I've read a lot of mysteries over the years, and among them have been hundreds that feature animals as characters. Dominant among these are cats and dogs, of course, but cats seem to have the edge in cozy mysteries.
I wonder why? Personally, I do love both dogs and cats, but have two cats right now. I'd love to have a dog, too, but they just seem to take more work than cats. Dogs have to be walked; cats, not so much. And maybe that explains one of the reasons cats are so common in mysteries. Cats can be there in the story when you want them, and mysteriously glide away when you don't. I always wonder what happens to the animals while the protagonist is out solving crimes; are they lonely? Does she have a dog walker for the pooch? Maybe that's just me and my hyper-sensitivity to responsibility.
Anyway, when I started to create the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, I decided that Jaymie would have one of each, Denver the tabby, and Hoppy, the Yorkie mix. I'd love a Yorkie, and maybe someday I will get one.
What made me think of this was Avery Aames blog entry today, over at Killer Characters. It is from the viewpoint of Rags, Charlotte's cat, and I love that! Check it out: http://www.killercharacters.com/2011/06/rags-from-cheese-shop-mystery-series.html
But first... because I'm curious... take my poll, to the right of this blog entry. What do YOU think of animals in mystery novels???