by Dixie Lyle
Series: Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery #5
Publication Date: January 1, 1970
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
I’d given up on this series. Purrfectly Dead was one of those books whose publication has been slated for years, but whose release date was always being pushed back. I’d accepted it was something of a zombie. And then a few months ago, there it was, released and waiting for me.
The series itself always leaves me baffled – not least because I thoroughly enjoy it in spite of myself. I must not be alone in this feeling, as the author recognises this in the first chapter, in a clever breaking of the fourth wall combined with a series world-building summary: the MC can communication with animals telepathically, and part of her job is overseeing the pet cemetery, which serves as a crossroads for animal spirts travelling to visit their former owners (also dead).
I’ve never been a fan of talking animals so I shouldn’t enjoy this series as much as I do (and the cat calling the MC ‘toots’ grates on my nerves), but I love the idea of the crossroads, and the mysteries are usually pretty good, so it works.
I enjoyed the book, including the incredibly fast, witty dialogue, and not only laughed out loud, but had to read MT passages about the rock star with writer’s block and his efforts to overcome it (all of which involve copious amounts of recreational drugs). But there’s a theme to the plot that’s based on Native American mythology – Thunderbirds – that I’d have liked to have enjoyed more, but didn’t. There was no reference to Native Americans or their myths beyond using Thunderbirds, and the themes behind averting a supernatural war were heavy-handed. A tad preachy. However, the murder mystery was excellent with very clever plotting and possibly the best method of hiding by a villain I’ve ever read. Admittedly impossible, but so much fun anyway.
I hope the reasons for the series hiatus are behind it and there’s a 6th book in the works; the premise is a bit silly, as the author acknowledges, but it’s also so heart-warmingly wonderful and fun at the same time. So fingers crossed I can look forward to another one.