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Welcome to the Website of Author E. F. Watkins

Welcome to the web home of Eileen Watkins, author of mystery and suspense novels with animal or paranormal themes. Here you’ll find information on all of Eileen’s books,  news about recent and upcoming events and maybe a few surprises. You’ll be able to contact Eileen, find links to her Facebook page and blog, and read a few of her previously published tips on writing and marketing fiction.

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Read more about Eileen, or visit her on Facebook.

Like cats and whodunits? Eileen’s Cat Groomer Mystery series follows Cassie McGlone, who runs a grooming and boarding business—just for felines—in the small, picturesque town of Chadwick, New Jersey.

For 2023

MUSE Medallion Winner: Night of the Were-CatNIGHT OF THE WERE-CAT, the sixth and final book in Eileen's Cat Groomer Mystery series, has earned the MUSE Medallion in the category “Book: Fiction—Mystery” for 2023 from the Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. The CWA presents writing awards each year over a wide range of print and broadcast media, and the MUSE is the top prize in each category. Last year, Eileen’s fifth Cat Groomer Mystery, CLAW & DISORDER, also won the MUSE in its category for 2022."


For 2022

Night of the Were-Cat

Autumn brings a chill to the small town of Chadwick, New Jersey, as expert cat groomer and amateur sleuth Cassie McGlone tries to unmask a drug-peddling killer.

When one of her customers brings in Quentin, a Maine Coon who looks more wolf than feline, Cassie gets an idea. The owner of Chadwick’s retro movie theater wants to promote an upcoming werewolf movie marathon for Halloween, so she suggests a werewolf lookalike contest for non-canine pets. But the scares get more serious when a thief steals anesthetics from the clinic where Cassie’s veterinarian boyfriend Mark works. Soon after, a young local woman dies in a drug-related incident.

Wanting to help both the clinic and the police, Cassie goes undercover on the local singles scene to investigate a suspected “party drug” ring, which raises Mark’s protective hackles. But in this season of masks, the villain may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing—someone Cassie has come to know and trust. And if her sleuthing skills aren’t up to scratch, she may end up the next victim!

Praise for Night of the Were-Cat:

Night of the Were-Cat by Eileen Watkins

“In Watkins’ impressive sixth Cat Groomer mystery, there’s been a drug theft at the town’s veterinary clinic that appears to be an inside job, placing the entire staff under suspicion. The drug-related death of a young woman at a house party adds to Cassie’s determination to finger the culprit. Classic werewolf movie lore adds to the fun, and the cats don’t distract from the main action. Cozy readers will be well satisfied.” — Publishers Weekly

“This was a gripping story that kept me turning pages. A bit darker than the average cozy mystery, it's a twisty and well-written mystery that kept me guessing (even if I had some suspicions). I was glad to catch up with the relatable and fleshed-out characters. Highly recommended!” — Goodreads Review


The Persian Always Meows Twice

Cassie expects her new business and location to be low on stress and drama, except for the occasional hissy fit by a furry customer. But in The Persian Always Meows Twice, she makes a rare house call and finds her wealthiest client murdered in his study. Though she liked George De Leuw well enough, Cassie plans to leave the criminal investigation to the local cops. She does offer to temporarily board his Persian cat, Harpo, until the will is probated. None of George’s family members or business associates show any interest in the cat…until Harpo moves into Cassie’s shop. Then several pressure Cassie to hand him over, which makes her smell a rat. Attempted arson fires her up to learn who has become so desperate to get their paws on the Persian, and why. Do they think he comes with a large inheritance attached? Or, even though this eyewitness can’t talk, could Harpo somehow reveal the identity of George’s killer?

The Persian Always Meows Twice

What reviewers have said about The Persian Always Meows Twice:

“Fans of felines will appreciate Cassie’s demonstrated attachment to the master species, which Watkins successfully integrates throughout this debut. A deft blend of mystery and cat love.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Delightful first novel and series launch…Harpo and the loads of other cats in his welcome debut don’t overpower the story line.” – Publishers Weekly

“Mystery lovers will want to sink their teeth into this one…This excellent debut from Eileen Watkins will make your pulse race!” – Modern Cat

“Cassie McGlone is a character with spunk, strength and a great group of people surrounding her. The story is interesting and will keep readers guessing all the way to the surprise ending.” – Jennifer Wilson, Romantic Times Reviews

For 2021

Claw & Disorder (cover)Claw & Disorder (2021)

Expert groomer Cassie McGlone knows how to handle even the feistiest felines, but their owners can be more challenging. Around the small town of Chadwick, New Jersey, two very different families solicit her help. Wealthy Gillian Foster, meticulously restoring her historic home, boards her purebred Himalayan for a week at Cassie's Comfy Cats. Meanwhile, Cassie’s assistant persuades her to help the elderly Tillmans, who have been hoarding both memorabilia and cats in their small ranch house. Before they can make much headway, though, Mrs. Tillman is found asphyxiated in the night. Suspects include her absent-minded husband…and their cats. But could someone from the outside also have had the opportunity, and a stronger motive?

Meanwhile, the Fosters host a buffet reception for the local historical society, during which a guest falls gravely ill. The discovery of a tainted dish convinces high-strung Gillian that someone is out to kill her; she accuses her husband Donald, whom she thinks is having an affair with their interior designer. Afraid Gillian will vent her anger on their pet, Donald brings the cat back to Cassie’s shop. The police can’t find enough evidence to pursue either situation, but Cassie fears things will only get worse unless she sorts out who’s innocent and who’s guilty. Can she put these two houses in order before disaster strikes again?

