Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by St Martin's Press on 25 February 2014
This book is the very definition of a wacky paranormal mystery with pachyderm ghosts that can use electricity, an ectoplasmic dog that can change breeds and a heroine whose job is to corral all manner of crazy. When a person is murdered, our intrepid Administrative Assistant Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster decides to do a little digging around to make sure her eccentric boss Zelda Zoransky is okay.
Foxtrot is used to dealing with odd situations but having her dead cat Tango drop by and talk to her telepathically is fairly unusual. Both Tango and the aforementioned ectoplasmic dog Tiny are there to help Foxtrot prevent something ‘bad’ from happening and protect the animal cemetery on Zelda’s property. They fail. It takes quite a while to get used to the talking animals even though one character’s voice is in italics and the other is in brackets. The pets do however provide some much needed levity. Even though Tango and Foxtrot were supposedly really close when Foxtrot was younger, the relationship between Tiny and Foxtrot felt much stronger. I wish Tango’s characterisation had been strengthened as it was the weak link in the trio.
Foxtrot’s investigative technique is assisted by Tiny’s canine nose which can sniff out drugs. They worked fairly well as a team even though the animals are predictably limited by how much they can tell a human. There were a few continuity errors that ought to have been caught by an editor such as Tiny disappear, reappear and then disappear again. Also we were initially told Foxtrot is at some points Deirdre’s middle name and at others an affectionate nickname from her father. These were fairly minor points for me though as the rest of the story hung together.
To enjoy this book you really need to be in the mood for something zany otherwise it will probably irk you. I was and I really had fun with it. Lyle packs an awful lot into this book and at times it feels a little overwhelming because there is so much going on. Stick with it though as Lyle manages to bring it all together neatly at the end.