Every Sherlock needs his Watson. Sometimes that’s a human and sometimes it’s a four-footed or a feathered friend. We have welcomed our furry (and scaly) friends into our lives; we share our beds, couches, and food with them. It seems only natural that they might also help us solve crime… in their own way.
Here are eight cozy mystery books that feature pets with a preponderance of dogs and cats. In some cases, the animals are sentient, even helping their owners solve crimes; sometimes the theme of the cozy series is centered on animal businesses or events. No matter what these cozies will make you bark and shake your tail!
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8 Cozy Mysteries with Pets
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue
Mimi Lee has just started living the dream. She has opened her pet grooming salon in Los Angeles with the appropriately titled Hollywoof. But the universe doesn’t let her just work on making her store a success. Her mom is bound and determined to set Mimi up with the man of her dreams and the first animal she encounters…is really snarky. Mimi had not expected to meet a talking cat, named Marshmallow. And then on top of it all, she ends up confronting a dog breeder who may be hurting his dogs only for him to be murdered the next day. The police think she did it so she’s got to team up with Marshmallow to figure out who killed the nasty dog breeder. Read the interview with Jennifer J. Chow about her new series!
Dog On It
So while most of these books show the partnership of humans and their pets, this one is told through the eyes of Chet, a loveable hound who flunked K-9 school. He’s the best bud of Bernie, a private detective whose business is going to the dogs. Bernie takes a case of a missing teenager but when she returns unexpectedly with no good reason, it’s clear that there’s something fishy going on. It’s a fun book to see the world through Chet’s eyes (and nose). Book 13 Bark to the Future will be out on August 9, 2022.
In the Dog House (Dog Club Mystery #1)
Dogs are definitely a woman’s best friend. Lilly Echosby has adopted a toy poodle that she named Aggie after Agatha Christie. However, she’s getting divorced after discovering her husband was cheating on her. But when he turns up dead, the police think Lilly was getting revenge. She gets some help clearing her name from her friend Scarlett "Dixie" Jefferson, her two poodles, and some other helpers. Can they find the killer and prevent more deaths? There are five books in this series.
Canter With a Killer
While most cozies feature dogs and cats, this forthcoming one is all about horses (scheduled release November 8, 2022.) Mallory Martin is starting over again. She’s started a horse rescue in her hometown, Hillspring, Arkansas. But when her nasty neighbor dies in his barn, the police have eyes only for Mallory. But that’s just the first murder. While the bodies pile up, it’s clear that lots of people had a dislike for the man. Can Mallory figure out which one took their hatred to jump to new heights all while running her horse rescue?
Lending a Paw
Bookstores and cats go together like peanut butter and jelly. So here’s a great series featuring Minnie and her new cat Eddie. Minnie runs a bookmobile in Chilson, Michigan, thanks to the donation of wealthy Stan Laraby. Things are going well on the first day out except when Eddie finds the body of a man. Of her benefactor. While Minnie just wants to bring books to people, she needs to get the murderer booked for jail. The tenth book The Crime that Binds in the Bookmobile Cat Mystery series will come out on October 4, 2022.
Dog Dish of Doom
Dealing with animals can be a lot easier than their owners. Kay Powell is an agent for animals like the brilliant dog named Bruno but his owners are quite pesky, which might interfere with his career. But when one of his owners is murdered face down in Bruno’s bowl, Kay has to get involved to protect her client, because no one else will. It’s one of two books in An Agent to the Paws Mystery series. The second book features a parrot!
Related: 12 Delightful Cozy Mystery Series to Crack Open This Summer
Cat Got Your Diamonds
Lacy Marie Crocker has big plans but not a lot of capital to make them happen. Despite it all, she’s managed to open Furry Godmother, where she plans to sell luxurious and over-the-top accessories and baked goods to the pets of New Orleans. But when she has an argument with an unsavory man in her shop and he ends up dead, thanks to a glittery gun she had been using, her money troubles might be the least of her problems. Plus there’s a jewelry thief targeting shops around her. Are the murder and thefts connected? Can Lacy clear her name? It’s the first book of four in the Kitty Couture Mystery.
Woof at the Door
Many of us pet owners have dreamed of being able to talk with our pets. Grace Wilde can but it’s not something she advertises. She works as an animal behaviorist, working with a variety of different animals. Things get dicier when she’s summoned to a crime scene, she discovers that the victim’s Doberman witnessed it all. But how can she tell the police what she knows without revealing how she knew the information. The only recourse is to investigate herself to bring this murderer to justice. It’s the first in four books in the Call of the Wilde series.