Pawlease help us celebrate Animal Welfare Week (with giveaway!)
Pawlease help us celebrate Animal Welfare Week (October 5-11) and National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week (November 2-8) with DOGHOUSE and the Gin & Tonic Mystery Series by L.A. Kornetsky!
Author Guest Post:
I’m getting ready for a move, and part of that is decluttering. Getting rid of things – objects, old paperwork – that I don’t need to haul with me any more.
But in a folder of otherwise no-longer-needed papers, there’s a sheet I’m keeping. It’s from the ASPCA, and it documents my adoption of the kitten once known as Minna, who became my beloved Pandora, gone now a little over a year.
There’s no point to keeping the sheet of paper. All it does is say that I paid x amount for a 4 month old female tiger kitten, spayed. But throwing it out isn’t an option, either. Because this was the first connection I had to Pandora, the first contract we made with each other: I would give her food, shelter, care, and a lap when she wanted it. I would give her a home. And in return, she gave me such love and companionship, letting her go at the end was no less a pain than losing a human friend.
I don’t have documentation from Indy-J, who was found on the street as a weeks-old kitten, and lived a long and adventurous life before cancer took her in 2000. But Pandora’s adoption paper will go in the current file, along with the papers for our current residents, Boomerang (aka Boomer you idiot), and Castiel the Kitten of Thursday (aka DamnitCas).
Because you keep the important moments, the documents that say “this is how you changed my life.”
(and some of you may note that I invite disaster in the renaming of my cats. You would not be wrong. But where’s the fun of living with Sir Napsalot?)
Summary of Doghouse:
Amateur sleuths Ginny Mallard and Teddy Tonica and their furry partners prove in L.A. Kornetsky’s DOGHOUSE (Pocket Books; July 22, 2014; $7.99) that twelve legs are better than four when it comes to solving a risky new case in the third novel from the “entertaining” (Library Journal) Gin & Tonic mystery series. At her favorite Seattle bar, professional concierge Ginny Mallard can always count on a perfectly mixed gimlet and a friendly welcome for her shar-pei, Georgie, from resident cat, Penny. On this visit, Ginny gets an unexpected bonus. One of the regulars asks her and her sometime partner, bartender Teddy Tonica, to save an old friend who’s facing eviction. This is no simple landlord spat. Rumors abound of an underground dogfighting ring on the premises—a crime guaranteed to get Gin’s hackles up. Gin and Teddy want to believe the old man is innocent of all charges, thought a new piece of evidence suggests otherwise. Penny and Georgie keep their noses to the ground as they help their humans investigate the vicious animal rights case. But the truth is buried deep, and digging it up will unearth dangerous complications for owners and animals alike.
Praise for the third Gin & Tonic Mystery, Doghouse:
“Infamously nosy Ginny Mallard may be unlicensed as an investigator, but she has begun to make a name for herself as the unofficial champion of the tongue-tied. In the third installment of L.A. Kornetsky’s Gin & Tonic Mystery series, Doghouse finds Ginny getting herself tied up in a possible underground dogfighting ring. With help from her bartender friend Teddy Tonica, his tabby cat and Ginny’s Shar Pei puppy, they have to figure out what’s going on before someone else gets hurt.”
—Cat Fancy Magazine, November 2014 issue
“Human and animal characters are equally appealing. A thoroughly enjoyable read.” I Love a Mystery
“Doghouse is a crafty mystery with engaging characters and countless unknowns…L.A. Kornetsky makes mysteries inventively delightful, and Doghouse entertains with wit and cleverness.” Single Titles
“I recommend it to those that really like animals and cozy mysteries.” Books and Things
“The third Gin & Tonic “researchtigations” is an appealing anthropomorphist amateur sleuth enhanced by life in a cheerful neighborhood bar. The lead humans and their animal owners remain fresh leads while the case proves bloody in the ring and the bar.” The Mystery Gazette
“Sniffing out clues…L.A. Kornetsky brings back Ginny Mallard and her bartender friend Teddy Tonica, along with Ginny's pet shar-pei puppy and Teddy’s tabby cat, for their third outing in Doghouse.”Library Journal
Praise for the second Gin & Tonic Mystery, Fixed:
“[Fixed] is the second foray into the lives of a very unlikely pair of investigators; unlikely and a whole lot of fun…Collared was the first title that introduced this extremely fun ‘family and friends’ grouping, and the author has come back with a sequel that will truly make Gin & Tonic a well-known duo! Very light-hearted, this is a great book. Any reader who likes the ‘cozy’ avenue will love this mystery, with a little bit of cat and dog language thrown in for fun.”Suspense Magazine
Praise for the first Gin & Tonic Mystery, Collared:
“The plot moves quickly, enhanced by smart dialog and good characterizations…Recommended for purchase where pet mysteries are popular.”Library Journal
Chapter 1 excerpt:
Theodore—Teddy to nearly everyone not related by blood—Tonica was king of his domain. Or maybe ringleader was a better description, he thought with a grin, snapping the bar towel in his hand at a patron who tried to reach over the bar and change the music. “Hands off the dial, Joel.” The radio was set to a local jazz station, and it didn’t get turned up any higher than could be heard at the bar itself. Those were the rules, and everyone knew it.
