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Collared: A Gin & Tonic Mystery

Collared: A Gin & Tonic Mystery

4.3 9
by L. A. Kornetsky

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They rely on animal instincts…

Meet “Gin” and “Tonic.” She’s a dog person. He’s a cat person. But when these two friendly rivals team up to solve a mystery, you can bet their pets aren’t the only ones getting collared…

Ginny Mallard and her shar-pei, Georgie, are about to run out of


They rely on animal instincts…

Meet “Gin” and “Tonic.” She’s a dog person. He’s a cat person. But when these two friendly rivals team up to solve a mystery, you can bet their pets aren’t the only ones getting collared…

Ginny Mallard and her shar-pei, Georgie, are about to run out of kibble and cash, unless she digs up another client for her private concierge business. So she heads to her neighborhood Seattle bar, Mary’s, to sniff out an opportunity. Or a gimlet or two. The bartender, Teddy Tonica, is usually good for a round of challenging banter, and Georgie is oddly fond of his bar cat, Mistress Penny.

Before she can say “bottoms up,” Ginny lands a job tracking down some important business papers that have gone missing—along with the customer’s uncle. If Ginny hopes to track him down, she’ll need more than her research skills: she’ll need a partner with people skills—like Tonica.

This is one dangerous case that’s about to go to the dogs—unless man, woman, cat, and canine can work together as one very unconventional crime-solving team.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fantasy writer Kornetsky’s charming first mystery introduces an enterprising heroine in Ginny Mallard, the owner of a fledgling concierge business in Seattle, Wash., and a supporting cast that includes a couple of four-footed friends. While having a drink in Mary’s, a neighborhood pub, Mary overhears realtor Walter Jacobs worrying aloud to the bartender, Teddy Tonica, about his uncle, Joe, and a batch of important papers, both of which are missing. Hoping to gain a new customer, Ginny volunteers to find Walter’s uncle and the documents, recruiting Teddy to help. Aiding in their search are the bar’s resident “mouser,” a gray tabby cat named Mistress Penny-Drops, and Georgie, Ginny’s half-grown puppy. Meanwhile, the two amateur human detectives trade banter and strike up a wary friendship. Vivid descriptions of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood are a plus in a cozy tale that will draw in even those normally skeptical of animal-centered stories. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, DMLA. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Kornetsky, writing as Laura Anne Gilman, has authored several urban fantasy titles, but this is her first venture into the mystery genre. Ginny Mallard, the work-obsessed owner and sole employee of a private concierge company, has adopted a Shar-Pei puppy named Georgie. Meanwhile, Teddy Tonica, the laid-back bartender at the local establishment Ginny frequents, has been adopted by a stray cat he calls Mistress Penny-Drops. When Ginny overhears a man complaining to Teddy about his uncle and some missing documents, she jumps in with both feet, and she and Teddy are off on a missing-person case. Things don't smell quite right, but pride makes them stumble onward. Can they find the uncle in time for their payday? And will Georgie and Penny be able to help them? VERDICT The plot moves quickly, enhanced by smart dialog and good characterizations, but the ending is a little disappointing. Still, this is a fairly strong beginning to what should be an entertaining series. Recommended for purchase where pet mysteries are popular. —Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA
Kirkus Reviews
A bartender and one of his regulars find themselves out of their league when they agree to do a shot of private-eye work for a customer. Virginia "Ginny" Mallard's the kind of person who notices things, even little things like when her regular bartender, Teddy Tonica, shorts a patron a finger of booze in his vodka tonic. Usually, this skill in observing suits Ginny in her job as a private concierge--it helps her notice the details for coordination that her clients love--but it may have gotten her in trouble with her latest job. When Ginny overhears a man at her local bar complaining about his missing Uncle Joe, she figures that a little private investigation can't be that much of a jump from her usual 9-to-5. To her surprise, Tonica agrees to help with the search. Walter "DubJay" Jacobs offers Ginny the basics on his uncle: The two run a corporate realty firm, and DubJay needs to find Joe in a few short days to file some paperwork. This all seems straightforward to Ginny, but when she receives a threatening text involving the case, she knows she'll be relying on Tonica more than she'd expected. After all, her only other ally is Georgie, a canine who's more cuddler than watchdog. Tonica's got some animal assistance, too, though he maintains that Penny is the bar's cat and not really his. As the case progresses, Ginny and Tonica find it more fraught than they anticipated. Thank goodness their pet pals have their backs. Cloying talk from companion animals obscures the budding human relationship in Kornetsky's bar cozy debut.

Product Details

Gallery Books
Publication date:
Gin & Tonic Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.78(d)

Meet the Author

L.A. Kornetsky is an amateur chef, oenophile, and cat-servant. She lives in New York City and also writes fantasy under the name Laura Anne Gilman.

