Going to the Dogs - Dark Streets
While I admit I’m partial to feline detectives, I have a soft spot in my heart for canine ones as well! Here are a few excellent cozies featuring some Sherlock-like pooches!
The Barking Detective Series – Waverly Curtis
Since I also have a soft spot for animals that talk (long story) one of my favorites is The Barking Detective series featuring Pepe, the talking Chihuahua! Pepe may have soft white fur, big brown eyes, and mucho attitude--but he's no furry fashion fad. Pepe can talk--even if his new owner, Geri Sullivan, seems to be the only person who can understand him.
In volume 1, Dial C for Chihuahua, Geri takes on her first assignment for a quirky investigator named Jimmy G and stumbles over a Seattle millionaire's corpse, Pepe proves to be worth his weight in liver treats. Suspicion falls on the not-so-grieving widow, who wants to finance a reality TV show, Dancing With Dogs, and Geri, who found the body. She and Pepe go undercover to ferret out the real killer and clear Geri’s name.
In Book 3, The Big Chihuahua, P.I. Geri and Pepe take on a case involving a hapless husband trying to win back his wayward wife. This entails sneaking into a cult of dog-worshippers, whose charismatic leader pegs Pepe as the next incarnation of the spirit Dogawanda. But the discovery of a body, murdered between mantras, suggests there's more chicanery than channeling going on in this suspicious sect.
In Book 4, The Chihuahua Always Sniffs Twice, Pepi and Geri try to find out who is poisoning recently deceased widow’s Lucille Carpenter’s dogs. Complicating matters is the fact the widow left her entire fortune to the dogs, so to speak. At the lavish Carpenter manor, Pepe digs for clues among the pampered pooches, bitter relatives, suspicious staff, and larcenous lawyers.
The most recent release, Silence of the Chihuahuas, finds Pepe a non-speaking dog. Geri can’t figure out why he’s not talking, and especially now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances. Fortunately…Pepe’s an excellent blogger!
All in all a very entertaining series worth a look.
The Dog Walker Detective Series by Judi McCoy
This fun series features Ellie Engleman, psychic dog-walker! Elle discovers that she can hear what her canine clientele is thinking, a talent that comes in handy in the first volume, Hounding the Pavement, when a dog’s owner turns up dead.
In the latest entry, Fashion Faux Paw, It's Fashion Week in New York and Ellie's in charge of the dogs' modeling outfits that match their mommy-mdoels for a fashion competition. But before the first round closes, one of the designers drops dead of anaphylactic shock, her Epipen useless because someone's emptied it.
The victim's peanut allergy was well-known, so Ellie and her dog Rudy must comb through the brash designer's rivals, colleagues, and many enemies to discover who was so desperate that she committed the ultimate crime of fashion.
Last but definitely not least….
Drop Dead on Recall – Sheila Webster Boneham
Not only has the very talented Sheila Webster Boneham written countless non-fiction books on dogs and cats, she has a series from Midnight Ink that features an Australian Shepherd! DROP DEAD ON RECALL features Australian Shepherd lover Janet MacPhail, Her AS Jay, and tabby cat Leo! (You knew a cat would get in here somehow, didn’t you????) When a talented handler is murdered at an obedience trial, Janet becomes a “Person of Interest”. Janet and her canine and feline friends all band together to sniff out the killer.
In the second volume, The Money Bird. A photo session at Twisted Lake takes a peculiar turn as Drake, her friend Tom’s Labrador, fetches a blood-soaked bag holding an exotic feather and a torn one-hundred-dollar bill.
When one of her photography students turns up dead at the lake, Janet investigates a secretive retreat center with help from Australian Shepherd Jay and her quirky neighbor Goldie. Between dog-training classes, photo assignments, and romantic interludes with Tom, Janet is determined to get to the bottom of things before another victim’s wings are clipped for good.
Book 3 – Catwalk – gives equal time to both cats and dogs! (‘cause that’s the kind of person Sheila is!)
When Janet gets a frantic call from champion dog owner Alberta Shofelter about a "cat-napping," she and her Australian Shepherd Jay jump in to assist. Fur flies when the search turns into a nasty run-in with local big shot Charles Rasmussen, a bully who enjoys throwing his weight around.
As Rasmussen makes good on his promise to cause trouble, Janet tries to keep up with her mom's romantic travails, figure out her own relationship with Tom, and train her animals for the upcoming agility trials. But when a body is discovered at the Dog Dayz event, it stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.
In the latest entry in this series, Sherpherd's Crook, Janet has just arrived at a sheep-herding competition with her Australian Shepherd, Jay, when she learns that two dozen sheep have disappeared. Police think the animals have wandered off in search of greener grass, but Janet sees and hears things that convince her the sheep's owners are right—the animals have been stolen. Janet knows she should leave the snooping to the police while she attends to her own problems—new living arrangements, her mom's wedding plans, puppy and kitten antics, and extremists bent on keeping people from having pets. But when a livestock handler turns up dead and the sheep's owner disappears, the police and a pair of thugs pay Janet way more attention than she likes.
A definite must read series for dog lovers – and cat lovers, too.
Hope this has given you a few good canine mysteries to sink your teeth into!
Columnist: Toni LoTempio
Born in New York City, T. C. LoTempio is the national bestselling author of the Nick and Nora Mystery series. She has been a staff reporter at the young adult magazine Susabella Passengers and Friends for more than a decade. When she isn’t reporting or writing novels, she and her cat Rocco fundraise for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read. Visit her at www.tclotempio.com or at www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com