Dog Theme Mysteries : Dogs Are Cozy, Too!

I recently updated my Cats are Cozy entry, so thought I should give the dogs in our lives equal time. I know that cats are typically what most of us think of when we think of a “cozy animal”… to go with the white-haired sleuth, no less! Gone are those days! Now we have young sleuths who manage their professions along with their family lives. But… I’m not going to be focusing on the sleuths… rather on their dogs. So, here are the site’s authors with dog themes in their mysteries.

I will start out with the White House Pet Detectives: Tales of Crime and Mystery at the White House from a Pet’s Eye View. It is an anthology which was edited by Carole Nelson Douglas. In it, you will find stories by some of your favorite mystery authors.

There are some veterinarians and veterinary technicians who have series all of their own! Dr. Nightingale is the veterinarian  in the Deirdre Quinn Nightingale Mystery Series by Lydia Adamson.  And Karen Ann Wilson writes the Samantha Holt Mystery Series. While Samantha is not a full-fledged veterinarian, she is a veterinary technician.

Sparkle Abbey: Pampered Pet Mystery Series

Ellery Adams (aka Jennifer Stanley & J. B. Stanley) writes the Books by the Bay Mystery Series which features Olivia Limoges and her Standard Poodle (Captain Haviland), and a writers club… all of whom solve crimes!

Barbara Allan: Trash ‘n’ Treasures Mysteries Series

Cynthia Baxter‘s series is the Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery Series. The series name lets you know that this series will have puppies and dogs, galore!

Carol Lea Benjamin knows all about training dogs… and I don’t mean just her dog Dash! (Rachel Alexander Mystery Series)

Laurien Berenson writes the very popular cozy mystery series that features a Special Education teacher who participates in dog shows. (Melanie Travis Mystery Series)

Michael Bond‘s Monsieur Pamplemousse Mystery Series has Pommes Frites, Monsieur’s dog. With a dog named French Fries, is it any wonder that Monsieur’s business is restaurants!?!

Duffy Brown has a mutt named Bruce Willis in her Consignment Shop Mystery Series.

Rita Mae Brown fans know Tee Tucker (the Corgi) in her Mrs. Murphy Mystery Series. But a lot of us are just becoming aware of Brown’s new series about foxhunting… and could you ever “foxhunt” without the horses and hounds?

Nancy Bush writes the Jane Kelly Mystery Series which not only features Jane, but her Pug, The Binkster (aka Binks and Binkster)…

Claudius, a Siberian Husky/German Shepherd mix is Annie O’Hara’s sidekick in the mystery series that is written by Ann Campbell. Annie owns an antique shop, and Claudius owns Annie’s love and devotion! (Annie O’Hara & Claudius Mystery Series)

Laura Childs writes the Tea Shop Mystery Series, which is set in Charleston, South Carolina. And of course, Thea Browning’s dog’s name is Earl Gray.

Edie Claire writes the Leigh Koslow Mystery Series. While Leigh is not a veterinarian, her father is. Every once in a while Leigh works as a tech at her dad’s office. Also, the second book features a zoo vet and setting.

The Melissa Cleary cozy mystery series is known as the Dog Lovers Mystery Series, and features Jake, with his professor Jackie Walsh.

Waverly Curtis writes the Barking Detective Mystery Series, which features Pepe (along with his owner) who thinks of himself as “Chihuahua extraordinaire”.

And no cozy mystery book list featuring dogs would be complete without Susan Conant‘s Holly Winter Mystery Series. Holly is a writer for Dog’s Life Magazine and also a dog trainer.

Kathi Daley: Zoe Donovan Mystery Series – Zoe does her sleuthing with her dog, Charlie.

Evelyn David is a pseudonym for two authors, one with a degree in Political Science and the other with a degree in Biology. They write the Sullivan Investigations Mystery Series which features an ex-policeman and his Irish Wolfhound (Whiskey) and a divorcée mortician  who sleuth together…

Krista Davis: Paws and Claws Mystery Series

Abigail Deuel: Mandy Bell DVM Mystery Series

J. F. Englert writes the Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery Series which features a Black Labrador Retriever (who is actually the narrator of this mystery series) and his often-confused owner…

Christy Evans writes the Georgiana Neverall Mystery Series which has, as its dog-stars, Daisy and Buddha, Georgie’s two darling Airedales…

Patricia Guiver writes the Pet Detective Mystery Series which features Delilah Doolittle and her Doberman Pinscher, Watson, who helps her solve her cases.