The joint was jumping—well, jumping for a relatively quiet part of Seattle early on a Thursday evening, anyway. The eleven bar stools were in use, and most of the chairs were taken, too, people settling in to stay for a while. It wasn’t the crazed rush of a weekend, but there was enough work to keep both hands busy. Teddy set up two beers and pushed them across the bar with a professional flourish, then paused to check on his waitress.
Stacy was working the floor, moving around the tables with economy, unloading her tray, taking orders, and swiping empties. He’d been worried that once she was boosted up to off-shift bartender she’d not want to waitress anymore, but Stacy seemed to slip between the two roles without hesitation or ego. He suspected that she made more money in tips as a waitress, anyway. The regulars here weren’t stingy. You couldn’t be, if you wanted to keep coming back week after week. And people did.
The phone in his pocket vibrated slightly, and instinct moved his hand toward it, even though he knew better. The motion was checked when the guy leaning against the bar held up a hand with several bills folded between his fingers. Teddy nodded in the guy’s direction, holding up his index finger to say he’d be right there. He fished the phone out of his pocket and checked the number, even though he was pretty sure who was calling. “Not now, people, not now,” he muttered, tapping the button to refuse the call, and shoving the phone back into his pocket. His sisters and cousins seemed to think that he needed to be dragged into the latest family flap. He disagreed, vehemently.
This was why he’d left the East Coast.
“What can I do for ya?” he asked, finally turning to the new customer. The guy ordered a winter ale and a Pink Squirrel. Because Teddy was a professional, he didn’t roll his eyes at the order, even though he wanted to. It embarrassed him that he actually knew how to make a Pink Squirrel. Mary’s was a respectable neighborhood bar, a place for draft beers and classy drinks, not foofy sugar-bombs. But the customer was always right, so long as they were sober.
He supposed it could have been worse. After a local newspaper did a puff piece on the “crime-solving bartender” and the exotic cat smuggling case they’d worked last year, Patrick, the owner of the bar, had suggested that they create a specialty drink, something cat-related. Teddy had managed to avoid doing it long enough that he hoped that idea had died a natural death. He was a bartender, not a mixologist, or whatever the trendy title was these days. Patrick could run specials like that at his new place when it opened, not here.
“Besides,” Teddy said now, lifting his head to look at the top of the shelves behind him, “you’re the only cat that this bar needs.”
Only the tip of her tail and the edge of one white-dipped paw were visible, but he was pretty sure Penny’s whiskers twitched in agreement. Not that an animal could understand the words, but the fact that the little tabby considered Mary’s her domain—and Teddy her human—was a fact among the regulars of the bar. Even he’d come to accept it. He laughed at himself now. Who knew letting a bedraggled kitten come in out of the rain would turn him into . . . well, a pet person was overstating the matter, but a specific animal person, anyway.
The front door opened, a burst of wet air rushing in, and someone yelled out a complaint before the door was quickly shut again. Even without looking up, Teddy knew who had come in, because Penny leaped down from her perch, landing gracefully on the back counter. She only ever reacted like that for one visitor.
“One gimlet, just like the lady likes,” he said, pulling up the ingredients even as Ginny slid up to the bar. As crowded as it had been, a stool suddenly opened for her, and she took it like a queen accepting her throne.
“One of these days,” the blonde said, “I’m going to come in here and order a beer, just to mess with you.”
“No you won’t.”
Ginny laughed. “No, I probably won’t. But I might.”
She might, he thought, especially if she thought she could catch him out. Ginny Mallard had a streak of mischief a mile wide for all that she looked like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth just then. Either she’d had a good day at the office, or he was about to get hit with the worst joke he’d ever heard. Or, possibly, both.
“And hello to you, too, Mistress Penny,” she said to the cat, who gave her a delicate sniff and then leaped down to the floor to visit with the newcomer she was actually interested in, Ginny’s shar-pei, Georgie, who was happily settling at her mistress’s feet.
Until recently, Georgie, like all other canines whose owners frequented Mary’s, had been relegated to the sidewalk outside. There was an unofficial tie-up next to the bike rack where dogs could rest in the shade, out of the way of foot traffic. Since Teddy had become manager, those rules had been loosened, until Georgie now took it as much her right to come inside as it was Ginny’s.
One cat and one dog. That was as far as he’d let himself slip.
About the author:
L. A. Kornetsky is the author of two previous Gin & Tonic mysteries. She lives in New York City with two cats and a time-share dog, and also writes fantasy under the name Laura Anne Gilman. She welcomes visitors to www.lauraannegilman.net, @LAGilman and Facebook L-A-Kornetsky.
If you'd like to win a copy of Doghouse just comment on this post and I'll consult the magic fish bowl next week. Sorry, international friends, since I am covering shipping this is only open to those with a US address. ~Anna