

IN THE March 13 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andPets
SECTIONS

by Kathleen Costa
& Eileen Watkins

This week we have a review of another pet mystery, Claw & Disorder by Eileen Watkins, and a fun guest post by Eileen with fun facts about cats. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and links to purchase it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.

Claw & Disorder: A Cat Groomer Mystery By Eileen Watkins

“Meow-der, She Purred” —Claw & Disorder
It’s been a little over two years since twenty-something Cassie McGlone escaped a difficult relationship and moved to Chadwick, New Jersey, opening Cassie’s Comfy Cats, a down-to-earth, no uppity frills cat grooming and boarding business. Housed in an older two-story home, the ground floor has grooming stations, a playroom, and several cat condos for the extended stay. Her assistant Sarah Wilcox, a retired high school teacher, is a good friend for listening and offering advice as well as being an invaluable “extra pair of hands.” She’s also been right there along with Cassie’s Bohemian friend Dawn, owner of a health food store, when suspicious deaths of some of her two-legged clients have required a bit of amateur intervention. A bit of romance has entered Cassie’s life, too, in the form of a handsome local veterinarian and jazz fan, Mark Coccia. Life is busy, perilous at times, but it may be the purrfect life she wants.

Claw & Disorder earns 5/5 Cat Conundrums…Entertaining Fun!
Following the recommendation of Philip Russell of Towne Antiques, “…everyone says great things about her,” Gillian Foster arrives at Cassie’s Comfy Cats to scrutinize the facility and determine if it is up to her high standards for her Himalayan purebred. She wasn’t much impressed questioning the limited staff, size of the cat condos, and lack of private facilities, but she’s in need of something immediate. Feeling good about a well-paying, albeit difficult, client, it was easy for Sarah to pull on Cassie’s heart strings over the plight of several cats in the questionable care of seniors Bernice and Chester Tillman. They hope to de-clutter these hoarders’ home and possibly take in a few felines to avoid already overcrowded shelters. Sadly, tragedy entangles Cassie and her friends with queries, anxieties, and multiple murders. Poor Bernice is found asphyxiated, and circumstances make her husband or any one of the cats as a person or “feline” of interest. Poor Mrs. Foster, although excited about her open house showcasing the renovation and design elements, didn’t expect a dead body to become part of the decor. However, someone isn’t done yet.

Meoow! I am allergic to most cats, but I didn’t sneeze once. Eileen Watkins penned a delightful “fur-friendly” cozy with her fifth book in her Cat Groomer Mystery series. I am a newbie, and worried I’d be at a disadvantage, however, she uses the traditional cozy formula I enjoy revisiting just enough background and connections, no spoilers of previous books, to keep me well informed and engaged. The murder mysteries had me guessing whether they’d all be tied together, and although I dismissed some of my early theories, my inner Sherlock was pleased I was on the right track. Eileen’s writing style used a first-person narrative, a favorite, from Cassie’s perspective given me vicarious involvement with the “I-s” and “me-s” and “my-s.” Her use of descriptive language brought the various people, places, and things well into focus, and the realistic banter illustrated the varied personalities and emotions causing me to be completely invested in the story. Excellent read for cozy fans!

No bonuses, unfortunately, at the end of the book. No cat grooming tips or recipes for treats best for two- and four-leggers alike. But, still I enjoyed the tidbits, insights, and information about cats and cat rescues along with some romance, jazz, and enough murder to delight any cozy fan!


Cat Groomer Mystery

The Persian Always Meows Twice (2017)
The Bengal Identity (2018)
Feral Attraction (2018)
Gone, Kitty, Gone (2019)
Claw & Disorder (2021)

Be a Big Eileen Watkins Fan!
Eileen Watkins “specializes in mystery and suspense fiction.” She began her Cat Groomer Mystery series in 2017, and with five books to date, it’s become popular with more than just cat lovers. Under the name E.F. Watkins, she wrote the two-book Quinn Matthews Haunting Mystery worth checking out.

Facebook—Eileen Watkins, Author
Website—Eileen Watkins

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Ten Facts You May Not Know About Cats, Including Yours!
By Eileen Watkins

Claw & Disorder is the fifth book in my Cat Groomer Mystery series. I’ve loved and owned cats for most of my life (never more than two at a time), but to write about a continuing character who works with them professionally, I still needed to do some research.

First, I had to find out if it was possible for someone to make a living strictly by grooming cats! Beyond that, I needed to learn some of the secrets that a cat groomer and animal behaviorist like Cassie would know.

Eileen Watkins

I discovered many facts about our furry feline friends that I did not realize before, and I don’t think most people do. Here are my top ten:

1. You might make a living entirely by grooming cats if you ran a very high-end salon and/or developed a large, loyal clientele among the cat-show crowd. Not wanting to go that route for my series, I decided Cassie would also board a limited number of cats at her shop. This works because…

2. Cats need to be groomed differently from dogs, and pet groomers even learn the techniques separately. Not only are cats usually crankier about being handled by strangers, but their skins are thinner and more elastic, so there’s a greater chance of accidentally injuring them. Some “pet grooming” businesses do not accept cats at all!

