Any cat person will tell you: cats make everything better. Including mysteries. And why wouldn’t they? They’re observant, smart, and have inventive ways of communicating their thoughts to humans. While they’re often found inside the pages of a cozy mystery, we wanted to know if there were books that featured cats as either main characters or as integral to solving the mystery. We were delighted to find entire series of books with felines driving the story.
Even better? March 28 is "Respect Your Cat Day", and we couldn’t think of anything more purr-fect (sorry, had to) than these nine cat mystery books.
Double Booked for Death
When Darla Pettistone inherited her Great-Aunt’s bookstore in New York, she leaves Texas to become the new owner of Pettistone’s Fine Books. But she didn’t realize Hamlet, a large black cat with an even larger personality, came with it. Determined to keep the bookstore’s legacy alive and outwit Hamlet at the same time, Darla is thrilled when she gets the hottest selling author to do a signing.
Until the author dies. Authorities say it’s an accident, but Hamlet knows better. And digs up the evidence to prove it. Now, Darla has to work with Hamlet to uncover the killer before they strike again.
Cat on the Edge
Joe Grey is having a strange week. First, the cat realizes he can understand human language. And he can speak it. He’s hoping it won’t impact his carefree napping days. But when he witnesses a murder behind Jolly’s Deli and the killer sees him, his catnap days are numbered. Unwilling to give up any of his nine lives, Joe puts both paws forward to help solve the case.
How to Wash a Cat
When her uncle dies, our unnamed protagonist inherits his antique store. But when she and her two cats stumble on a mystery hidden within the curios and antiques, it sets them down a dangerous path of secrets trailing all the way back to San Francisco’s Gold Rush days. When it comes to unraveling a decades old mystery, two cats are always better than one.
Cat About Town
Maddie James only has a loose plan when she moves to small New England Daybreak Island. So, when a stray orange tabby cat pounces into her life, she decides it’s a sign and opens a cat café. But when her new companion finds a dead body, the entire town is looking at her and her cat-whispering ways. The attention isn’t all bad, especially from two eligible bachelor’s trying to get to know her. But there’s no time for romance with a killer on the loose.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat
After librarian Kathleen Paulson moves to Mayville Heights, Maryland, she doesn’t expect to be enchanted by two stray cats. She names the tabby with a catnip addiction Owen, and the tuxedo cat with an appreciation for Barry Manilow Hercules. There’s nothing she can put her finger on, but Kathleen knows there’s something special about these two cats.
But when a murder happens at the Mayville Music Festival, Kathleen is suddenly the primary suspect. Even more shocking, her cats are magical. And she needs them to clear her name.
Murder Past Due
Charlie Harris is the town librarian who walks his Maine coon cat, Diesel, everywhere on a leash. Everyone in small town Athena, Mississippi, knows them. Everyone also knows Charlie’s former classmate, Godfrey Priest, who is now a famous bestselling author. But when Godfrey turns up dead, Charlie and Diesel set out to find the killer. Even if that means digging through the town’s history section to find them.
The Whole Cat and Caboodle
Elvis the cat has lived nine lives. Maybe more. He has a big scar on his nose and loves rock-and-roll. When a band was playing the King’s music in a bar, he hopped in Sarah Grayson’s truck. A good choice, considering the owner of the charming second-hand shop was more than likely to give Elvis a second chance.
But when Sarah’s friend and elderly neighbor Maddie is discovered with a dead body in her garden, the old lady becomes a murder suspect. Good thing Sarah and Elvis won’t let her go down as a murderer.
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
When unpopular art critic George Mountclemens offers new features reporter Jim Qwilleran a small apartment in his building for cheap rent, Jim jumps at the chance. Even if it comes with a lot of cat-sitting of Koko, Mountclemens all-knowing feline. But when the owner of a gallery Mountclemens actually likes ends up murdered, with Mountclemens himself soon to follow, Jim ends up relying on Koko to help him solve the case.
The Cat, the Quilt, and the Corpse
Widow Jill Hart lives a quiet life with her three rescue cats. Until one of them is catnapped. The police dismiss her pleas to help, so Jill decides to investigate on her own. But when she finds the catnapper with a house full of stolen felines, the culprit has a knife sticking out of his chest. Now, Jill is the prime suspect in the murder. With the police again looking in all the wrong places, Jill focuses on reuniting the stolen cats with their owners. After all, one of them might be the murderer.