100 books like A Borrowing of Bones

By Paula Munier,

Here are 100 books that A Borrowing of Bones fans have personally recommended if you like A Borrowing of Bones. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Suspect

Neil Plakcy Author Of In Dog We Trust

From my list on crime-solving dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I met my husband, he had two dogs—Gus the collie and Charlie the Yorkie. When the collie crossed the rainbow bridge, we brought another big dog into the household—a golden retriever. Charlie let Sam know that my husband was HIS human, and Sam could have me if he wanted. That began a beautiful twelve-year love affair. I knew I had to write about the relationship between man and dog, and chose the mystery novel as my framework. I spend hours every day researching my books – walking my current goldens, Brody and Griffin; feeding them; grooming them; playing with them; and observing how they interact with the world.

Neil's book list on crime-solving dogs

Neil Plakcy Why did Neil love this book?

I’ve been a fan of Crais’s Elvis & Joe series for years, so I was delighted to see that he brought a dog into a new series as a main character. Another book with traumatized characters, this one demonstrates the redemptive power of canine love.

LAPD officer Scott James is recovering from an assault in which his partner was killed, and he almost lost his life. He’s barely fit to return to duty until he’s paired with his new partner Maggie, a bomb-sniffing German shepherd that lost her handler in Afghanistan. Their partnership offers healing for both, and I love this book and A Borrowing of Bones because they reflect redemption.

By Robert Crais,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Suspect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking late-night assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner.

Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing out explosives before losing her handler to an IED.

They are each other's last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them…


Book cover of Killing Trail

Peggy Rothschild Author Of Playing Dead

From my list on mysteries for dog lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lifelong mystery fan and animal lover. I’m drawn to mysteries that provide a window to a new world. And, since I love animals, I enjoy the added fun of having a realistic animal sidekick in the mix. All the books I’ve recommended here pulled me into their worlds, letting me spend time with fascinating characters as they untangled various mysteries—as well as with their wonderful, if fictional, canine companions. 

Peggy's book list on mysteries for dog lovers

Peggy Rothschild Why did Peggy love this book?

I love all of the books in Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 Mystery series and though you can start anywhere, this book was my introduction to Mattie Cobb and her dog, Robo.

The partnership between these two characters is wonderful as is the scene-setting, ancillary characters, and—of course—the actual mystery!

Mattie’s the sort of person I would enjoy spending time with in real life—along with Robo.

By Margaret Mizushima,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Killing Trail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An RT Book Review “Top Pick” and “Best First Mystery" nominee
A Library Journal “Debut of the Month”

Fans of K-9 mysteries and C.J. Box will love this debut police procedural that introduces Colorado’s best crime-fighting duo: Mattie Cobb and police dog, Robo.

While investigating the mysterious death of a young girl, Officer Mattie Cobb uncovers frightening secrets about her small Colorado hometown . . .

When a young girl is found dead in the mountains outside Timber Creek, life-long resident Officer Mattie Cobb and her partner, K-9 police dog Robo, are assigned to the case that has rocked the…


Book cover of Open and Shut

Tammy L. Grace Author Of Cold Killer

From my list on mysteries with dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved mysteries and puzzles and have been an avid mystery reader since devouring all the Nancy Drew books at our library. There’s such satisfaction that comes from solving a mystery. When I started writing, my faithful golden retriever was always resting at my feet. She was the inspiration and the reason I chose to include dogs in all my books. Having a dog alongside my character allows me to show more depth in the humans in my stories and reveal weaknesses and vulnerabilities they may not be able to show others. I hope you enjoy my top picks as much as I have.

Tammy's book list on mysteries with dogs

Tammy L. Grace Why did Tammy love this book?

I love this series that features Andy Carpenter, a defense attorney, and his golden retriever Tara. I enjoy the realistic and procedural portions of the book concerning the legal case, this one involving Andy’s father from years ago. Andy’s dad was the District Attorney on Andy’s current death row appeals case, which creates an interesting conflict—the first of many in this exciting case. I think I’m drawn to it because of Andy’s connection to his dad. My dad and I bat around ideas when I’m writing my mysteries, since he’s been in law enforcement for decades. 

I also like the subplot of learning more about Andy, his history, and family, since it makes his character feel more realistic and the addition of his golden retriever makes it a must-read for me. 

By David Rosenfelt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Open and Shut as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Defense attorney Andy Carpenter manages to sail through any tough situation, whether inside the courtroom or in his personal life. But this all changes when his marriage breaks up and his father suddenly dies, leaving him distraught - and 22 million dollars richer. Andy doesn't know how his father accumulated this fortune or why his father begged him to take on the appeal of a death row prisoner. With the help of his newfound love, P.I. Laurie Collins, and the support of his golden retriever companion, Tara, he discovers a link between three of the most prominent men in New…


Book cover of Dog on It: The Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 1

Jacqueline Diamond Author Of The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet

From my list on unusual and heartwarming mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Half a century ago (hard to believe!), as a young newspaper reporter, I began every day at a police station, reading the log and talking to the watch commander. Occasionally, I was able to contact the detectives as well. For me, the way crimes and criminal investigations unfolded, and the personalities of the officers involved, were multi-dimensional and touched with surprising, and often unexpected, moments of humor. In my reading as well as my writing, I seek a balance between authenticity and a sense of the absurd, without which the experience of solving murders—real or fictional—could become emotionally crushing. 

