PATRICIA GUIVER (1930-2006)
According to various online news sources, the author of the Delilah Doolittle mystery novels died Tuesday, June 13th, from complications following heart surgery. She was 76.
A noted animal welfare advocate, Patricia Guiver grew up in England but had lived in California for over 40 years. Delilah Doolittle, a pet detective who sought out missing animals with the assistance of her Doberman named Watson, was a British widow who worked out in and around Surf City, a fictional town along the Southern California coast.
Delilah Doolittle appears in all six of the novels listed below:
Delilah Doolittle and the Purloined Pooch. Berkley, pbo, October 1997.
Delilah Doolittle and the Motley Mutts. Berkley, pbo, April 1998.
Delilah Doolittle and the Careless Coyote. Berkley, pbo, November 1998.
Delilah Doolittle and the Missing Macaw. Berkley, pbo, February 2000.
Delilah Doolittle the Canine Chorus. Berkley, pbo, January 2001.
The Beastly Bloodline. Perseverance Press, trade pb, August 2003.
Delilah also appeared in the following two short stories:
“Fowl Play” Canine Christmas, Jeffery Marks, editor. Ballantine, pbo, December 1999.
“The Boxing Day Bother” Death Dines at 8:30, Claudia Bishop & Nick DiChario, editors. Berkley, hc, 2001.
Perseverance Press specializes in rescuing mystery series abandoned by their original publishers, and they are pleased to have been able to make Patricia Guiver’s final mystery novel available. Here is what editor Meredith Phillips had to say about her passing, slightly revised from her statement posted on DorothyL:
Mystery readers and animal-lovers will know Pat as the author of the six Delilah Doolittle Pet Detective mysteries (most recently The Beastly Bloodline, which was the first that we published). Unfortunately, there will be no more books, as the one we’d announced as forthcoming, The Scarpered Sea Lion, was not completed due to health problems. Originally from England, where she got her start in writing on Fleet Street, Pat painted a wonderful picture of expatriate Brits living in Southern California. And the many animal characters were always closest to her heart.
There will be a memorial service in due course in Orange County, and when I hear details, I will pass them along. I’m sure Pat would’ve liked it if any of her fans drink a toast to her and Delilah when they brew their next “cuppa.”
With Meredith’s permission and taken from the Perseverance Press website, here is the promotional webpage for Patricia Guiver’s final book, The Beastly Bloodline:
Miss Marple Meets Surf City
Wild horses couldn’t drag her to a dude ranch, declares Delilah Doolittle, but when a wealthy client persuades her to help solve the mysterious death of a valuable show horse, she soon finds herself on a trail ride to murder. Joined by canine companions Watson and Trixie, and friends Tiptoe Tony and the Hon. Evie, Delilah detects family secrets in a luxurious stud farm setting.
Concern for all species and their human caretakers informs Patricia Guiver’s writing, as do environmental issues (e.g., animal importation, wetlands, wild mustangs’ habitat and survival, etc.). She has written for local, national, and international publications, including a current syndicated column, and hosted a cable TV show on these matters. She is founder and ten-year president of her local chapter of the SPCA. As a treat for readers, she has included a recipe for home-made dog biscuits in The Beastly Bloodline.
Guiver became a lifelong animal advocate when the family terrier died in a WWII air raid. In the Delilah Doolittle Pet Detective mystery series (of which The Beastly Bloodline is the sixth), she has found the ideal vehicle to explore her interests, as well as to entertain lovers of the English cozy mystery and fans of Murder, She Wrote. Admirers of Dick Francis and Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar, and of the dog mysteries of Susan Conant, Laurien Berenson, et al., will also love The Beastly Bloodline. A continuing cast of human and animal characters appears in the light and charming series, which nevertheless makes serious points. In this book, the delightful Delilah muses, “My job as a pet detective frequently leads me to uncover the worst in human nature.” The outcomes of some of her cases might even lead her to conclude, like the old saying: “The more I see of men, the better I like dogs.”
Born and raised in Surrey, England, Patricia Guiver began her professional writing career in London’s Fleet Street. She now makes her home in Southern California, the setting of her Pet Detective series. There her menagerie includes two cats, a cockatiel, and a Yorkshire terrier. Guiver also writes a syndicated pet column, “The Creature Connection,” for a newspaper group, and in her spare time volunteers for the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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