Tracy’s early infatuation with mysteries began, as it did for many other young readers, when she discovered the Nancy Drew books. A monthly visit to the department store to purchase the next yellow spine picture cover book in the series (for $1.50!) was a special treat. She savored the dramatic cover art and the adventures of the resourceful and resilient Nancy, who in the days before cell phones, often managed to save herself from dire circumstances just in the nick of time.
Nancy Drew even owned a terrier named Togo, but he was more a naughty house pet, who clearly had never heard the words “obedience class,” and could not be expected to partner with his owner to decipher a mystery! Togo was intermittently incorporated in the older editions for comic effect, such as the time he stole a woman’s purse and dropped it in the middle of a lake, or capsized a waiter carrying a tray of dishes at a casino.
Tracy took a slightly different approach in her books; the featured dogs are never on the sidelines, but interwoven through every facet of their humans’ lives, just as her own retrievers have been in her life. As Tracy entered her 20s, she began working as an assistant trainer for a highly-respected dog obedience school, and then added training in rally and agility to the mix. Her desire to write a mystery series (that would ideally enthrall readers for years to come) crystallized around the central concept of a main character, Veronica Kildare, who gradually overcomes a violent and traumatic incident at her workplace with the assistance of Leda, her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who becomes her highly trained search and rescue and drug detection dog. Dogs can simply be our beloved family companions. But they can also be trained to do so much more.
The Veronica Kildare K-9 Mystery series showcases diverse and fascinating jobs for which dogs are trained by the main character for her clients, as Veronica also gets drawn into a baffling mystery in each book. Of course, the abilities of her K-9 partner are highlighted as Veronica and Leda face every peril together—because the only thing better than a great mystery is a great dog!
After growing up near Cleveland, OH and attending Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, Tracy graduated from the University of Glasgow, Scotland with a Master’s degree in History. (She absolutely loves Scotland, but has never acquired a taste for haggis.) Her lengthy career as a legal assistant has included stints at international law firms (in Cleveland, Denver, and London) and Prosecutors’ offices, followed by jobs as the Horse Identifier at two thoroughbred racetracks—all while training dogs in obedience and rally. She has escaped the blizzards of Northeast Ohio and now lives near Santa Fe, NM with her husband and Llewellin Setter (aka the diva), where she is an avid hiker and dedicated college football fan.