Karen Petit

“What miracles they are, these paws on our hearts.”

Ivy’s Story

Ivy was born in rural South Carolina in 1996.  A Labrador Retriever and Chow Chow mix, the puppy had no pedigree and was taken to a flee market to be sold with her brothers and sisters. 

Greg and Jane Evans of Columbia, S.C., saw the fluffy puppy with the swooping tail and debated whether they should take her home.  The decision was hastily made when they were told that Ivy would be thrown into a river and drowned if not sold that day. 

The asking price; a mere $5!

In 2003, Ivy met Karen Petit, a writer in Columbia, when “Miss Jane and Mr. Greg” were moving to Charleston.  Karen, who had had a sad bump in her life adopted Ivy. 

A new chapter in their lives begun.  Ivy inspired her new Lady-Guardian to write a book with mystery, adventure and romance!  With Ivy’s help, Karen wrote her way to happiness. 

Today, their story is an example of the magical healing power of pets.  And as for that $5? 

Ivy and her love changed Karen’s life forever!

The summertime quiet of Ivy’s neighborhood is shattered by the theft of a magnificent pink diamond named Sugarplum.  The adventurous Ivy, believes it is her duty to find out who took the diamond ring, belonging to her friend Miss Daria.   Ivy enlists the help of her friends: her next-door neighbor Ernest, an English pug and an astute thinker:  Hoover, a hyper Jack Russell terrier; Lovely, an aging greyhound racing star; Spooky, a homeless cat; and Marigold, a canary.  The mystery takes a romantic turn when Ivy meets Blitz, a handsome police dog who admires Ivy’s willingness to help, but underestimates her nose for intrigue.

Ivy and her friends persist and refuse to be derailed in their efforts, particularly when the robberies continue.  The theft of a pirate dagger owned by a retired general and a diamond-and–pearl tiara belonging to a countess have their neighborhood and the pets’ Guardians, including Ivy’s own Lady Guardian, Lea-Elise, on edge.

The sheer dogged determination of the pets leads them to scout the neighborhood, where they uncover critical clues.  Unable to pinpoint the exact robber, the pets discover a suspect, a stinky, screeching creature whose shrill cries fill their hearts with terror.  The mystery is made worse for Ivy’s new friend, Detective Dave of the capital City Police Department, when Blitz’s badge and the candlesticks of a church are stolen. 

But when Ivy’s own sparkling jeweled collar is stolen, the pets stop at nothing to solve the mystery, even when it means putting their own safety and lives at risk.

A vacation to a mountain lodge turns dangerous for Ivy and her friends when a series of explosions shake the peaceful world around them.  The mystery troubles the adventurous Ivy, from the moment Ivy and her friends arrive at the Lodge at Foggy Bottom Lake.  A rabbit named Bulley and a bloodhound named Blue become allies in the pets’ quest to discover why the lodge is the target for some most mysterious happenings—booming noises, weird lights, a ghostly mist, and a landslide at the Dead Pioneers Cave.

Ivy has good reason to fear that the pets will end up like the people who gave the Dead Pioneers Cave its name.  But even with her nose for intrigue, Ivy has no way of knowing that she and her friends will have their world turned upside down by a pair of greedy criminals.

The quick-thinking TV reporter, Jennifer from New 9, arrives by helicopter just in time to report on a discovery that, thanks to Shandon’s Ivy League, changes the future for Mr. Oliver and the charming Lodge at Foggy Bottom Lake.

A famous racehorse named Sir Drayton has such a mysterious background that Ivy and her friends feel a strange sense of intrigue about the Governor's Gold Cup races even before they arrive in the historic horse-racing town of Cammerville.  Although the fun-loving Miss Darla has planned every detail of the trip for her friends and their pets, the adventure takes an unexpected turn for Ivy and the “Shandon’s Ivy League” sleuths.


The FBI, a smart stable-mouse named Hamilton, Detective Dave and Blitz, the handsome police dog who has stolen Ivy’s heart, are called on to solve the disappearance of the courageous racehorse who goes missing and one of the “Shandon’s Ivy League” pets.


