Jacqueline Vick with Bird’s Eye View of Murder

Why My Pet Psychic Animals Will Never Talk

I know there are beloved books where the sleuth’s pets speak in perfect eBookBIRD'S_EYE2flat_front_coversentences. It will never happen to Frankie Chandler, Pet Psychic.

Okay. I can think of one instance that I would use for humor, but if I ever go with it, it will be the only instance. Why am I so against talking animals?

It would be too easy.

Imagine if Sandy the Golden Retriever had simply said I witnessed the murder. Here’s what happened. Call me if you need details. The mystery in Barking Mad at Murder would have ended in the second chapter. I like to think of how something would look from the animal’s perspective and then find a way for the animal to present the information to Frankie in a way that makes it a puzzle for her to figure out.

I’d have to kill off the animals.

Before you call the Human Society, think about it. In a mystery or thriller where there is a witness, they always get bumped off so the police can scratch their heads and wonder what bit of information the victim wanted to pass on to them. Usually this happens after the witness lets something slip, and when pressed to reveal what he or she knows, the response is, “I’ve got to think about it.”

Or else the witness spends the entire book running for their lives.

It would be maddening.

If you recall a mystery where the witness didn’t speak up, you, as the reader, most likely spent your time wondering why didn’t they just say so?

Prunella sees her abusive sister-in-law with a bloody axe and thinks to herself Maybe she was just killing chickens. I wouldn’t want to get anyone into trouble. Even when her brother-in-law’s body is discovered chopped into little pieces, our heroine still holds her tongue. You, the reader, pull your hair and scream, “Why, why, why??? Why didn’t she just say something?” Then, when S-I-L gets the idea to bump off Prunella (see #2 above) we’re rooting for her to succeed.

When I interviewed pet communicator Ben Scaglia, he told me that only once had an animal talked to him. It creeped him out. I admit this holds possibilities, and so does a miniature Yorkie who speaks like Nick Charles of The Thin Man, but I am afraid the joke would wear thin long before the book ended.

I know there are authors who can carry this off.  To talk or not to talk. What’s your preference?

HeadshotMy Bio

Jacqueline Vick’s short fiction has appeared in Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, Orchard Press Mysteries, Cantaraville II, and The Best of Everyday Fiction Two Anthology. Her April 2010 article for Fido Friendly Magazine, “Calling Canine Clairvoyants”, led to the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mystery, Barking Mad About Murder.  She has a second Frankie Chandler novel, A Bird’s Eye View of Murder, and is working on the third. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and Buster the Wonderdog. Find out more at her website, www.jacquelinevick.com or her Amazon author page at http://amzn.to/1UHxMJh .

Short link to my Amazon Page http://amzn.to/1UHxMJh

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Jacqueline Vick with Bird’s Eye View of Murder — 13 Comments

  1. I’m such an animal lover and couple that with a murder mystery, you have me hooked. Best of Luck.

  2. I have a loooong history with animals and I’ve often done some strange (stupid?) things to keep us all together. I cherish the ‘dogginess’ of my dogs and much of our fun is trying to figure out what the heck we’re saying or trying to say to each other.
    I have used an animal communicator to translate when I just can not figure out what they’re trying to tell me but much of the time we all just try harder.
    Talking animals in a non paranormal? Just would not interest me. For one it takes away what I see as a beautiful communication effort. But that’s just me.

    • We know our animals so well that there IS a bond. I’ve found that animal behavior books can help with the communication because you recognize the signs. For instance, I can tell the difference between Buster being a bonehead about his walk (lying down on the walk because he doesn’t want to go home) and the real fear (temporary, thank goodness) that he had of the street. (turning his back, ears flat, panting.) Hug your pets for me. 🙂

  3. This will date me, but the only talking animal I can think of (except in cartoons) was Mr. Ed. Mr. Ed was either a talking donkey or horse. I prefer animal characters not to step over that line.

    • Mr. Ed was soooooo hokie! I loved it! (And you’re not dating yourself, because there were reruns for years. I think you can even find him now! And he was a white horse.)

  4. Jackie, I’ll just say I saw a rerun of Mr. Ed ten years ago. He-he. Wasn’t there a donkey too like a really long time ago (decades & decades)? I’m at work, taking a short lunch break in my office, so can’t interact much with anyone right now. Haven’t read most of the comments. I’ll check in when I get home and read them all. I’ll be getting your book. There are a few ahead of you, so will be a couple of months before I get to it, but I’ll comment on it. Really glad I could host you today.

    • In season four, Ed, who looks in black-and-white like a Palomino, spent a show thinking he was a donkey. Bot there is something at the edge of my memory, too. This is going to drive me nuts!

  5. It was Francis the Talking Mule!!! I remember now and I can say that it was so old, I’m pretty sure I was watching reruns. Francis was way before Mr. Ed.

  6. That’s uncanny. Really enjoyed having you on my blog today. Let’s do it again sometime in the future.