Victoria Hamilton writes the Vintage Kitchen Mystery Series, which features Jaymie Leighton, a collector of vintage cookware and cookbooks, and her three-legged Yorkie Poo, Hoppy.

David Handler writes the Stewart Hoag & Lulu Mystery Series. Lulu is Stewart’s faithful Basset Hound.

Sue Henry‘s first cozy series featured Jessie Arnold, a dog sled racer in Anchorage. She now has a new series about a widow in her 60s (Maxine McNab) who travels in her RV, accompanied by her Mini Dachshund, who could only be called “Stretch!” (Maxie & Stretch Mystery Series)

Gabriella Herkert writes the Animal Instinct Mystery Series, and her second book in that series features dogs.

Marion Moore Hill pens the Scrappy Librarian Mystery Series, which has the librarian and her collie/mongrel, Rip…

Suzette A. Hill writes the Reverend Oughterard Mystery Series. Bouncer (his dog) and Maurice (his cat) enjoy the British village life, even with all of the mysteries to solve…

Richard Houston: Books to Die For Mystery Series

Linda O. Johnston writes the Pet Rescue Mystery Series which features an animal advocate who runs a pet rescue agency.

Linda O. Johnston: Superstition Mystery Series – Rory Chasen is an employee at the Lucky Dog Boutique, and Pluckie is her “helper” dog.

Lee Charles Kelley is a dog trainer (along with being an author!) who writes the Continuing Adventures of Jack & Jamie Mystery Series which happens to feature a dog trainer/dog kennel owner/ex-NYPD detective.

Diane Kelly writes the Megan Luz Mystery Series which takes place in Fort Worth. Megan is a police officer who solves cases with her K-9 partner, Brigit.

Annie Knox (aka Wendy Lyn Watson): Pet Boutique Mystery Series

Amanda Lee (aka Gayle Trent) writes the Embroidery Mystery Series. Marcy owns an embroidery shop and has her loyal companion Irish Wolfhound, Angus, join her.

Dixie Lyle: Whiskey, Tango, & Foxtrot Mystery Series

Nancy Martin: Miss Ruffles Mystery Series: Miss Ruffles, a very wealthy woman’s dog, inherits the woman’s estate!

Judi McCoy writes the Dog Walker Mystery Series which features Ellie and her dog Rudy… and, lest I forget, Ellie’s ability to communicate telepathically with her charges.

Leslie O’Kane writes the Allie Babcock Mystery Series. Don’t all dogs deserve a dog therapist? And, Allie not only solves their problems, but she also solves mysteries!

Spencer Quinn (aka Peter Abrahams) pens the Chet and Bernie Mystery Series. This mystery series is narrator by Chet, Bernie’s loyal side-kick, ex K-9 agent. (Well, technically, he never made it to graduation.)

David Rosenfelt writes the Andy Carpenter Mystery Series, in which Andy is a defense attorney who manages a dog rescue facility – with the help of his Golden Retriever, Tara.

Dana Stabenows Kate Shugak mystery series has Mutt, a half-wolf/half Husky playing second fiddle to  Kate, an ex-investigator and current sleuth, in Alaska. (Kate Shugak Mystery Series)

Nancy Jill Thames writes the Jillian Bradley Mystery Series which features a gardening  columnist and her Yorkie.

Maggie Toussaint writes the Cleopatra Jones Mystery Series which features a golfing-accountant-sleuth and her side-kick, Madonna (a rather huge St. Bernard)…

Diane Vallere: Mad for Mod Mystery Series – Madison Night’s Rocky (Shih Tzu)

Peggy Webb writes the Southern Cousins Mystery Series which features a Basset Hound named Elvis.

Nina Wright, who writes the Whiskey Mattimoe Mystery Series which features Whiskey’s Afghan Hound, Abra.

Sue Owens Wright pens the Beanie & Cruiser Mystery Series which features a Basset Hound (Cruiser) and Beanie, a freelance reporter in Lake Tahoe…

There are two authors who feature dog trackers in their mystery series: Donna Ball‘s Raine Stockton Dog Mystery Series‘ dog is a Golden Retriever named Cisco. He keeps an eye on Raine Stockton, the North Carolina ex-tracker. Virginia Lanier‘s Jo Beth Sidden Mystery Series features a Bloodhound trainer and tracker.

