The Writer's Pet: Roz Watkins and Cut to the Bone

Roz Watkins on her latest detective book, Cut to the Bone, and her adorable pets.

The Writer's Pet: Two cats cuddle together on the bed, the pets of writer Roz Watkins
Magnum and Ginge. Photo: Roz Watkins.

No. 6 in the series The Writer's Pet by Zazie Todd PhD.

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Best-selling author Roz Watkins sets her DI Meg Dalton series in England’s Peak District. Cut To The Bone is the third book in the crime series, but can be read as a standalone. It is described by Amanda Jennings as “brilliant and compelling.”

Roz Watkins told me about the book and how her love of animals (including her dog and two cats) influences her writing. 

The Writer's Pet: Cover of Cut to the Bone, by Roz Watkins


What is your pet’s name? 

I have a rescue dog called Starsky, a black cat called Magnum, and a ginger cat called Ginge, who isn't actually my cat but who's moved in!

Types of pet?

Starsky is a husky-cross and the cats are moggies (originally 'outdoor' cats from the farm across the road, who decided they'd actually prefer to be indoor cats.)

What do you love most about your pets?

Starsky's enthusiasm and endless good nature!

The way Ginge climbs our legs and sits on our shoulders.

Magnum's cuteness and tolerance of annoying Ginge.

The Writer's Pet: A dog and one of the cats of bestselling author Roz Watkins
Starsky and Ginge. Photo: Roz Watkins

What makes your pets happy?

Food makes Starsky very happy, with walks a close second.

Ginge loves to sit on people's shoulders.

Magnum loves to sleep (and kill rats!)

Do your pets help or hinder your writing? In what way? 

The cats are an absolute hindrance. They sit on the keyboard, knock my pens on the floor and rip up my notebooks.

Starsky is more useful as he forces me to go for long walks and I often have plot ideas when I'm walking.

Tell me about your book, 'Cut to the Bone'.

A beautiful young social media star goes missing in the middle of a scorching summer, and the unglamourous, cat-loving detective, DI Meg Dalton, gets called to the case. Then the blood and hair of a young woman are found in the pig troughs at the local abattoir, and animal rights activists are suspected of killing the woman. Meg is attacked because she's a vegetarian and has previously expressed sympathy with the activists' views. When the truth is eventually uncovered, it's more shocking and sinister than anyone could have imagined.

The Writer's Pet: The dog and one of the cats of bestselling author Roz Watkins
Starsky and Magnum. Photo: Roz Watkins.

Although 'Cut to the Bone' is a thriller, it also has something to say about our treatment of animals. What prompted you to include this theme?

I've been horrified by factory farming for as long as I can remember, and am particularly concerned about pigs. Many pigs around the world spend their whole lives in crates which don't even allow them to turn around. Although these 'sow stalls' are banned in the EU, pigs can still be kept in 'farrowing crates' for five weeks when they give birth. These are again tiny crates which prevent them from turning, lying comfortably, or even reaching to nuzzle their young. The mothers usually don't have any bedding, despite having a strong urge to make a nest for their babies. Their suffering is unimaginable.

I wanted to raise awareness of this, particularly as it's something people can actually act on, rather than just feeling overwhelmed. Many of my readers have said that they simply didn't know this was happening, and have now switched to free range pork. If I can make a small difference in this way, I'm happy!


"Starsky is more useful as he forces me to go for long walks and I often have plot ideas when I'm walking."


Name your local/favourite independent bookstore that has your book for sale.

Scarthin Books in Cromford.

The Writer's Pet: Photo of Roz Watkins, author of Cut to the Bone

Cut To The Bone is available in Companion Animal Psychology's Amazon store.

Roz Watkins is the author of the acclaimed DI Meg Dalton crime series, which is set in the Peak District where Roz lives with her partner and a menagerie of demanding animals. Her first book, The Devil's Dice, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award and was the Times crime book of the month. In her spare time, Roz likes to walk in the hills, scouting out murder locations.  Find Roz on her website, www.rozwatkins.co.uk, where you can download a free short story, on Twitter or on Facebook.


See all of the featured authors in The Writer's Pet. If you're a traditionally published author and think your book would be a good fit for this series, see the guidelines for The Writer's Pet.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

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