Pets play a big role in many cozy novels and, while my stories are “not quite cozy,” the occasional pet does make an appearance. These aren’t magical, talking critters with extraordinary abilities, but their people love them, anyway.
The first to appear on the scene are Bunny Elder’s feline companions in the dark mystery, Hollow. Betty, the calico, and Veronica, a Siamese, help Bunny make the transition from a parsonage to a cozy bungalow when her pastor husband dies. Being shy girls, as you can see, it was a challenge to get them to pose for us.
The next pet to play a role is Reacher, the valiant ex-military German Shepherd, owned by Pastor Scott in Seadrift. More than once, Reacher comes to Bunny’s aid as she eludes the human traffickers who are out to get her as a result of her chance discovery on the beach.
Sadly, by the time we re-visit Pastor Scott in The First Ladies Club, Reacher has passed over to animal hero heaven.
He is missed, but fortunately, by the end of the story Scott and his wife, Naidenne, adopt a puppy from a litter abandoned in a local gas station. They name him Texaco and he is soon the constant companion and protector of the couple’s toddler, Talitha Joy.
One of Texaco’s litter mates, Mr Jones, becomes a lodger in the home of Pastor Ken and Judy Falls, where he must adapt to being treated as an honored guest and adjust to a mostly vegan menu. He puts up with it out of affection for his eccentric landlady, Judy. You can read about Mr. Jones in this month’s release, A Corpse in the Chapel.
In future books equally lovable pets will surely join these faithful animals, although my current work in progress leaves parsonage life behind.
Mrs.Thistlethwaite and the Magpie introduces a retired school teacher in her mid-eighties, Mrs. Matilda Thistlethwaite, AKA Tillamook Tilly. I would love to receive suggestions for a suitable pet for this irascible, clever dumpling of a woman who uses her ever-acute mental faculties to solve and thwart crime.