June 14, 2006 by

Patricia Guiver


Categories: Writers/Editors

Patricia Guiver, the author of the Delilah Doolittle Pet Detective mystery series, died on June 13 of complications from heart surgery. She was 76.
Born in Surrey, England, Guiver left school at 15 to work as a secretary on London’s Fleet Street. She began her writing career as a freelancer for British women’s magazines. After moving to Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1961, Guiver self-published the book, “Animal Connections: The Complete Directory of Pet and Wildlife Resources,” and hosted local cable access program, “The Critter Connection.” For the past three years, she wrote “Creature Connection,” a syndicated column about animal rights, laws, pet ownership and products.
While taking a mystery-writing class with writer/editor Patricia McFall, Guiver created the character Delilah Doolittle, a British widow who searches for missing pets and solves murder investigations in the fictional southern California town of Surf City. The dainty, tea-drinking pet detective appeared in six cozy mystery novels alongside her faithful Doberman pinscher, Watson.
Although she was shy and preferred to avoid public appearances, Guiver had a true affection for her readers. When answering letters from fans, Guiver was known to enclose a teabag with her response. The last book in the Delilah Doolittle series, “The Beastly Bloodline,” (2003) even included a recipe for home-made dog biscuits.
Guiver was unable to complete her seventh Doolittle novel, “The Scarpered Sea Lion,” before her death. However, actress Betty White has optioned the rights to the stories, and hopes to play Doolittle in a future fim or TV production.
A long-time animal welfare advocate, Guiver founded the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1985 and spent nearly two decades as the organization’s executive director and board president. She also co-founded the Animal Assistance League of Orange County, a non-profit no kill humane society dedicated to aiding lost and homeless pets, and sat on the Orange County Animal Shelter Advisory Board.

3 Responses to Patricia Guiver

  1. Paula Salo

    Members of the Blustering Gales from the South-West,a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars, were saddened to hear of Ms. Guiver’s demise. She spoke to our group at least twice, once as the featured speaker. Unfortunately, she was unaware that we were considering having her, once again, as the Guest of Honor at our annual October banquet. Several of our members read and enjoyed all, or most, of her books. She, and her delighful books, will be missed. Paula Salo (Founder/President) The Blustering Gales…

  2. Jane Messex

    I first met Patricia Guiver at a booksigning at Barnes & Nobles in Huntington Beach in 1997. She was promoting one of her books and gave a talk on her Delilah Doolittle series. I was impressed with her literary style then as I am now. She was a champion for animals and will be sorely missed.

  3. Dan Lambert

    As a member of the Blustering Gales from the South-West, a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars Sherlock Holmes club, I am saddened to learn of the passing of Mary Jane Craycroft. Mary Jane was an educator, writer, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She hosted our Sherlockian holiday parties every December. She was a founding member of the Gales. I did not join the club until the 1990s, but I understand the club’s other founding members met each other because they were students in Mary Jane’s class on the literature of science fiction. I know I speak for countless others when I say how much I will miss Mary Jane.

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