Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"A Blast from the Past: Rediscovering Vintage Mysteries" by Monica Shaughnessy, Author of The Tell-Tail Heart #Giveaway

Please Welcome Monica to the Blog Today!!! 

A Blast from the Past: Rediscovering Vintage Mysteries
While I was checking out Sapphyria’s blog, I discovered that she, too, is a big Nancy Drew fan. I grew up reading old musty copies my grandmother kept on hand. I would spend hours combing through books like The Secret of the Old Clock and The Secret of Red Gate Farm to keep myself occupied. My grandmother lived in the country and had horrible TV reception. Every time the wind blew, her “regular” station crossed with the Spanish station. Since there are only so many Spanish soap operas you can watch when you’re ten, I read. A lot. Then Sapphyria’s blog got me thinking about the other mystery series I grew up with.

The 1930s to the 1950s (and beyond):

Nancy Drew – Whether you prefer the 1930s and 40s or the updated versions (I read the 1950s versions as a child), Nancy is undoubtedly the Queen of Sleuths. The Stratemeyer Syndicate furnished story outlines to different writers, all of who worked under the Carolyn Keene pseudonym. There’s something a little mysterious about a syndicate, isn’t there?

Trixie Belden – At only 13, this girl detective was scrappier and younger than Nancy. Who could forget her best friend Honey or their secret club, the Bob-Whites of the Glen? This series was an on-ramp for mystery loves who weren’t quite ready for the sassy scrapes that Nancy got herself in.

The Hardy Boys – Another Stratemeyer Syndicate showcase. These boys had nothing on Nancy! Some say the plots were more simplistic and the action/adventure more “intense.” This was likely due to their mostly-male audience. As for me, I always found the boys a little too respectful. I liked Nancy’s spunk better. If you know the earlier versions of the Nancy Drew Mysteries (1930s), she rarely held her tongue.

Fast forward to the 1960s:

The Boxcar Children – I have to confess…I only read the first book in the series. It sets up the children, their desperate situation, and their clever solution – creating a home from a boxcar. But the book took off, spawning a slew of mysteries. Because I loved the first story so much, I wanted to include it here.

And the 1970s:

The Three Investigators – I owned EVERY BOOK in this series! I loved following the hijinks of Jupiter Jones, Pete Crenshaw, and Bob Andrews. I also dreamed of having the elaborate “headquarters” fort in Jupiter’s yard, hidden by junk. Hmmm…maybe that’s why my house is so cluttered today.

The great thing about book collecting today is that you don’t have to pray you come across Nancy Drew #12 at some out-of-the-way garage sale. You can browse hundreds of titles online, and many of them sell for less than you’d pay for a new book (providing it’s well-loved and not “mint”). Still, there’s nothing like searching through an old junk shop and coming across a rare find.  It almost makes you feel like Trixie or Jupiter or even Nancy, solving your own mystery: The Secret of the Old Book.

Speaking of mysteries, I’ve written a cozy series of my own. If you enjoy Edgar Allan Poe, give The Tell-Tail Heart a try. It’s written from the perspective of Mr. Poe’s real-life feline companion, Cattarina, and follows her as she solves a crime and inspires a great work of literature. Go ahead and check it out. I think Nancy would approve.

About the Book:

The untold story behind Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Edgar Allan Poe’s cat, Cattarina, stumbles onto a mystery when she unwittingly finds a clue to a crime - a blue glass eye. Yet she's reluctant to delve further until her beloved “Eddy” takes an interest in the object. It's then that she decides to put her hunting skills to the test and track down Philadelphia's biggest game - a murderer.

Cattarina travels from Eastern State Penitentiary to Rittenhouse Square looking for clues. But as the mystery pulls her deeper into trouble, even Eddy becomes the target of suspicion. Except she cannot give up the chase. Both her reputation as a huntress and her friend’s happiness are at stake. 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 witticisms and details from 1840s Philadelphia, this cozy mystery is a fictional account of Poe’s real-life feline companion. Fans of Mr. Poe, historical novels, and animal mysteries are sure to like this series.

Book Details:

The Tell-Tail Heart
by Monica Shaughnessy

The Tell-Tail Heart: A Cattarina Mystery
(Cattarina Mysteries) (Volume 1)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Jumping Jackalope Press (June 17, 2014)
Paperback: 176 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0988562974


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

Meet the Author:

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 novels, a middle grade novel, a picture book, two cozy mystery novellas, 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.

Author Links:


Enter the Giveaway for 1 - eCopy of The Tell Tail Heart:
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Riley Moreland said...

Hi Monica,
Thanks for the post down memory lane. I had forgotten about The Three Investigators. I checked those books out at the library. I saved my allowance for Trixie Belden. She was the best! I've read Poe's Tell Tale Heart. Yours sounds like a good one too!

Monica Shaughnessy said...

Thanks, Riley! When I was a kid, I thought that because it was "Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators" that meant Alfred Hitchcock was somehow involved in the writing. Boy, was I wrong! Still, it was a good series. :-) I still own my copies...can't part with them.