Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review: Doghouse

Doghouse (Gin and Tonic Mystery - Book 3) by L.A. Kornetsky

Publication Date: 07/22/2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Books
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 278

(Received for an honest review from Pocket Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

L.A Kornetsky on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Gin & Tonic Mysteries

1. Collared
2. Fixed
3. Doghouse

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Doghouse, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


In the third novel in the “entertaining” (Library Journal) Gin & Tonic mystery series, the stakes are raised when Ginny Mallard and Teddy Tonica stumble on an underground dog fighting ring with bloody consequences.

Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard has begun to make a name for herself as an unofficial champion of the tongue-tied. When a mysterious stranger comes to her with landlord trouble, she convinces her bartender friend Teddy Tonica to help her once more. Soon, they realize they might have got themselves tied up in an underground dogfighting ring. With the help of Ginny’s pet shar-pei puppy and Tonica’s tabby cat, they have to figure out what’s going on before someone else gets hurt. Will twelve legs really be better than four?


Doghouse is the third book in L.A. Kornetsky's Gin & Tonic series. Reader's looking for a great mystery and a series featuring animals, will find this a very good place to start. Kornetsky's investigative duo, Ginny and Teddy find themselves looking into a possible dog fighting ring at the request of a friend and co-worker at Mary's bar. But everything isn't what it seems and the author does a fantastic job keeping the reader off track until the very end.

What I liked:

This was my first book in the Gin & Tonic series. I didn't have any trouble at all falling into the story line for this novel. It can easily be read as a standalone even though it is book three in the series. I guarantee you'll be going back to read the rest once you dive into this one. Kornetsky does a great job of filling the reader in on what has gone on before, how Ginny and Teddy started working together and how their furry friends are involved.

This cozy series has a really unique feel to it. Ginny is not a licensed investigator as are many of the sleuths in the cozy genre, but she has put her shingle out so to speak and is willing to try to help as many people as she can. I liked her tenacity and her tough as nails attitude. But she wasn't foolhardy. She and Teddy both seemed to understand the risks of what they were doing and knew how to protect themselves while still getting the answers they needed. I liked that purposeful kind of approach.

Teddy is the manager of a local bar named Mary's in Seattle and I loved the atmosphere created by Kornetsky. The setting was enjoyable and made me want to learn more about these characters and the city of Seattle itself. There were so many little things that seemed to give off a kind of attitude. Laid back, but alert. It didn't feel anything like other cozies I have read and I found that a good thing. It was refreshing and new for this genre.

There was a feeling of urgency about the mystery, and the details could have been a bit gruesome but Kornetsky kept it light. Dogfighting or any kind of activity that would harm an animal is something that really gets under my skin. I thought Kornetsky handled the subject with a deft hand. She didn't minimize the issue, she explored it without giving in to the brutality of it, which I think a lot of readers will appreciate. It's a tough subject.

I thought the relationship that Kornetsky had developed between Ginny and Teddy was perfect. The worked well together and played off each others strengths and weaknesses. I liked the snarky comments and teasing, but it didn't seem to have too much sexual tension behind it. These two were obviously good friends despite the fact that Tony didn't really want to be Ginny's sidekick. But he did want to help out a friend. They made a great duo!

The mystery itself was intense and took some pretty big twists and turns. I actually found the villain a very interesting character and I hope he appears again in future books in the series. He have a devil may care attitude but he was smart and devious. That made him a lot of fun to try to figure out. I thought Kornetsky wrapped everything up, but she didn't use a predictable pattern. That was a good thing and made this one a really good read.

Bottom Line:

If you haven't given this series a try yet, I would definitely recommend it. It may be a bit different from your average cozy but in this case that's a good thing. Kornetsky gives readers strong characters, some great pet interaction. I loved Penny and Georgie and reading their thoughts and watching them investigate right along with the hero and heroine. A great overall read that will have you rounding up the others in the series in no time!

Doghouse is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About 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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