Brought to you by OBS reviewer JoAnne
*Beware of possible Spoilers*
Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Trusted employee of eccentric zillionairess Zelda Zoransky, Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. For some strange reason, Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. And, ready or not, the fur’s about to hit the fan…
Still reeling, Foxtrot comes home to find her cat Tango – her dead cat Tango – alive and well and communicating telepathically. But that’s not all: There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail…and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. So when a coworker drops dead while organizing closets, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects-human and otherwise-before death takes another bite? (From back of book).
Well, let me tell you, this book is certainly different. I’ve read books where people communicate with dead animals, but not quite like this one. It begins well enough; Foxtrot is an Administrative Assistant extraordinaire, and ZZ, her employer, depends on her completely to keep her place running like clockwork. That includes knowing everything about the workings both inside and out, and making sure all problems are handled.
While giving herself some “alone time” in the cemetery behind ZZ’s home (where else could be better?), she senses that there is something sinister there, something alive, and sees what appears to be lightning, she shakes herself and decides she must have been imagining things. But add to this the fact that when she goes home she discovers her cat Tango resurrected from the dead, she pretty much has a lot to deal with. Not trusting her eyes nor ears – for it seems Tango can now communicate with her telepathically – she finds that a shape-shifting dog named Tiny has attached itself to her (don’t let the name fool you). Both these animals inform her that her life is about to change, because now she can see and hear dead animals in the graveyard; and Foxtrot isn’t sure she’s up to it, nor wants to be.
ZZ enjoys having “salons,” which means inviting various people, either famous or not, but all unique in one way or another, to her home for extended periods. Foxtrot knows everything she needs to about them, and part of her job is keeping the guests happy. It all seems simple enough, and fairly enjoyable – until disaster strikes, and her coworker is killed. But when Tango and Tiny (and other dead creatures) tell her that the coworker wasn’t the intended target, but someone else close to her, Foxtrot jumps into action, and not thinking about the danger to herself knows she must protect and save whomever the real target was, because the killer will surely try again. This means having to look at all the guests and other employees differently, because it is determined that the killer was someone at the house, which gives Foxtrot a very large pool to choose from. Not trusting the local police to catch the right person (understandably so), Foxtrot dives in with her usual capability and perseverance and decides to find the killer herself.
Mingling fact with fiction, Ms. Lyle spins an interesting and engrossing tale that drew me in and kept me interested. (And yes, I even googled a few things myself just to check). I found the book extremely fun to read, dark at points but not sinister, and many characters with enough depth to be believable. A very good read and recommended for anyone who enjoys paranormal in their novels. I eagerly await the next in the series.