Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, the cats from the Rita Mae Brown series, were my first introduction to animals who helped solve mysteries. Cats seem to be the most popular sleuths, with at least four series just about them. Animals, bugs or birds play a part in several other cozy series.
Clicking on the blue hyperlink will take you to the library catalog for the entire series. The bold title is the first book in the series, followed by a description, provided by NoveList.
Meg Langslow (Most Recent: 2011)
By: Andrews, Donna
Murder, with Peacocks: (Not Owned) So far Meg Langslow's summer is not going swimmingly. Down in her small Virginia hometown, she's maid of honor at the nuptials of three loved ones--each of whom has dumped the planning in her capable hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony, while another wants live peacocks on the lawn. Only help from the town's drop-dead gorgeous hunk, disappointingly rumored to be gay, keeps Meg afloat in a sea of dotty relatives and outrageous neighbors.
Cat mysteries (Most Recent: 2007)
By: Babson, Marian
To Catch a Cat: Eleven-year-old Robin wants to join a popular gang at school. They'll accept him, though only if he kidnaps the prize-winning cat of old Mrs. Nordling first. But when Robin sneaks into the Nordlings' house in the dark of night, he gets more than just a schoolyard thrill. An argument, strange sounds, a woman's cry, and the cat--hurled out of a room--are all Robin needs to grab the frisky kitty and get packing. Then Mr. Nordling, covered in his wife's blood, lurches out into the hallway, and Robin runs for his life...feline prize in hand.
Melanie Travis mysteries (Most Recent: 2008)
By: Berenson, Laurien
A Pedigree to Die for: (Not owned) Thinking her life could not be worse after a disastrous summer peaks with her uncle's death, Melanie Travis realizes that she is in for more trouble when the disappearance of her uncle's prize-winning poodle suggests that murder has taken place.
Cat Who mysteries (Most Recent: 2007)
By: Braun, Lilian Jackson
The Cat Who Could Read Backwards: Former author and newspaper reporter, Jim Qwilleran, who has been taking lesser jobs and even been unemployed for a long time, is offered a starting job in the Feature Department, at the Daily Fluxion. As Qwilleran begins meeting artists, for an article, he senses strange undercurrents among the so-called modern art set. After Qwilleran moves into an apartment, he finds an ally in Koko, his landlord's Siamese cat. And when vandalized paintings, accidents, and murder occur, Qwilleran and Koko together solve the puzzle.
Mrs. Murphy mysteries (Most Recent: 2011)
By: Brown, Rita Mae
Wish You Were Here: Mary Minor Haristeen, postmistress of Crozet, Virginia, joins forces with her willful cat, Mrs. Murphy, and her Welsh corgi, Tucker, to investigate a series of bizarre postcards sent to the town's inhabitants that forecast impending death.
Sister Jane Foxhunting mysteries (Most Recent: 2008)
By: Brown, Rita Mae
Outfoxed: In a mystery set in the high-class and tradition-bound world of Virginia foxhunting, the murder of a candidate for the coveted "joint-master" leaves many suspects among the social climbers vying for the position.
Dog walker mysteries (Most Recent: 2011)
By: McCoy, Judi
Hounding the Pavement: Manhattan dog walker Ellie Engleman becomes a murder suspect when one of her clients is found dead and the deceased's prizewinning bichon is missing, and she works with handsome Detective Ryder to discover the true culprit.
Queen bee mysteries (Most Recent: 2010)
By: Reed, Hannah
Buzz Off: During National Honey Month, beekeeper Story Fischer sets the town of Moraine, Wisconsin, abuzz when she must defend her bees, her business and her ex-husband from a murder accusation.