Animal Research in Cozy Mystery Books

Life as a Writer

Being a writer has its quiet moments when you’re holed up in a room with your computer and your imagination, painting pictures with words. 

But there are other times when writers get to go out into the field and do research. When I was writing the first book in my Harlow Cassidy Magical Dressmaking series, Pleating for Mercy, I knew I wanted to add an animal. After all, what cozy mystery reader doesn’t love an animal in the books they read?

My character, Harlow, was moving back to Bliss, Texas from Manhattan, so she couldn’t have a dog or cat. When I came up with the idea that Harlow descended from Butch Cassidy, the answer came to me. A herd of goats called The Sundance Kids.

Get it? Kids? Goats? 

And the grand dame of the herd is Thelma Louise, a feisty goat if there ever was one. She graces every cover in the series.


I knew nothing about goats, which meant I got to leave my office and go to a goat farm! I went to Latte Da Dairy Goat Farm in Flower MOund, Texas. They raise LaMancha and Nubian Goats and I got to spend some quality time with them.

What I learned:

  • Goats can be very stinky!
  • The cheese and soap and milk is quite a business.
  • They have a lot of personality.
  • They can be adorable.

Today I’m sharing some of the photos from my trip to Latte Da Dairy Goat farm. 

Check out the Harlow Cassidy Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series ▶︎▶︎▶︎ HERE.

Buy the series ▶︎▶︎▶︎ HERE.