While I was working on this Cozy Mystery Dog Theme List, I came across some books about dogs that look like they would be a lot of fun… They are not mysteries, but with titles like they have, if you are a dog lover, you might enjoy checking them out:

Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?: 101 of the Most Perplexing Questions Answered About Canine Conundrums, Medical Mysteries and Befuddling Behaviors, by Marty Becker & Gina Spadafori

bowWOW!: Curiously Compelling Facts, True Tales, and Trivia Even Your Dog Won’t Know, by D.V.M., Marty Becker, Gina Spadafori, &  Molly Pearce (Illustrator)

Dogs For Dummies – A Reference for The Rest Of Us!, by Gina Spadafori; Foreword by Marty Becker

Let’s Dance: a Beginner’s Guide to Dancing with Your Dog by Donna Ball.

Here’s a list of Favorite Dogs in Cozy Mysteries, recommended by Cozy Mystery readers!

♦To access more Cozy Mysteries by Theme click on this link.♦


  1. Sue says

    I have found a great cozy mystery series by Lee Charles Kelley. He is by profession a dog trainer and that is the profession of his main character….so lots of dog stuff. He has three books out that I know of and I am finishing his last book now. The books are "A Nose for Murder", "Murder Unleashed" and "To Collar a Killer". These books are great fun. His website is

  2. Melissa says

    Don’t forget Nina Wright’s Whiskey Mattimoe series featuring Abra the Afghan Hound…and Victoria Laurie’s Psychic Eye series features Eggy the dachshund, so named because of his love for fried eggs!!! =)

  3. Leslie says

    Lee Charles Kelley has more than the 3 books that Sue mentioned. The books in order are: A Nose for Murder (to be re-released as An Airedale Heiress) Murder Unleashed (to be re-released as Beagle Troubles) To Collar a Killer Twas the Bite before Christmas Dogged Pursuit Like a Dog with a Bone

  4. says

    I am going to make up a page for Lee Charles Kelley very soon… I’m always on the look out for new cozy authors to add to the site. And, since you have listed all of the books, his page should be very easy for me to make!
    Thank you!

  5. Elizabeth says

    It’s very difficult to come by, but there is a wonderful British series of mystery novels featuring the training of hunting dogs in Scotland written by Gerald Hammond. They were written in the 80’s and 90’s. Surprisingly, I found several of them available in this country in Large Print editions.

  6. Diane says

    Not sure if it fits here or with supernatural, but a new series just started by Judi McCoy, the first book is Hounding the Pavement. The main character is a dog walker and can talk to dogs and her own dog is a reincarnation of her first dog.

  7. Sara says

    Pretty good, cozy mysteries by Spencer Quinn. His 2 books are: Dog On It and Thereby Hangs a Tail. They’re about a dog and his PI partner, told from the viewpoint of the dog

    • Rhonda says

      I’ve read all the Spencer Quinn books. There are a couple others: To Fetch a Thief and The Dog Who Knew Too Much. All books are wonderful.

  8. says

    Thank you, Sara. I have another author who I am going to be posting to the site who also writes from the dog’s viewpoint: J. F. Englert.

    I’ll add Spencer Quinn to my list of authors to post. Actually, I won’t have to add him as a new author… He’s Peter Abrahams!

    Abrahams also writes a children’s mystery series: the Echo Falls Mystery Series. And, as I have said before, I love it when “established” best selling authors write books for children.

    I also love it that he is now writing a cozy mystery series for those of us who prefer our mysteries Cozy!

  9. Barbara says

    Wow! What a great list. Thanks so much for creating it. I only knew about half of these people. I’m the raffle chairperson for our sheltie rescue picnic and I make up baskets with cozy dog books, mugs, tea, etc. You’ve given me new resources to search out so thanks!

    Do you know of any fiction sheltie books other than Gay, A Shetland Sheepdog?

    Thanks, Barbara

  10. says

    The only West Highland White Terrier I can think of is Ballou – in the mystery series by Nora Charles (aka Noreen Wald) which features Kate Kennedy, a senior citizen sleuth in Florida…
    (Don’t be put-off by the cover of the first mystery book in the series… the author (or publisher/editor) didn’t know the difference between a Jack Russell Terrier and a West Highland White Terrier. They corrected their mistake in later books, which incidentally are some of the cutest covers out there!)

    • Renee T. says

      We’ve had Westies for 25 years so I was happy to see Ballou as the main character in the Kate Kennedy Senior Sleuth Mysteries. I can’t wait to read them! Thanks so much for the post.
      Do you know of any cozies with a Toy Poodle as the main character?

