CollaredCollared by L.A. Kornetsky is the first book in the “Gin & Tonic” mystery series. Publisher: Gallery Books, November 2012

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.

This was very enjoyable. An evenly paced drama that explodes with suspenseful tension as to what’s going on and will they be able to find a resolution. A chance job brings a new crime solving duo into the cozy genre and I like it, and I especially like the “human owners” element in this story. The banter among the duos was fun and the chance to see the protectiveness of Miss Penny and Georgie was very nice. Gin and Tonic make a great team and I can’t wait to see what new job they tackle in this charmingly likable series.

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