Series:Gin & Tonic #4
Format Read: print ARC & paperback
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Challenges: Cruisin' Through the Cozies | May 2015 Clean Sweep ARC Challenge | What An Animal |
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.
Blurb from goodreads:
In this fourth mystery in the charming and witty Gin & Tonic series, private investigators Ginny and Teddy—with the help of their faithful pets—must unravel their most intriguing case yet…
Even though she’s unlicensed as an investigator, the infamously nosy Ginny Mallard and her cohort Teddy Tonica have begun to make a name for themselves in solving cases. But Ginny still has her day job as an event planner, and the promise of a lucrative job draws her to Portland, with her shar-pei puppy, Georgie, in tow. Much to her shock and horror, however, she’s been led there under false pretenses—and discovers a body in the parlor of her client's house!
Though the cops warn her to keep her nose out of it, Ginny just can't resist the itch to solve this case, and soon gets drawn into Portland's seedy underbelly of identity theft, forgery, and of course, murder…with Teddy and his cat Penny's devoted sleuthing helping her at every turn.
"Clawed" is the third book that I've read in the Gin & Tonic series, having somehow missed book two. By now the characters are well established. Ginny, "Gin" and Teddy, "Tonic" still push each other's buttons but now it's mostly for fun, because they can, instead of genuinely trying to get a rise out of the other. They've become friends and business partners. There's a tiny hint of romance and honestly, I hope that Kornetsky doesn't go there. I think their relationship would lose something if they became involved romantically. But I digress. Teddy and Ginny have a strong relationship; they can anticipate each other's thoughts and behavior, recognize each others strengths and flaws, and they support each other.
When Ginny is offered a new assignment for her paying, she happily accepts. But it's out of town which neatly separated Ginny and Teddy for much of the book, resulting the two of them coordinating but working separately. Ginny has to up her game with her interpersonal skills, when Teddy usually deals with people while Teddy is struggling to do some of the computer work that Ginny usually does. This set up made for a nice contrast, showing off their skill sets but also their growth over the series. Not only have they come to recognize the other person's strengths but they can acknowledge their own weak spots and then try, with mixed success, to improve.
The relationship between Georgie the dog and Mistress Penny-Drops, aka Penny, has also grown. I'm a cat person, I know the author is too, and she's got cat behavior and attitude down perfectly. I'm less of a dog person but her portrayal seems accurate. In this world Georgie and Penny can communicate almost telepathically. Happily, that doesn't extend to communicating with humans. Just like their humans, they're having to work with the benefit of being in the same city which bothers Penny no end. She really really, really didn't like it. :D Georgie is not too happy about it either. But they manage to help their respective humans nonetheless.
Where the story fell apart for me was the mystery itself. It was overly complicated, with convenient coincidences, lots of loose threads, and pieces that just didn't seem to fit while other times threads were dropped completely. The case was not wrapped and tied with a neat little bow which is actually okay.Or it would have been okay if the overall story and mystery had been tighter. In real life there are loose ends and some things that never get explained but this came across more as if Kornetsky wrote herself into a corner and couldn't get out.
There's one part of the ending that has me intrigued and I will read the next book if only to see where Kornetsky goes with it and how it plays out. Ginny and Teddy have been atypical investigators from the start, which has been a large part of their appeal. But after several years, changes are coming, and I for one an curious.
"Clawed" was not Kornetsky's best book, it's flawed, but even so, I'm not done with the series.