Series: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mystery #3
Genres: Paranormal Mystery
Published by St Martin's Press on 31 March 2015
Reading Challenges: 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster makes her living tending to the needs of ZZ, an eccentric billionaire. In her off-time, such as it is, she acts as a caretaker of a nearby pet cemetery which doubles as a supernatural animal crossroads. Anna, her boyfriend’s sister, is murdered in ZZ’s pool and Foxtrot decides to investigate as she’s worried that whoever targeted Anna might come after Ben next.
Anna and Ben are Thunderbirds and have the ability to control the weather so the chances of one dying from electrocution are about as likely as me overdosing on chocolate…simply not possible. Foxtrot is ably assisted by her ghostly dog Whiskey and reincarnated psychic cat Tango.
The good bits
The cast of suspects was very diverse and ranged from a schizophrenic writer who held conversations with imaginary creatures to an owner of a dog that painted whatever images his owner transmitted mentally. Their personality quirks (of which there are many!) helped keep the voices individual and distinct. The same held true for Whiskey and Tango as the former fell for an apparently hot border collie while the latter was supremely indifferent to anyone’s needs other than her own.
The mystery was neatly done and there were some lovely red herrings scattered throughout which kept the pace bubbling along. Foxtrot was a good investigator as she approached things fairly logically and took full advantage of her pets’ abilities. Both were cajoled into interrogating pets and ghosts who might have seen or heard what happened.
It was the supernatural elements that really held my attention though. I relished the Thunderbird lore we were given but I still haven’t reached saturation point and would love more detail in future books.
The not so good bits
We see Anna through the eyes of Ben and the guests rather than getting a chance to meet her properly ourselves. This combined with the fact that she was killed so quickly made it difficult to care about her as a person. Instead, we are forced to judge her by the impact she had on others. Thankfully the secondary characters are quite verbose on their feelings for her but it felt like a bit of a missed opportunity.
If you haven’t read any other other books in the series then it might come as a bit of a shock that a) Thunderbirds exist and b) a cemetery can act as a portal for deceased pets who want to pop back to check up on their owners. Lyle doesn’t spend too much time going over past events so while you could read this one as a standalone, I suggest you read the first in the series before diving in so you have a clear understanding of the world.
A whimsical paranormal mystery that is quirky enough to keep you coming back for more.