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Collared: A Gin & Tonic Mystery 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
anneb10 More than 1 year ago
Ginny Mallard is a personal concierge who has a half-grown Shar-pei named Georgie, and likes to drink at an out-of-the-way neighborhood bar called Mary's. She has a routine and is a problem-solver. Teddy Tonica pretty much runs Mary's, the bartender an empathetic, yet slightly mysterious, soul who knows when to cut off a patron without ruffling any feathers. His (not his) cat, Mistress Penny-drops, has the run of the bar - as long as she stays out of the way. A long-time customer of Mary's shows up one evening and spills his trouble to Tonica. Ginny, between customers at the moment, overhears and inserts herself - and her business - in, and lo and behold, ends up with a well-paying commission to find the customer's missing uncle and some papers that were with him when he went walkabout. Tonica, worried about his verbal sparring partner, agrees to help Ginny find the missing uncle. What starts as an interesting research problem quickly turns frustrating and then frightening as they two are accosted by thugs looking for the same papers. Ginny and Tonica are a fun, realistic pair of characters who will have you alternately chuckling at their repartee and then worried over them when things turn dangerous. Even Georgie and Penny take a hand, the two animals worried over their humans. This is an outstanding beginning to a new series, and I look forward to future volumes.
Mikaela_l More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this book since the first time I heard about it. LA Gilman writing mysteries? Could it be anything but good? The Seattle that Ms Kornetsky described, felt like it was written by a Seattlite. It managed the fine balance of being detailed enough to be believable, yet not so detailed that the description bogged down the narrative. The characters were deliciously snarky, but what I especially liked was how Gin and Teddy complemented each other. Ginny was good at finding information and Teddy talking with people. I also liked how they had... not a love-hate relationship, but they were definitely not the best of friends. The mystery was well plotted and kept me hooked from the beginning. I loved how Gin and Teddy gradually started to realise that they were in over they heads. Yet, they refused giving up. After all, Gin had promised DubJay to find his uncle and her reputation was important for her busniess. I loved seeing how the attitudes in the Estate business had changed from when Joe started it in the 80's. One thing that I especially loved was that every scene in the plot was actually related to the mystery. (Yes, it might sound like an odd thing, but that's my pet peeve: Mysteries where something happen in chapter one, and then there is 150 pages of describing the characters life, and then they stumble upon the sollution.) So... What I didn't like. The pets POV:s. I enjoyed reading them, but it felt like they didn't add anything to the story. But maybe that will change in the second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book it flowed nicely. Characters are entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a treat of a mystery COLLARED is. I was so glad to find two fully formed people like Ginny and Tonica in the lead as opposed to the "punch list of amateur detective quirks" that have become far too common in the genre. Also, I adore the relationship between Georgie the dog and Penny the cat. Obviously, it's entertaining but the dynamics between them make crystal clear the differences between "world according to dog" and "world according to cat" without spelling it out or making either one of them any more "human" to make the point. I find a lot of mystery story cats (it always seems to be cats in mysteries) are basically humans in a cat suit. Penny is definitely a CAT. And Georgie? Georgie is SUCH a dog. I just wanna give her a good ears a good scruffle :-)
JoelHalpern More than 1 year ago
Collared is an enjoyable mystery. And the animal perspective adds a very nice element, without being cutesie. Solid plotting, with interesting twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Collared: A Gin & Tonic Mystery, L.A. Kornetsky has taken the classic Sam Spade detective premise and given it a 21st century update. Ginny Mallard, ‘Gin,’ is a regular customer at Mary’s Bar. Bartender, Teddy Tonica, ‘Tonic,’ is a seasoned ‘social chemist’ and knows how to blend the perfect cocktail. What neither knew about the other was their lives were about to take on a whole new meaning of adventure on one not-so-typical and drizzly Seattle night when Walter ‘DubJay’ Jacobs enters the bar. Gin was supposed to meet a new client at Mary’s; a client who would tide over the threat of bill collectors if she could sign the deal. She ran a Concierge service—emphasis on the concierge part because she was more than an assistant. Granted, some of her clients were a little eclectic; like the one who wanted nothing to do with taking an ailing aunt to the hospital because she was too cantankerous for blood relations to deal with. Maybe there was some perfect birthday party planning for a five year-old; whatever paid the bills… Tonic is the quintessential bartender. He pours a mean cocktail and lends an accomplished and sympathetic bartender’s ear. He has a following and his patronage knows their drink comes with a little sound and free advice; all they have to do is ask. It is when Gin’s ‘no-show’ client is replaced with the appearance of DubJay and she is presented with a proposition for two times her normal pay, she is more than a little intrigued by the offer. There is no way that fish on the end of her prospect line is getting away before she secures it in her net and more importantly, a check. DubJay’s uncle, Joe Jacobs, is missing. All he wants Gin to do is find him. Of course, her annoying woman’s intuition tries to intervene, but the fact the pay was double seemed enough cause for her to snub those doubts out once and for all. Besides, how hard would it be to find DubJay’s uncle; easy money, right? Behind the scenes, there are two four-legged detectives up for the challenge as well; Gin’s shar-pei, Georgie and Mary’s alley cat mascot, a grey tabby named Penny and while unclaimed, it’s pretty clear she has long-since adopted Tonic. Unbeknownst to Gin or Tonic, Georgie and Penny are on the case and as committed as their owners to solving the mystery of the disappearance of Uncle Joe. Through a series of clues, intrigue, imminent danger and redirects, the plot is cohesive. Ms. Kornetsky uses a great balance of entertaining wit in her novel. Lines such as: ‘He could see the thoughts going across her face: that was the thing about Ginny, she was so used to working behind a computer screen, she’d never learned to hide her thoughts. The woman shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of a poker table, ever…’ were infused at just the right moment to conjure a chuckle from the reader. However, she was reserved and savvy not to overstate the humor—a sign that she is in command of her story and uses this approach to show her reader rather than tell in opportune moments. It is clear from the onset of Collared: A Gin & Tonic Mystery that Ms. Kornetsky had a clear vision of where she intended to not only lead her reader, but direct the story as well. She was reserved and imposed a natural flow rather than a race to the finish at the behest of a ‘forced pen.’ I give her great props for knowing her audience well and delivering a witty and entertaining detective adventure. Hopefully, this is the first of a series of Gin and Tonic tales. I certainly hope this is the case. Quill Says: There’s a lot more entertainment to ‘Gin and Tonic’ than a wedge of lime.