by Maggie King
When I posted about cats in mysteries earlier this year, I promised a companion post about canine mysteries.
And now, at last: the dogs have their day!
I took a democratic approach and pooled my dog-loving social media followers with this question: “What are your favorite mysteries with a dog as a significant character?”
Read on for their responses.
In the Books by the Bay mysteries, Olivia Limoges returns to her home town in North Carolina with Captain Haviland, a black standard poodle. Created by Ellery Adams.
Ellen Byron writes the Cajun Country Mystery series. All of her dogs find a role in her books.
More than one responder suggested Susan Conant’s Dog Lover’s Mysteries series, featuring magazine writer Holly Winter and a cast of dogs.
Robert Crais wrote a standalone crime story with LAPD cop Scott James and his partner, Maggie, a German Shepherd. Man and dog suffer from PTSD as a result of horrendous experiences.
Waverly Curtis created the Seattle-based Barking Detective series of humorous mystery novels starring Pepe, a talking Chihuahua.
Of course, there’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring the inimitable Sherlock Holmes. The legend of a terrifying, satanic hound of supernatural origin instigates an attempted murder.
Alex Kava’s series features former marine Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs.
Bailey, a very sarcastic canine, saves her companions in Be Careful What You Wish For by Solomon Knight.
Ketch is a key character in J.R. Lindermth’s The Limping Dog, about a dog rescued from a wrecked sailing ship.
One follower suggested White Fang by Jack London. She wasn’t sure if it qualified as a mystery, but we’ll just say it does.
Mystery/thriller author Paul D. Marks highlights racism and immigration in his crime novels. His canine characters are Baron in White Heat and Molly in Broken Windows.
In Louise Penny’s books set in the village of Three Pines, Quebec, Henri is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache’s German Shepherd.
Spencer Quinn’s Chet & Bernie series got a few votes. Chet the dog is the faithful companion of Arizona private investigator Bernie Little.
In David Rosenfelt’s bibliography you’ll find a long list of dog-themed mysteries featuring Andy Carpenter, an irreverent defense attorney in Paterson, New Jersey.
Amy Shojai created a “pet-centric” thriller series with September Day, an animal behaviorist/trainer, and her German Shepherd service dog named Shadow.
In Tracy Weber’s Downward Dog Mysteries, Kate Davidson is a yoga instructor in Seattle with her German Shepherd sidekick Bella.
Seems like German Shepherds reign as top dog in mysteries. Inspector Rex reigns, appropriately enough, on TV. An Austrian police procedural comedy-drama television series, Inspector Rex follows the German Shepherd police dog Rex, his partners, and the rest of the team at the Vienna Kriminalpolizei homicide unit, as they work together to solve crimes. Since 2008, the show has been set in Rome.
There are many, many more mysteries with dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, birds, goldfish, you name it. Look for my upcoming posts. And let me know your favorite mysteries with animals. Our furry friends enrich not only our lives, but our reading as well.
Twinkle was my childhood dog. Truth be told, he was my mother’s dog and loved her best. Twinkle, a Toy Fox Terrier, had a brown and charcoal patch over one eye, and a mere stub of a tail. Below, he poses with my mother and grandmother on “the farm” in upstate New York.
Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including Murder at the Book Group and Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She has contributed stories to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies and to the 50 Shades of Cabernet anthology.
Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive. She enjoys reading, walking, movies, traveling, theatre, and museums.
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2Bj4uIL