Making Animal Communication Realistic in Mysteries

Dec 1, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Pets

by Jacqueline Vick

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the latest book in this series A Scaly Tail of Murder, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

Ask any pet parent if their animal “talks” to them and the answer is an emphatic, YES! It’s true the cocked canine head or flicking feline tail can communicate a pet’s thoughts as clearly as words, but what would it look like if we could delve into their furry and feathered brains and hold a two-way conversation? That’s the question I needed to answer for my pet psychic mysteries.

When I made Frankie Chandler an animal communicator, I had to find a way for her to connect with her clients that didn’t include words. In each story, an animal witnesses the murder. My novels would be flash fiction pieces if the dog, cow, or snake could simply name the killer.

Jacqueline Vick

Gathering the information gleaned from my research and interviews with clairvoyants, I gave each non-human character a signature “wavelength” and made tuning into a particular pet akin to adjusting a radio dial from static to a clear broadcast.

Once Frankie makes the connection, the animals send images, feelings, and, occasionally, a single word, leaving the pet psychic to figure out what it means.

For instance, in Barking Mad at Murder, a Golden Retriever witnesses a murder. The image he sends the pet psychic shows the event taking place in a jungle. Frankie is flummoxed, as there aren’t many jungles in Arizona. It isn’t until she crouches behind a Ficus plant to hide from one of the suspects that she realizes, from the dog’s perspective, the leafy foliage resembles a jungle.

To make Frankie’s connection with animals more realistic, I wanted her to take on her subject’s qualities, which meant learning fun facts about each species. Dogs have up to three hundred million scent receptors in their noses. We have six million. When a client pulls moldy cheese from the refrigerator, Frankie, connected to the family dog, has a fit of barely controlled ecstasy.

In another short story, the police house a confiscated rattlesnake in a cold back room at the station to await the arrival of a herpetological rescue. I researched the effects of temperatures on vipers. As soon as Frankie unites with the reptile’s mind, she becomes sluggish, barely able to get the words out. Her metabolism slows, reflecting the snake experience.

The animal’s traits also impact clues. Rattlesnakes have a keen sense of smell but lousy vision. Instead of recognizing the murderer, the reptile associates him with the smell of gingerbread.

I have had a few near misses. In one story, Frankie felt a rumble in her chest, mimicking the satisfied purrs of a tiger. Just in time, I discovered the stiff cartilage running from a tiger’s hyoid bone to their skull prevents them from purring. Rewrite!

Sometimes I fake it. My latest mystery includes a Fiji crested iguana. There isn’t much information available on this endangered species, so I looked at the behavior of other types of iguanas.

Stressed out hamsters. Angry cockatoos. Disgruntled horses. Every animal gives off clues to what they’re feeling. After enough research into animal behavior, maybe I’ll be able to have that two-way conversation with my favorite pooch.

To enter to win a copy of A Scaly Tail of Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tail,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 11, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the latest book in the series or click here. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link:

Jacqueline Vick writes the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mystery series about a woman who, after faking her psychic abilities for years, discovers animals can communicate with her. Her second series, the Harlow Brothers mysteries, features a former college linebacker turned etiquette author and his secretary brother. Her books are known for satirical humor and engaging characters who are desperate to keep their secrets. Visit her at

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. I always enjoy finding out how an author develops their ideas for the storyline in their books. When it comes to animal communications and applying them to a real situation is definitely a fun idea. Thanks for opening this side to those of us who love to read.

    • I have to admit. My research is fun. And sometimes strange. Very strange.

  2. This sounds like a fun series. Thanks for the article.

  3. What a fun and unique theme!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Really, though, haven’t we all wondered what are pets are thinking? 🙂

  4. Those are some good tips, I think. Count me in the drawing!

    • Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read the article. Good luck in the drawing.

  5. Anything with animals has
    to be a good read. thanks.

  6. I hope it’s fun. I usually laugh while I’m editing. Is that odd?

  7. Just ordered book one in this series, I have to start at the beginning!

  8. We have a winner!


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