Praise for Claw & Disorder:

“In Watkins’ winning fifth Cat Groomer mystery, Cassie and her assistant Sarah attempt to help a troubled elderly couple who live in a dilapidated house with too many cats…Unlike in similar cozies, the cats don’t solve crimes, and Watkins gives plenty of attention to her appealing cast of diverse human characters. Cat and mystery lovers alike will be charmed.” —Publishers Weekly

 “CLAW & DISORDER is a mystery of perceptions. Interesting characters, both human and feline, who really care but don't take any guff either, live in these pages, and I love spending time with them.” —Cozy Cat Reviews

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein

For 2020

Reboot Ranch by Eileen F WatkinsReboot Ranch (2020)

Two years ago, Anna Loehmeyer’s comfortable life fell apart when her husband was arrested for fraud. She found a new purpose when she rescued a mare bound for slaughter, and after acquiring two more hard-luck equines and a small farm, Anna started a horse-rescue operation. The only person eager to help is her teenage niece MJ, who recently lost her beloved father. Depressed and rebellions, she persuades her mother to let her spend a summer at the rescue farm, because her Aunt Anna is “the only adult I know who’s doing anything meaningful.” Soon Anna and MJ recognize a kinship, beyond family ties, in their love of horses and desire to save them from abusive situations. Their best hope for an adoption success story, though, could also be their greatest challenge. Murphy, an ex-racehorse almost put down for injuring a jockey, loves to jump, even without a rider. But is he too dangerous for them to retrain for a new career? For the sake of the farm and their cause, both independent women may have to swallow some stubborn pride, and learn when to ask for help.


For 2019

Gone, Kitty, Gone

With her new grooming van, Cassie agrees to take part in a huge cat expo at a hotel/conference center near Chadwick. She'll give grooming demonstrations, using shelter felines to encourage adoptions. The three-day expo includes a major cat show and an appearance by pop singing star Jaki Natal and her cat Gordie. A Scottish fold, Gordie has become almost as famous as his owner through social media. But when he goes missing, and a hotel security guard is found dead, Jaki freaks out; she fears it could be the work of a stalker who’s been sending her creepy, anonymous messages. While the cops focus on the case of the murdered man, Jaki learns about Cassie’s history of solving cat-related crimes and begs her find Gordie, before he pays a high price for his fame. Cassie wants to help, but finding one cat-napper in a convention full of feline fanciers could be harder than finding a whisker in a haystack. The nameless stalker literally might be anywhere…or anyone!

Gone, Kitty, Gone by Eileen F. WatkinsWhat reviewers have said about Gone, Kitty, Gone

"A catcentric mystery that should appeal to all. Intelligent writing, deft plotting, and likable characters make this book a Best in Show!" — Cozy Up with Kathy Reviews

"Ms. Watkins provides a good share of red herrings and you attempt to figure out if someone from Jaki's present or past is involved, and if Cassie will win the game of cat-and-mouse with a calculating and dangerous opponent."— Book Blogger Libby McKimner

"Eileen Watkins writes wonderfully complex mysteries, weaving together the various plot threads into an intriguing story. . . The feline-centric world of Chadwick, NJ, is a delightful and interesting place to visit, especially when there's a mystery to solve."— Reviewing the Evidence


For 2018

The Bengal Identity

As summer arrives, another of Cassie’s customers involves her in a web if deadly intrigue. A nervous young man arrives at her shop begging her to keep his large, athletic brown cat for a few days; he says his house burned down and he needs to find another pet-friendly living situation. After he leaves, Cassie and her assistant Sarah notice a strange texture to the cat’s coat and decide to give it a free bath…at which point some of the dark brown color swirls down the drain, revealing traces of leopard spots. Cassie suspects the female cat, named Ayesha, might be a show-quality Bengal, and the young man might have stolen her from a breeder. But before anyone can question him, he’s found dead on a rural road, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run. Cassie wonders if Ayesha could possibly be valuable enough to kill for. With her exotic genes, the Bengal might be worth a fortune to an “underground” hybrid breeder—and someone heartlessly exploiting animals for profit might also capable of murder. Cassie resolves to protect Ayesha, and to find and expose the black-market operation before she becomes its next victim!

The Bengal Identity

What reviewers have said about The Bengal Identity:

 “It doesn’t take a cat lover to fall in love with this perfectly crafted cozy series.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“I enjoyed this book so much that I’ll be going back and reading the first in the series soon.” – Cozy up with Kathy

“The debut novel in this series was one of my favorite books of 2017, and I love the sequel just as much, if not more!” – Melissa’s Mochas, Mysteries and Meows

“A great read, and I look forward to the next book in this wonderful series.” – Dru’s Book Musings

The Bengal Identity has a well-developed, exciting plot…You want to read it in one sitting, because you cannot predict what will happen next.” – Bookworms Corner

Feral Attraction

To help out her best friend, Dawn, Cassie agrees to speak up at a contentious meeting about feral cats causing problems at a local condo community. She meets resident Sabrina Ward, an aging but feisty eccentric who argues for a trap-neuter-return solution to the problem. Sabrina has agitated for underdog causes all her life, and Dawn has known and admired her for years. Cassie likes Sabrina, too, so she also is shocked when Dawn finds the older woman dead in the woods bordering the condo community. Technically, Sabrina had a heart attack, but did something, or someone, frighten her to death? Dawn persuades Cassie to help her investigate, though this arouses resentment among certain community residents. It seems that, due to her history of rabble-rousing, quite a few people could have wanted to “euthanize” Sabrina, for reasons that went beyond her fondness for the ferals…

Feral Attraction

What reviewers have said about Feral Attraction

“Watkins’ series is distinguished by the incorporation of facts about cats, relating to each case, making her writing educational as much as entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews

“(Cassie is) someone you’d like to know and spend time with, even if you’d end up covered in cat hair.”—Kings River Life Magazine

Black Cat


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