Jacqueline's book list on unusual and heartwarming mysteries

Jacqueline Diamond Why did Jacqueline love this book?

A mystery narrated by a dog? It sounded like a gimmick to me, until I started reading. Honestly, this dog thinks and reacts like a dog, and he’s hilarious! The tightly woven storyline—Chet “belongs” to a detective who’s investigating a girl’s disappearance—pulled me along nonstop, but mostly I fell in love with the writing. As a rule, I enjoy experiencing the world from a fresh perspective, along with a storyline that turns and twists and makes perfect sense in an unexpected way, as this one does. Trigger warning: Chet the pooch has some scary and even near-death moments en route to his happy ending. 

By Spencer Quinn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dog on It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series, an “enchanting one-of-a-kind novel” (Stephen King) that is “nothing short of masterful” (Los Angeles Times).

Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, and Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator, are quick to take a new case involving a frantic mother searching for her teenage daughter. This well-behaved and gifted student may or may not have been kidnapped, but she has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. With Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way, their hunt for clues takes them…


Book cover of Tahoe Deathfall

Tammy L. Grace Author Of Cold Killer

From my list on mysteries with dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved mysteries and puzzles and have been an avid mystery reader since devouring all the Nancy Drew books at our library. There’s such satisfaction that comes from solving a mystery. When I started writing, my faithful golden retriever was always resting at my feet. She was the inspiration and the reason I chose to include dogs in all my books. Having a dog alongside my character allows me to show more depth in the humans in my stories and reveal weaknesses and vulnerabilities they may not be able to show others. I hope you enjoy my top picks as much as I have.

Tammy's book list on mysteries with dogs

Tammy L. Grace Why did Tammy love this book?

Todd Borg is a “local” author living not far from me and I had the chance to meet him in person when we were both invited to an author event at a local library. My mom is one of his biggest fans and was delighted to meet him. His books feature a retired detective and his huge Great Dane, Spot. They all take place in familiar settings for me, near Lake Tahoe, where Borg makes his home.

It’s always fun to read about one of your favorite places you know and having the bonus of intriguing mysteries makes it all the better.

By Todd Borg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tahoe Deathfall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Disaster struck when twin sisters Jennifer and Melissa Salazar went hiking with their grandmother on their sixth birthday. Melissa got lost, fell off a cliff on the rock slide above Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe and died. Eight years later, fourteen-year-old Jennifer wants to hire Detective Owen McKenna to look into the death, which she believes was a murder. When Owen begins to investigate, another body is discovered. Owen's girlfriend Street Casey, a forensic entomologist, analyzes maggots found in the corpse. Her information helps Owen connect the body to the case. Owen uncovers information that takes him from Tahoe to San…


Book cover of The Search

Nika Rhone Author Of Worth Any Price

From my list on romance books with strong women and the men who love them for it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a voracious reader, and I’ve come across way too many books where the female MC was an airheaded TSTL (too stupid to live) ninny. I don’t want to read about women who have to be saved by big, strong men. I want to see women who can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and save themselves, maybe with a little help from the big, strong man if she needs or wants it, AND who can turn around and do some saving of said man of her own, should HE need it. I think the healthiest relationships, even fictional ones, are those based on mutual strength, trust, and respect.

Nika's book list on romance books with strong women and the men who love them for it

Nika Rhone Why did Nika love this book?

I think that mental and emotional strength are often more hard-won than the physical kind. Fiona is a survivor. Literally. She’s the one that got away from a serial killer.

I can’t imagine the fortitude it would take to put your life back together and be able to function again after what she endured. But she not only rebuilt her life, she’s dedicated it to helping others through her search and rescue dogs. I enjoyed the weaving of her work into the heart of the story because it’s a huge part of who she is and how she copes, especially with the new danger that lands on her doorstep. Her strength and compassion are what draw taciturn Simon to her, even when he doesn’t want to be.

I love that she’s written with cracks that sometimes bleed but an inner core strong enough to keep her whole.

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Search as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A canine Search and Rescue volunteer fights danger and finds love in the Pacific Northwest wilderness in this riveting #1 New York Times bestseller from Nora Roberts.

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school and a challenging volunteer job performing Canine Search and Rescue. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare: an encounter with the Red Scarf Killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiance and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona has found the peace and solitude necessary to…


Book cover of Tracking Game

Neil Plakcy Author Of In Dog We Trust

From my list on crime-solving dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I met my husband, he had two dogs—Gus the collie and Charlie the Yorkie. When the collie crossed the rainbow bridge, we brought another big dog into the household—a golden retriever. Charlie let Sam know that my husband was HIS human, and Sam could have me if he wanted. That began a beautiful twelve-year love affair. I knew I had to write about the relationship between man and dog, and chose the mystery novel as my framework. I spend hours every day researching my books – walking my current goldens, Brody and Griffin; feeding them; grooming them; playing with them; and observing how they interact with the world.