      • Danna - cozy mystery list says

        I’m sorry, Renee T, I can’t think of any Cozy Mystery series which feature Toy Poodles. Hopefully someone else knows of one…

        • Karen says

          laurien berenson has standard poodles in her melanie travis series she is a school teacher single mom and with her aunt peg they show dogs and solve mysteries

  11. Charlotte says

    Ellen O’Connell has just published Rottweiler Rescue, which I enjoyed enormously, and is working on her second Rottie mystery.

  12. Christine says

    Does anyone know the names of a couple of mysteries, set in NY in 40s or 50s, written at least 30-35 years ago (the books were used when I bought them in early 80s). Main characters were Jack, Susan and their dog named Tripod. Have exhausted all regular avenues of online searching.Thanks.

  13. says

    I’ll immodestly mention my Scrappy Librarian Mysteries, in which the librarian protagonist has a collie mongrel called Rip (an ironic reference to Jack the Ripper, since Rip was abused in the past and consequently is timid around most people). Thanks for compiling this list–I now have some new authors to look for!

  14. says

    My mystery, A POINTED DEATH, features sidekick dog Skootch, a rescue from the San Francisco pound. I don’t tend to think of my mystery as a cozy because it is set in the biotech industry, and it is just too much of a hybrid, but many blog reviewers see it as a cozy. Since I love cozies, who am I to object?

  15. says

    Love a mystery with a canine in it and I would have never even thought to write a blog on it. My current novel, The Trust, features a canine, a rescue. As I was writing it I was wishing for some other books to read to get a feel for how they handled and wove the canine into the story. Look forward to exploring some of the books on the blog.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Sean, I see (from your site: Sean Keefer – The Trust) that you and your wife have two Australian Shepherds. I have always loved that breed… but know that they are a handful. (I even loved Australian Shepherds before the movie: Babe!)

  16. Pegg says

    Thanks for your list. Rita Mae Brown, Lee Charles Kelly, Virginia Lanier and Shirley Rousseau Murphy (who wasn’t on your list) are my absolute favorites. Am now reading my first Spenser Quinn book.

  17. Pegg says

    My apologies, in my excitement of this list I forgot this was for “dog” cozies. Ms Murphy is on the cat list.

  18. says

    Today I read a debut mystery by Carol Ann Newsome.
    A Shot in the Bark (A Dog Park Mystery) available on Kindle, is an extremely well written mystery about a serial killer who is methodical and manipulative.
    It was recommended by another member of my book club.
    Lia Anderson is the main character who has to deal with the aftermath of one murder followed by more complications and revelations of secrets of others in the dog park group.
    Unlike so many mysteries, the protagonist does not do any sleuthing on her own, the investigation is led by a very believable detective who acts the way one would expect in a dedicated law officer.
    While there are some brief, fairly tasteful, mentions of sex, they are integral to the story and not just thrown in for effect.
    I have always been an inveterate dog lover and the dogs in this story are well rounded characters in their own right.
    It is surprising that this is a first novel because the author writes with authority that is often missing in stories by established authors and I finished the book wishing it would go on.
    I look forward to another mystery featuring the Mt. Airy Dog Park characters.

  19. Rita says

    Witness Unleashed by Louie Flann is a mystery based on the what-ifs that arose during the OJ Simpson trial. It features an animal behaviorist who trains a German Shepherd to communicate sufficiently well to testify at a trial. For everyone who was fascinated by the “trial of the century” this will be a thought provoking read.

  20. says

    Thanks for this amazing list.
    My colleague, Curt Colbert and I, are writing a series of humorous mysteries using the pen name of Waverly Curtis. They are cozies featuring a talking Chihuahua named Pepe. The first one is called Dial C for Chihuahua and is available for pre-order now–official publication date October 1, 2012.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Waverly, Pepe and his Barking Detective Mystery Series has put you and your colleague, Curt, on my “Authors to Post” list. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Jean says

    How about David Rosenfelt, and his wonderful series with lawyer Andy Carpenter and Tara, his golden retriever? Most of the mysteries include other dogs as well. The first one is Open and Shut, and there are ten books in the series.

