It started with a column for The Crier. That’s when I discovered how much I enjoyed writing.  That’s when I discovered my passion. Then came a book co-written with my dog. (What, doesn’t everyone do that?)

Now I’m living a dream I never knew I had — writing cozy animal mysteries featuring a dog and cat who talk to their owner. If a dog can write a book, surely animals can communicate. Naturally, my office assistants help with the dialogue. And, yes, they are angling to be listed as co-authors.

“Bells, Tails, and Murder,” book one in the Dickens & Christie mystery series, is now available on Amazon (Use this link and will soon be available locally at the Enchanted Forest. Book two comes out this spring. 

What made me start writing cozy mysteries? When I helped Lord Banjo write his book, several people suggested I try my hand at writing mysteries.  My response? You want me to come up with a plot?

I didn’t give the idea another thought until I connected with a marketing coach. As we got to know each other, she suggested I write a cozy animal mystery.  If you’re not familiar with cozies, they contain no cursing, no sex, and no blood and gore. Think Jessica Fletcher and Miss Marple. Given my penchant for writing with my dog, the animal part made sense.

When I repeated my plot response, she said, “Oh that’s easy, all you need is a dead body!”  Easy for her to say. Still, I’ve managed to do it — write two mysteries — dead bodies and all. Check it out.

A grieving heroine, two furry sidekicks and a murder!

Do you like heroines who’ve lived a little? Who’ve suffered life’s ups and downs but kept on trucking? Then you’ll love Leta Parker and her new friends in the Cotswold village of Astonbury.

When tragedy strikes Leta Parker’s life, the successful banker and closet sleuth chases a lifelong dream to retire to England. Leaving her friends and neighbors in Atlanta, she settles into Astonbury with her talkative dog and cat, Dickens and Christie

Picture her driving a refurbished London taxi to the bookshop and the tearoom, enjoying leisurely walks with Dickens the dog, and sipping coffee in the garden with Christie, her sassy cat.

When Leta stumbles across the dead body of a new acquaintance, her inner Nancy Drew comes out. Before you know it, she’s enlisted the help of Wendy, a retired English teacher friend — and even Wendy’s elderly mum. 

Who better to unearth clues from their friends in the village? Even Dickens and Christie get in on the act gathering intelligence from their four-legged friends and pointing out the obvious to Leta.

Connecting A.A. Milne, Arthur Conan Doyle and J.M. Barrie

Is their connection with the Cotswolds merely an interesting bit of trivia, or is it more? Will Leta and Wendy let their literary noses lead them astray? 

You’ll be captivated as this unlikely team chases clues and ferrets out a long-buried secret—a scenario that would make any BBC cozy mystery producer proud.  No matter the clues uncovered by Dickens and Christie, you’ll be hard-pressed to guess who the villain is unless, like Leta, you’re able to “talk to the animals.” 

Grab a copy of “Bells, Tails, and Murder” today. It’s book one of my new Cozy Animal Mystery Series. Use this link to order your copy now from Amazon. Happy reading!

Author Kathy Manos Penn is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books on Amazon and at the Enchanted Forest. Contact her at


Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at, follow her on Facebook,, and/or read her blogs at

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