Dog Mystery Books

This is a listing of dog mystery books by authors whom I personally have enjoyed. Purely my own opinion here.

Dog Mystery Books

These are books that I have enjoyed or , in a few cases books I haven't yet read by authors whose other books I have enjoyed. This is just my personal taste, so there is no guarantee that you will agree; but checking books out from the public library is still free, so you might give these a try.

A "dog mystery" is a mystery in which the detective is a dog-centered person and in which dogs play some important role.

Contents (authors) :

    Susan Conant     Carol Lea Benjamin     Myrna Milani

books by Susan Conant

I think she is the absolutely funniest dog mystery writer I've encountered.

A New Leash on Death
This is the first book in the series, in which protagonist - detective dog trainer and dog magazine writer Holly Winter, still grieving the recent death of her beloved Golden "Vinnie" and the not-so-recent death of her mother, acquires her first Malamute, "Rowdy", and solves the mystery of his owner's death during dog training class and in doing so solves the mystery of Rowdy's origin.
Logic patrol : since Rowdy came through Rescue, it is hard to understand why he was not neutered before placement.

Dead and Doggone
The plot revolves around the stealing of dogs by an animal research lab and the murder of a dog show handler stabbed with expensive grooming shears. Holly searches for her father's stolen wolf.

A Bite of Death
Holly attempts to assist an owner with a dominent Malamute bitch. The owner is soon murdered and Holly adopts the bitch, "Kimi". The plot revolves around psychotherapists.

Paws Before Dying
Holly's neice Leah joins the cast and is indoctrinated into the world of dogs.
Logic patrol : at one point in the book, Holly regrets not having taught Rowdy to Track. Yet half a dozen books later, she still has not done so. Why not ? Malamutes should be excellent tracking dogs and certainly have the ability to make a skeptical handler follow along wherever the track goes.

Gone to the Dogs
A veterinarian is murdered and a rare breed dog dissappears.

The theme is the evils of puppy mills of the backyard breeder variety. A missing Malamute may have wound up in a puppy mill and a pet shop owner is murdered.

Ruffly Speaking
A hearing impaired priest and her charming Hearing dog are key characters.

Black Ribbon
Murders take place at a poorly run Dog Camp.

Stud Rites
If you have ever participated in a National Specialty for your breed, this book will hit home. A Judge is murdered before the show begins. Will Rowdy win Best in Show ?

Animal Appetite
Holly is attempting to write about a non-dog involved historical episode while trying to solve a more recent death that does, of course , involve dogs.

The Barker Street Regulars
Holly and Rowdy are doing Therapy Dog visits to a local nursing home, resulting in Holly becoming friends with a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast whose sister is being scammed by a con artist who claims to communicate with the sister's beloved dead dog.

Evil Breeding
A murder mystery dating back to the glorious days when dog shows were truely extravagant events, promoted by the indecently wealthy.

Creature Discomforts
Holly receives a head injury resulting in amnesia. Her long time lover and veterinarian, frustrated by Holly's repeated refusals to marry him, is now ensnared by a non-dog-liking woman. And a con game is underway.

The Wicked Flea
Dog walkers and joggers dispute territory at the park. Murder soon follows.

The Dogfather
Holly is asked to help train the new puppy of Godfather Guarini, reputed to have killed so many people the FBI has lost count. Can new murders be far behind ?

Bride and Groom
As Holly is about to finally marry her veterinarian, Steve Delaney, murders of several female dog loves take place. Is Holly the next intended victim ?

Gaits of Heaven
In which we find that Holly's career has not ended with marriage and that she does not really dislike her name enough to use her husband's surname. The novel centers on the lunacies of the psychotherapy profession. Some well placed criticism of the "designer dog" (selling crossbreds for sky high prices) scam.

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books by Carol Lea Benjamin

She is one of my favorite dog training writers and writes a good mystery as well.

This Dog for Hire
Former dog trainer, now private investigator, Rachel Alexander and her side-kick Dash (Dashiell) the Pit Bull seek to solve the murder of a local artist and the dissappearance of his Basenji , Magritte. A good read, a well plotted mystery, and the author certainly understands Basenjis.

The Dog Who Knew Too Much
A T'ai Chi disciple has died under circumstances that could be suicide or murder, and her grieving parents hire Rachel and Dash to sniff out the truth. The dead girl's Akita is the only possible witness.

A Hell of a Dog
Rachel and Dash are hired to keep things peaceful at a dog training conference, where of course all of the expert trainers disagree vehemently with each other. As the trainers start dying , each in a way that seems related to that trainer's methodology, Rachel tries to track down the killer and put the collar on him. This is a screamingly funny book, especially for anyone who knows the current cast of leading dog experts and tries to match them up with their fictional counterparts.

The Wrong Dog
A mystery concerning possible dog cloning and whether such cloning would create dogs with special Disability Service Dog abilities.

Lady Vanishes
A nursing home mascot dog is missing.

The Long Good Boy
The title dog is a Doxie of course and is the cherished pet of that other kind of "doxie" who hires Rachel to investigate the murder of a fellow "business girl". There is a good dog training sequence in this one.

Fall Guy
A police detective has a fatal "accident" with his service revolver. Rachel, named as his executor, must solve the mystery.

Without a Word
(I haven't read this one; it was not yet out when I compiled this list.)

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books by Myrna Milani, DVM

Dr Milani has written some mystery books centered on animal or veterinary topics, and the information is on her web site at As of 2003 , these books had not found a publisher and Milani was doubtful that they ever would be published because publishers would feel that the content was "too disturbing" for a general audience. As of 2007 , it seems to me hard to believe that a publisher would consider any book too disturbing or offensive to be published if enough money might be made off of it. I'd expect anything Milani wrote to be highly intelligent and original in thought. However I just checked the site, and these books are still unpublished. Exerpts are available on the site.

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site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 8/16/07 revised 8/19/07
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