  22. linda c says

    Danna, Among the things that I have picked up on while reading so many cozy mysteries is the people who drink a lot of tea have some sort of pet, mostly dogs.
    Don’t forget Sue Henry and Maxie and Stretch.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Linda C, I have recently switched from my morning coffee to morning tea. I guess that means a new pet is in my destiny…

      • linda c says

        Not only do most Cozy sleuths drink lots of tea, have some kind of animal pet, it seems like a lot of these people drink a lot of wine., and it seems a lot of these characters are always cooking something that is so described that I swear I can smell whatever is cooking. I love the pets, haven’t started drinking wine or tea yet, coffee laced with a good coffee creamer is my drink of choice.
        Whenever some character is cooking something I start to think that I should get up and cook something myself. But then I realize that in order to do that I have to put my book down!!
        Whenever I am into a really good book, I used to have darling hubby cook something up. But now that he is reading quite a bit, he doesn’t want to put his book down either. Oh well. Throw something into the oven, whip up a salad, throw a loaf of bread and some margarine on the table, dish up some ice cream or open a can of peaches. There, supper is ready! Eat, take the dogs out, clean up the kitchen, get back to reading! I am retired!!!

  23. Betts says

    Can anyone remember or identify an author who wrote a mystery in, I think, late 1980s or 1990s about a woman who ran a tai chi or meditation studio and had a beautiful Akita? Would appreciate…loved the book

  24. says

    I just wanted to put in a word for my canine cozy, “The Karma of King Harald.” It’s the first adventure of Andy Skyberg and his big, amiable mutt, King Harald. Harald is a rescue dog who looks like he’s part Chesapeake and part moose. He suddenly develops a nose for crime in the small town of New Bergen, and Andy reluctantly has to channel his inner sleuth. The book is published under my pen name, Richard Audry.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Thank you, D. R. Martin, for telling us about your canine Cozy Mystery – The Karma of King Harald.

  25. Joyce says

    Just found your blog list of dog theme mysteries. It was like finding a diamond in the rough. Can’t wait to check out these authors’ books and hopefully find some real gems to add to my Kindle. Will certainly be checking back.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Welcome to the Cozy Mystery site, Joyce. I hope you’re able to find a lot of authors you enjoy reading.

  26. joan j. says

    I lived with dogs my entire 78 years except from 1962-1977. Candy our last dog was 3 when adopted in 2001 and I had to put her down 12/5/2012. I have read mysteries since I discovered Nancy Drew in the 4th grade. How about the Embroidery Mysteries? I just finished #6 a few hours ago. Marcy has store in Oregon and Angus an Irish Wolfhound who is a fixture in the store daily. I just found your Cozy mystery site today. Though many of the authors I have read. thank you

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Welcome to the Cozy Mystery site, Joan J., and thank you for the Amanda Lee reminder. I’ll go add her Cozy Mysteries to the dog theme mysteries list.

      (I’m sorry about Candy. I know how difficult it is when we lose a beloved pet and part of the family.)

  27. Jerry says

    For the hunting dog lovers out there, we have a new mystery novel just published on Amazon Kindle entitled “The Deadly Dog Show“. There’s murder and miscellaneous other crimes occurring at California dog shows. It’s going to take a dog named Juliet and a doggone good private detective or two to solve this one.

  28. joan j. says

    How did I forget Laura Childs tea shop mysteries when I posted in August? Thea Browning has a tea shop in Charleston, SC and has also a dog named Earl Gray. If I remember correctly he is large. I have read all of them about 10. The latest is Sweet tea revenge which I read in April. She also has two other series, a scrapbooking one in New Orleans and others about a food place if I remember.

    • Danna - cozy mystery list says

      Shelby, I hope someone can come up with a Cozy Mystery series that features Shih Tzus. I can’t think of any.

    • joan j. says

      to Shelby. try Barbara Allan’s trash & treasure mysteries. brandy Borne has a Shih Tzus. she is listed under the A authors. I admit I quit reading her as the whole family is dysfunctional in my opinion.These are in the humorous category.

  29. says

    Another cozy mystery series for dog (and cat!) lovers is the Spunky Murder Mystery Series, starring Spunky, the 12-year-old terrier mutt detective!! :) The series is written by Holly Lewitas. Her website is here: So far, there are 3 books in the series: The Nose Knows, The Nose Sees All and An Army of Noses. I hope you read and enjoy!

  30. Diane says

    yayy! being a dog-lover/owner myself I look for dogs on the covers (cats as well) and I’m so pleased to see this list – some I’ve read and a whole lot I haven’t yet!! Now I need to find a way to save this list to my phone so when I’m at the library I have it at hand :)

  31. joan j says

    Duffy Brown with her consignment shop mysteries. How I could forget BW, Bruce Willis is her constant companion. Demise in Denim is #4 in series which I just got today and started reading. I don’t remember what breed he is. However, the cover shows a border collie. This is terrible I remember all the characters from previous books BUT not BW’s family tree.LOL.

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