...for readers who love animals, and animal lovers who read!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Animals and Cozies

by Linda O. Johnston

Last time I blogged here at Writers and Other Animals, my topic was Animals, Novels and Me.  I described how all of my cozy mysteries, and some of my romances, involve animals.  Why?  Because I love animals!
Today I want to talk about how many animal themes there can be in cozy mysteries.  The answer, of course, is that the possibilities are infinite, as wide in scope as there are animals.
I'm especially a dog lover.  I think that's apparent by my focus on dogs in my mysteries, especially my Pet Rescue Mysteries.  My protagonist Lauren Vancouver runs a wonderful no-kill shelter that also saves cats, but she, too, is more of a dog lover so the stories are mostly themed around issues that threaten dogs.
And in my upcoming Superstition Mysteries, my protagonist there, Rory Chasen, who happens to own a lucky dog named Pluckie, will become the manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique.
I'm not the only one who centers cozy mysteries on dogs.  For example, my host here at Writers and Other Animals, Sheila Webster Boneham, writes the Animals in Focus Mysteries.  That's Animals in Focus, not Dogs in Focus.  Even so, many of those animals happen to be dogs.  Her upcoming book Catwalk obviously features a cat, but that doesn't mean dogs don't play a major role, too.
Then there are the Pampered Pets Mysteries by Sparkle Abbey, which likewise feature dogs... and cats.  And the Downward Dog Mysteries by Tracy Weber, where yoga is important, but so is the protagonist's dog.  And the Paws and Claws Mysteries by Krista Davis--also featuring both dogs and cats.  And the Barking Detective Mystery Series by Waverly Curtis, which happens to have a very special Chihuahua in it. 
Some mysteries feature cats without dogs, such as The Cat in the Stacks mysteries by Miranda James and the Magical Cats Mystery Series by Sofie Kelly.
Other animals can be the subjects of mysteries, too.  I took advantage of that in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries.  Kendra happed to live in the Hollywood Hills, as I do.  She is a lawyer, as I was.  And she happens to own a tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Lexie, which, coincidentally, is a description of my older Cavalier.  You can guess by the titles of some of the Pet-Sitter Mysteries what animals besides dogs were featured in them: NOTHING TO FEAR BUT FERRETS, FINE-FEATHERED DEATH, MEOW IS FOR MURDER, THE FRIGHT OF THE IGUANA, NEVER SAY STY, and FELINE FATALE, to mention a few.
I haven't attempted to describe all the mysteries there are that happen to involve, or feature, animals.  That's partly because there are so many of them!  Plus, there are more being published all the time.  Apparently not only authors, but readers, too, enjoy animals in their mysteries! 
How about you?  Do you enjoy animals?  Reading about them?  Having them as pets? 

Come visit me at my website:  www.LindaOJohnston.com   You can also friend me on Facebook.  I additionally blog weekly on KillerHobbies.blogspot.com   on Wednesdays, where my Killer Hobby is supposed to be pets--but we all know that pets aren’t hobbies.  They’re family!  I also blog on the 18th of each month on Killer Characters--or at least my characters do.  And I additionally blog on Inkspot, the blog of Midnight Ink authors, and on the 6th of each month at A Slice of Orange, the blog of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America.  As I've mentioned before, I blog a lot! 


  1. Thanks for being here again, Linda!

  2. I love mysteries, especially ones with animals! I love the Magical Cats and Cat in the Stacks mysteries - and my own, featuring a cat who plays Scrabble, will be out in December from Berkley (Nick and Nora mysteries - Meow if its Murder). Have read Lindas and Sheila's and love them, too. so many books - so little time

  3. Thanks for inviting me to blog here again, Sheila!

  4. A cat who plays Scrabble? Sounds delightful! I'll be watching for it.

  5. Pets enhance our lives so much, it's no wonder they play a role in so many fun mysteries!

  6. They certainly play a great role in your mysteries, Tracy!