Doghouse (A Gin & Tonic Mystery)
Pocket Books, Jul 22 2014, $7.99
At Mary’s in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, private concierge Ginny Mallard and recently promoted bar manager Teddy Tonica have become friends. Her shar-pei Georgie and his cat Penny (though everyone except him knows he is her pet) are also buddies. Recently the quartet pawed their way through two “cases” (see Fixed and Collared) that proved dangerous.
However, both are shocked when Mary’s cantankerous old cook Seth grumbles in true snark form as only he can that he wants to hire them; he always warned them to stay away from inquiries since they are unlicensed amateurs. Seth explains his old boxing buddy Deke Hoban took too many punches so is slow but nice. Deke’s landlord Cooper plans to evict him based on the punch drunk former pugilist allowing dogs inside the house he leases; thus voiding the rental contract condition of no pets. Pleading his case Seth insists Deke would never sponsor dogfighting as Cooper implies he did and claims his friend needs to stay in this place as the rent is cheap and he knows his way around there. Finally Seth wants Gin and Tonic to find proof that the landlord is full of sh*t. Though they know Deke needs a lawyer rather than two amateurs like them, because of Seth they look into the claim with surreptitiousness help from Georgie and stealth direction from field officer Penny.
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.