When a million-dollar ransom demand is received, everyone fears the worst.

It’s down to the wire for Ivy, America’s No. 1 Canine Sleuth, and her crime-solving friends who must use all of their detective skills to find Sir Drayton and get him to the race on time.

Ivy and her friends are thrilled that an old-fashioned family circus has come to Capital City.  But fear seizes the city when a dancing bear named Pirouette escapes and is running wild.  In their quest to find Pirouette, the pets discover that a mysterious curse involving the theft of valuable paintings and jewels has surrounded the circus for nearly 100 years.


The curse appears to have taken hold of the circus when a bizarre accident sends Dr. Gee to the hospital, a trouble-making clown threatens Miss Darla, and a City Council member vows to shut down the circus.  Ivy, Ernest, Spooky, Lovely, Hoover, Blitz, and Marigold are joined in their crime-solving efforts by a fancy circus poodle named Louise and a group of misfit dogs known as the Park Street Pack.


But their search for the paintings and jewels and their attempts to stop the circus curse put one of the pets in grave danger.  This mystery turns the lives of the “Shandon’s Ivy League” pets and their Guardians into a fast-paced, three-ring adventure!

Copyright 2010 Karen Petit All Rights Reserved

About the “Shandon’s Ivy League” Mystery Series


What’s your pet doing when you’re not watching?


In the “Shandon’s Ivy League” Mystery Series, created by Karen Petit of Columbia, S.C., pets solve crimes and mysteries!


The crime-solving pets are led by Ivy, a vivacious Lab-Chow mix, who believes that she can solve mysteries because she has watched hours of “Law & Order” and “Court TV.”

Her cast of crime-solvers includes:


· Ernest, an intelligent, pretentious pug with food issues;

· Spooky, a streetwise cat with a heart of gold;

· Hoover, a rambunctious Jack Russell terrier;

· Lovely, an aging greyhound and former star on the Florida racing circuit; Marigold, an observant canary;

· Blitz, a handsome German shepherd with the Capital City Canine Unit.



The series, launched in November 2006 and published by Red Letter Press, has gained an international following among young readers and pet lovers of all ages. For fun, suspense-filled adventures, you’ll want to read:


· Book 1: The Mystery of the Screecher Creature launches the pets on their crime-solving adventures.  When Miss Darla’s 14-carat, pink diamond ring named Sugarplum is stolen, Ivy and her friends believes it’s their duty to find her ring. They quickly become embroiled in a series of robberies that shakes their hometown, called Capital City.


· Book 2: The Mystery at Foggy Bottom Lake takes place in a famous mountain lodge where the pets find that danger never takes a holiday.


· Book 3: The Mystery of the Stolen Stallion involves the disappearance of Sir Drayton, a famous thoroughbred racehorse scheduled to run in the prestigious Governor’s Gold Cup Race.


· Book 4: The Mystery of the Circus Curse finds the pets on a wild and weird adventure involving an old-fashioned family circus, a mysterious curse, and stolen paintings and jewels;


· Book 5: The Mystery of the Perils of Paris is scheduled for publication in 2010.


The pets live with their “Guardians,” who love and care for them and also become entangled in their mysterious adventures:


· Lea-Elise, a young career woman who is Ivy’s Lady-Guardian;

· Dr. Gee, a famous mystery writer and Sir-Guardian to Ernest;

· Trip, age 8, and Liza Clark, age 6, the mischievous children who are the Family Guardians to Hoover and Lovely;

· Miss Alice, a retired teacher and Lady-Guardian to Marigold;

· Miss Darla, a wealthy, zany senior citizen who is the Lady-Guardian for Spooky;

· Detective Dave of the Capital City Police Department and the sensible, stable Sir-Guardian to Blitz.

The Mystery of the Screecher Creature:  “Shandon’s Ivy League” sleuths sniff out robberies, danger

The Mystery at Foggy Bottom Lake: Dead Pioneers Cave holds clues to sparkling secret

The Mystery of the Stolen Stallion:  Ivy & friends race to rescue missing dog, horse

The Mystery of the Circus Curse:  Dancing bear adds drama to circus woes