They say people are either dog people or cat people and the same definitely goes for animal detective stories. You might not be aware of the cat and dog sub-genre of detective novels, but they are usually (although not exclusively) fun, light-hearted and a perfect pick me up read.
These novels come in many different forms. In some the cats or dogs are companions to the sleuths, in others they are the sleuths themselves, and occasionally our furry friends are the source of the mystery. So here for your edification and entertainment are some of the finest feline and Fido crime-solving capers. (And for some reason we couldn’t find a cat and dog detective duo but surely there’s one out there somewhere.)
The purrfect murder / Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown ; illustrations by Michael Gellatly.
Rita Mae Brown has a huge, loyal following with Sneaky Pie Brown being her feline companion. She is best known for her fun, light-hearted detective novels such as The Purrfect Murder which will keep you both laughing and reading. Rita Mae Brown has also written for the screen, particularly horror movies, and published numerous non-fiction works on feminism and the civil rights movement in America – both movements she plays an active part in.
Cat in a leopard spot : a Midnight Louie mystery / Carole Nelson Douglas.
A big game hunter is found dead and once again the feisty feline sleuth Midnight Louie leaps into action to solve the crime. This is the thirteenth instalment of this hugely popular series (currently twenty eight and still counting). Carole Nelson Douglas also writes several other series including the Irene Adler series and the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator series of novels.
Lawyer for the cat : a novel / Lee Robinson.
Ace lawyer Sally Baynard is asked to represent Beatrice, the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar estate. It’s an everyday, commonplace case – only Beatrice is a black cat and other people have their eye on the money. As you would expect, Lawyer for the Cat features lots of good natured characters, many of them of a furry variety.
Paw and order : a Chet and Bernie mystery / Spencer Quinn.
Spencer Quinn’s seventh title in his New York Times bestselling series. Once again private eye Bernie and his canine companion and series narrator Chet set out to right wrongs and sniff out baddies. This time the detective duo is out to uncover a devilish plot in Washington D.C.
New tricks / David Rosenfelt.
Another light-hearted canine detective series is David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenters series. New Tricks is a good example of his work: it revolves around the murder of a Bernese puppy-owner, and it’s up to irreverent defence attorney Andy Carpenter and his trusty golden retriever Tara to solve the case. Rosenfelt’s book is all very good natured and contains lots of laughs – perfect night cap book material.
Suspect / Robert Crais.
The final choice in this small selection of cat and dog detective books is an altogether more serious work: Robert Crais’s Suspect. Suspect deals with bereavement and the journey towards rebuilding one’s life and healing. LAPD cop Scott James is having to deal with the murder of his partner Stephanie whilst his new canine partner Maggie the German shepherd is back from three tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, where she lost her handler. It’s about how man’s best friend can form deep friendships that can help one to get over trauma.