The best mysteries with sleuths with canine companions

Who am I?

I have loved animals my entire life. I know first-hand the calming influence the unconditional love of a dog can bring to a person. In contentious Teams meetings on the computer, I pet my dog to keep calm. If I am sad or anxious, I grab the squeaky toy, and we play tug-of-war. I volunteered at the Animal Welfare Association, a no-kill New Jersey Animal Shelter. Through my work, I gained an understanding of how to assess the non-verbal cues of a dog. I’ve learned that it is essential to understand an animal’s body language more so than the standards and behaviors associated with breeds of dogs. 


I wrote...

Clues From The Canines: A Lily Dreyfus Mystery

By Darlene Dziomba,

Book cover of Clues From The Canines: A Lily Dreyfus Mystery

What is my book about?

Lily Dreyfus is stunned by the news that her physically fit, former Marine, boyfriend is dead. When the police rule the death as suspicious, she resolves to sniff out the killer. Lily gathers her pack, both human and canine, to point the police to the perpetrator. She must maintain her professional demeanor at the animal shelter in which she works while determining if one of the people attempting to adopt the victim’s dog is after a family fortune. Lily finds out the lengths one killer will go to silence her suspicions.

The books I picked & why

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Dog on It

By Spencer Quinn,

Book cover of Dog on It

Why this book?

Bernie Little, a down-on-his-luck Private Investigator, solves crime with a feisty dog companion Chet. Hired to investigate the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old girl, Chet narrates the story with laugh-out-loud descriptions of the people they encounter and places they visit. The plot twists keep the reader guessing, and suspenseful scenes make the book hard to put down. Chet will show his complete unconditional love for Bernie while questioning the strange behaviors of humans. In the end, the criminals are brought to justice with a few tears in their pant legs from Chet’s mighty jaw.


In the Dog House

By V.M. Burns,

Book cover of In the Dog House

Why this book?

Lily Echosby’s two-timing ex-husband is murdered, and she is a natural suspect. She investigates the murder with her best friend Dixie and their canines. This book is similar to my book in that the human characters are diverse. They come from varying backgrounds, merging their collective experiences to provide a story with many perspectives. Lily Echosby’s CPA training will aid her deductions in the same way that Lily Dreyfus’ canine training helps her solve the murder of Pete Russo. Both women gain strength from their challenges and are determined to sniff out the perpetrators.


Though Not Dead

By Dana Stabenow,

Book cover of Though Not Dead

Why this book?

Kate Shugak, a park service ranger in Alaska, solves crimes with the aid of her canine companion, Mutt. Having a part wolf, part dog companion is integral to the story as Kate finds herself in precarious situations amongst the solitary and foreboding landscape. Kate will draw on her Native American heritage and culture to help her find an ancient artifact that has been missing for decades. Mutt leaps to Kate’s rescue as she uncovers the clues that villains are desperate to keep hidden. 


Desperate Housedogs

By Sparkle Abbey,

Book cover of Desperate Housedogs

Why this book?

The first book in the Pampered Pets series features Caro Lamont, who trains humans how to interact with their pets, even if the humans believe her to be training the pets. One of Caro’s clients is murdered, and she becomes a suspect. The story is creative and witty, with a lot of information on why our four-legged friends behave as they do. Caro and my protagonist Lily Dreyfus are self-sufficient and determined women. They will ferret out the killer, no matter the risks to themselves. At the end of the day, their four-legged friends help them deal with grief and fear by providing love and companionship.


Breaking Creed

By Alex Kava,

Book cover of Breaking Creed

Why this book?

Ryder Creed brings his canine handling skills to potential crime scenes and smuggling operations. He works as a team with his Jack Russell Grace. Dog and man communicate in non-verbal ways to assess situations and aid law enforcement in uncovering evidence. The typical crime scene dog is taught for the job they will perform from birth. Ryder’s dogs are rescued from the street, animal shelters, or retrained after their owners are killed during military actions. The characters’ back stories are thoroughly crafted and distributed throughout the plot. As you learn more about each character, you understand their canine companions’ vital role in their lives.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in murders, dogs, and criminal investigations?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about murders, dogs, and criminal investigations.

Murders Explore 339 books about murders
Dogs Explore 252 books about dogs
Criminal Investigations Explore 184 books about criminal investigations

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Art of Racing in the Rain, Suspect, and Never Let You Go if you like this list.