3. Also, cats often do not fare well in the same boarding facilities as dogs. Even when they’re kept in a separate area, just smelling dogs nearby or hearing them howl or bark can make cats nervous. They may not eat or sleep well and may come back from their “vacation” more agitated than before. (My character grooms and boards just felines at her shop.)

4. Most cats have two types of fur: a topcoat of thicker “guard hairs” and finer “awn hairs,” and an undercoat of fluffy down hairs. The proportions of these can vary with the breed. The “hairless” Sphynx has a very light covering of only down hairs, while in the Persian both the topcoat and undercoat grow extra-long.

5. The large Maine Coon sports a thick, naturally “shagged” coat designed to protect it from cold and wet weather. This is one of the few breeds that may actually like swimming and being bathed!

6. Cats and dogs have very different body language, which is why it may take them some time to get used to one another. While dogs may enjoy a busy, noisy household, and understand that semi-rough tussling is just good, clean fun, cats don’t like either of those things! Loud noises generally frighten them, and if you play rough, a cat will take you seriously and retaliate with nasty scratches or even bites! In nature, cats are prey as well as predators, and when they feel threatened, they instinctively defend themselves.

7. You may be vegetarian, but don’t try to convert your cat! Even more than dogs, cats need to eat meat as the “lion’s share” of their diet. Raw or canned food is best because it contains water; dehydration can lead to kidney failure. If you must give dry food as even part of your cat’s diet, provide plenty of water on the side. Some felines may prefer to drink from a pet fountain.

8. Rabbits have the reputation, but cats are extremely prolific breeders. One female can produce three or four litters a year, or more than a dozen kittens, and during the same period a free-roaming tomcat can father hundreds. So unless you are a professional breeder, it is crucial to spay or neuter your pet at least by age 5-6 months. This is important even if you keep your cat indoors because both sexes can develop annoying behaviors, such as spraying urine and yowling, once they pass puberty.

9. The best way to control the number of feral or “community” cats in your neighborhood is to trap, neuter, and return (TNR) them to the same area. If they stay on site, their colony will gradually dwindle, and meanwhile, they’ll keep other cats away. If they are removed, though, chances are that a new, fertile colony will just move into the territory.

10. Many unusual breeds have been developed by crossing cats with naturally occurring genetic mutations. These genes may also carry a tendency toward certain ailments, so if you buy an exotic cat, make sure you know its health risks. Some breeders screen more carefully for such issues than others. One new, unusual breed that supposedly comes with no special health problems is the Lykoi, or “werewolf cat.” Its dark hair grows more sparsely around its face and legs to give it a half-human look.

To enter to win a copy of Claw & Disorder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “claw,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 20, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

You can use this link to purchase these book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Eileen Watkins writes the Cat Groomer Mystery series. She formerly worked for two daily newspapers covering art, architecture, interior design and home improvement. She also has published paranormal mystery and suspense novels. A confirmed animal lover, she has always shared her home with at least one cat and still makes frequent visits to the nearest riding stable. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Visit her online at www.efwatkins.com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Glen Davis March 13, 2021 at 12:24pm

Sounds interesting! Count me in!

Reply

2 Nancy March 13, 2021 at 1:42pm

This looks like a fun and furry cozy mystery that I would enjoy reading!

Reply

3 Dianne Casey March 13, 2021 at 3:42pm

Sounds like my kind of book. Can’t wait to read. Thanks for the chance.

Reply

4 Jaime Minter
Twitter: @schnappy2
March 13, 2021 at 4:20pm

Looks like a great read! Thanks for all the tips as well. JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

Reply

5 Carol Knudtson March 14, 2021 at 7:52am

This sounds really fun! Thanks for the contest.

Reply

6 Elaine M Faber March 14, 2021 at 9:42am

As a previous Persian breeder (in the 70’s) and a current writer of cozy cat mysteries myself, this series intrigues me. The cover is lovely and summary suggests an interesting and exciting cozy cat mystery.

Reply

7 Carl March 14, 2021 at 11:24am

More feline-centric mystery? Count me in!! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

Reply

8 Teresa Warner March 14, 2021 at 2:36pm

New author for me, thanks for the opportunity! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

Reply

9 Sherry Brown March 14, 2021 at 7:51pm

This book sounds great! The cat is adorable! Thank you for all the extra information about cats.
Thank you for the great giveaway!

Reply

10 Mary Holshouser March 18, 2021 at 7:51am

The kitty on the cover has such a
pensive look. Something is
worrying him. Sounds like
a good new (for me) series.
thanks.
txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot0com

Reply

11 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
March 22, 2021 at 10:56am

We have a winner!

Reply

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