Neil's book list on crime-solving dogs

Neil Plakcy Why did Neil love this book?

Mizushima’s husband is a veterinarian, and her home is always filled with animals. She brings that attention to animal behavior to her mysteries, in which a police deputy and a veterinarian solve crimes in the fictional mountain town of Timber Creek, Colorado.

The dog in question is Robo, a German shepherd trained in patrol and narcotics detection, and he’s Deputy Mattie Cobb’s K9 partner. Because he’s a police dog, he has a large role in the book, and the series, tracking fugitives, searching for evidence, sniffing out drugs, and rescuing people.

By Margaret Mizushima,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tracking Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

November 2019 Top Pick, Library Reads

Two brutal murders, a menacing band of poachers, and a fearsome creature on the loose in the mountains plunge Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo into a sinister vortex.

An explosion outside a community dance sends Mattie Cobb and Cole Walker reeling into the night, where they discover a burning van and beside it the body of outfitter Nate Fletcher. But the explosion didn't kill Nate--it was two gunshots to the heart.

The investigation leads them to the home of rancher Doyle Redman, whose daughter is Nate's widow, and the object of one…


Book cover of Dog On It

Neil Plakcy Author Of In Dog We Trust

From my list on crime-solving dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I met my husband, he had two dogs—Gus the collie and Charlie the Yorkie. When the collie crossed the rainbow bridge, we brought another big dog into the household—a golden retriever. Charlie let Sam know that my husband was HIS human, and Sam could have me if he wanted. That began a beautiful twelve-year love affair. I knew I had to write about the relationship between man and dog, and chose the mystery novel as my framework. I spend hours every day researching my books – walking my current goldens, Brody and Griffin; feeding them; grooming them; playing with them; and observing how they interact with the world.

Neil's book list on crime-solving dogs

Neil Plakcy Why did Neil love this book?

Chet the Jet is another police-dog dropout, and he narrates this series with droll humor and canine insights.

This is the first in the series, and it sets the tone for Chet’s droll first-person (or first-dog?) narration. One of my favorite parts is that Chet is unaware that he’s enthusiastically wagging his tail until he feels the breeze coming past his snout.

By Spencer Quinn,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Dog On It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first book of the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series, an “enchanting one-of-a-kind novel” (Stephen King) that is “nothing short of masterful” (Los Angeles Times).

Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, and Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator, are quick to take a new case involving a frantic mother searching for her teenage daughter. This well-behaved and gifted student may or may not have been kidnapped, but she has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters. With Chet’s highly trained nose leading the way, their hunt for clues takes them…


Book cover of Them Bones

DK Coutant Author Of Evil Alice and the Borzoi

From my list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t remember a moment in my life when there wasn’t a dog in it.  They are members of my family, and I identify with protagonists who have the same connection in their lives. In my day job, I write mysteries and forecast geopolitical events. Mysteries with dogs help me balance the darkness in the world with the sheer delight that can be found with a dog.

DK's book list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs

DK Coutant Why did DK love this book?

I always like to start a series from the beginning, and in this one, little 6-lb Chablis (a dog) plays a critical role in the plot. A wannabe New York actress, Sarah Boothe Delaney, returns to her family home sans the family with her tail between her legs. She has money trouble, man trouble, and ghost trouble. She begins the story disgusted with Chablis but quickly falls in love with her friend’s pup.

It is a cozy mystery with just a hint of paranormal added. The writing is lovely, and the author includes a range of appealing and diverse characters. And if you are a large dog fan, a hound dog named Sweetie Pie joins the team in a later book. 

By Carolyn Haines,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Them Bones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Sarah Booth Delaney, an unconventional Southern belle whose knack for uncovering the truth is about to make her the hottest detective in Zinnia, Mississippi . . . if it doesn't make her the deadest.

No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state—or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to…


Book cover of Fields' Guide to Dirty Money

DK Coutant Author Of Evil Alice and the Borzoi

From my list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t remember a moment in my life when there wasn’t a dog in it.  They are members of my family, and I identify with protagonists who have the same connection in their lives. In my day job, I write mysteries and forecast geopolitical events. Mysteries with dogs help me balance the darkness in the world with the sheer delight that can be found with a dog.

DK's book list on mysteries with sleuths who love their dogs

DK Coutant Why did DK love this book?

I love this entire series, but the first one is where Poppy meets Consuela (her Chihuahua with attitude). One of my favorite micro-genres, the funny-cozy-romantic-spy mystery, Poppy Fields is a poor little rich girl. But what redeems her for me, is her drive to do something important in the world. I found it impossible not to fall for her and her bossy Chihuahua. And the communication connection between Poppy and Consuela is one we all hope to have with our dogs. Consuela yaps and Poppy understands her. Not to mention, Poppy couldn’t ask for a better partner in solving crime. 

By Julie Mulhern,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fields' Guide to Dirty Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a…


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