My first interview is with Mistress Penny from the Gin & Tonic Mystery series by L.A. Kornetsky. Mommy wants me to tell you that she has an extra trade paperback copy of Fixed. Just leave us a comment with your email address...tell me what you think of my first interview, tell me how cute I am, I'd love to hear from you! (US entries only please, ends 10/20)
Thank you so much for joining me here today, Penny! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you picked Tonica as your person?
Me? *pauses to finish grooming ear, then looks alert* I'm pretty much a regular cat, just like you. Born on the street, not much new about that story. I'm not even an interesting color - American Shorthair tabby, that's me. Things really only got interesting when I met Theodore - Tonica, most humans call him, or Teddy.
It was a rainy night, cold and miserable, and the box we'd been sleeping in had finally fallen apart. The others had gone by then... I don't know where. You don't ask questions, when one of your littermate disappears, it's...you don't want to know the answer, mostly. But I was so hungry, and there wasn't even a mouse to chew on. So I went out into the rain and almost got kicked by a boot. Which, it happens. You hide and wait for them to pass. But the boot stopped, and the next thing I knew I was going up. His hand was so big, to me back then, I fit in his palm. And then I was wrapped in something warm and dry, that smelled good, and I.... I may have burrowed. A little. I was little and it was cold, all right? Don't judge.
And that's how I met him. I didn't know anything good about humans and he didn't know a thing about cats, but I knew a good thing when I had it to train. Especially once he took me to the Noisy Place, and gave me milk and minced chicken, and let me stay inside. I'm no fool - that was much better than a lonely box.
Theodore grew on me, after that. He's smart, for a human, and doesn't fuss at me. And we've been together a few years now...I live at Noisy Place, the bar called Mary's, and keep an eye on everything...
What's a typical day like for you?
Days when Theodore and Ginny aren't working are pretty standard - I'm a creature of habit, like so many of us. I make my rounds at night, then catch a few hours of sleep in the morning, while everything's still quiet. When the humans show up around mid-day, I come down and check in with them, then nap for a bit... there's a regular gossip on the corner at dusk that I try not to miss, so I can keep up to date with what's going on. Night is when it can get crazy, with all the people and noise. Mostly I just watch - too many people means my tail might get stepped on. But humans are fascinating. It's when they take on a case - a sniffing, Georgie calls it - that typical goes out the window. We never know what's going to happen then. It can get crazy - but I make sure everyone gets out okay.
Are you really friends with a *gasp* dog??? How did that happen???
Georgie was the most hopeless thing... she's mostly shar pei, you know, the dogs that have sloppy fur, all loose folds until they grow into it? She was coming down the street about a year ago now, leashed to this human, a female, and I thought at first I was going to have to hiss to warn her off. But she just flopped down in front of me, and looked at me with these huge brown eyes and said hi, like I was the bestest friend she'd ever not met yet.
How do you resist that? I couldn't. And she is. The best friend I hadn't met yet, I mean. Not the smartest, maybe, even for a dog, but she's sweet, and loyal, and has a good sense about humans even most cats can't match. If Georgie doesn't like someone, extend your claws, because you're going to need them. And her human, Ginny, is Theodore's best friend now, so we get to spend a lot of time together - Georgie hangs with me at the Noisy Place, even when we're not working.
I've met some horrible dogs, but I'll be honest, I've met more that are okay. Maybe it's Seattle - we get a lot of nice dogs here?
Where did the name Mistress Penny come from?
Theodore called me that - Mistress The-Penny-Drops. I don't know why. He doesn't expect me to answer to it, though, so I don't mind. Everyone uses Penny now, because it's easier to yell when something's coming at you fast and you need to get out of the way - or attack.
What adventures do you get into in your new book Fixed?
The place where Georgie was, before she came here - the shelter, where they keep the dogs and cats who don't have homes - got into some trouble, and they asked Theodore and Ginny to look into it. Something about money gone missing, which is a huge deal to humans. And then there was a dead body.... As usual, they were looking in the wrong places, until we showed them what was going on... Let me tell you, the shelter's a bad place to be, and not just for animals.
Georgie did meet a nice vet there, though. Hopefully she won't bite this one.
Do you know anything about your upcoming adventures?
Only a little bit. I do know that the working title is Doghouse, and Seth, who works at the Noisy Place, is the one who hires Theodore and Ginny. Theo thinks it's a really bad idea, for some reason, but he can't say no to a friend. And Ginny just likes a challenge. She's very cat-like in that sense, even if she's a dog person.
Oh, and there's a new puppy. He doesn't get to stay, though. We're a one-dog series, thank you very much.
Any final thoughts for your adoring public?
Is this where I'm supposed to say something inspiring? Cats don't do inspiring.... but you probably want to pick up a copy of FIXED, and COLLARED, if you haven't already. I'm not saying bad things could happen to your favorite pair of shoes if you don't but really, why take the chance?
A professional problem solver, Ginny Mallard can’t resist a call for help. And try as he may, Seattle bartender Teddy Tonica is powerless to resist a challenge. They may not agree on much—Teddy prefers bar cat Mistress Penny, while Gin’s shar-pei, Georgie, is her constant companion—but these friendly rivals make perfect sleuthing partners.
When Gin learns that the shelter where she adopted Georgie is being ripped off by a thief, she’s determined to find out what kind of lowlife would steal from a place devoted to rescuing dogs and cats. Gin and Teddy plan to rattle a few cages and save the animals from losing their home.
But when a body is discovered, and nearly everyone is lying, Gin and Tonica discover that it takes more than talk to nab a killer. Sometimes the best way to solve a crime is to bring on the big dogs. Or dog and cat, as the case may be. . . .
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.