A DEADLY TAIL by Dixie Lyle


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Scene-stealing animals are the stars of this ghostly mystery.

Deirdre "Foxtrot" Lancaster is the personal assistant to Zelda Zoransky, an eccentric millionaire with a big estate and diverse interests. Since a zombie movie is being filmed at ZZ’s place, the headless, handless corpse to which her ectoplasmic, shape-shifting dog, Whiskey, leads Foxtrot might be mistaken for a prop. Sadly, the body is all too real. Even worse, Foxtrot suspects that a resident of ZZ’s private zoo may be involved—perhaps Owduttf, a honey badger with a voracious appetite. While they’re on the way to question him, an explosion sends them back to the mansion, where they find Natalia Cardoso badly injured. Natalia was sleeping with unpopular director Maurice Rolvink, whose body may recently have lost its head. Foxtrot takes up the scent, with help from Whiskey and Tango, her telepathic cat. ZZ's estate also features a huge pet cemetery, and the unseen but often present animal specters (which range from household pets to sharks and tigers) are a big help to the detecting trio. Meanwhile, Tango’s plan to produce her own play with a nonhuman cast leads to major fights and jealous scenes burlesquing the actual film production. Foxtrot’s attempts to establish alibis for the major suspects are aided by the ever present animals, but keeping them in line and separating truth from fantasy are no easy tasks.

This fourth outing for Whiskey, Tango, and Foxtrot (Marked Fur Murder, 2015, etc.) isn’t much of a mystery, but it's a witty, zany story whose delightful animals are vastly entertaining.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-07843-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015


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