A Taste fur Murder
by Dixie Lyle
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 330 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Cover Art: Mary Ann Lasher
Release Date: February 25, 2014ISBN-13: 978-1250031075
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, in this mystery from Dixie Lyle, 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?
As you can tell from the blurb, A Taste fur Murder is not a typical mystery cozy. It does seem to be following a trend lately in mainstream mystery and fiction to add a more fantastical element to the story. In fact, this book might almost have too much supernatural stuff in it as the reincarnated cat and the doggy ghost are hardly the only bits. It certainly does feel like Foxtrots character and the readers both get thrown in the deep end.
One of the best elements of the book is the humor, which reading the biography, the author seems to have in spades. There is a good deal of humorous interaction between the main character and her animal companions. Foxtrot’s interactions and dialogue with the other humans in the story is also good and well done, though some characters are hardly used at all so few really stand out.
Where this novel really fails though is in plotting. There are a couple of big plot holes that are fairly obvious. Also, many of the logical arguments used in the book are so daft they wouldn’t fool a ten-year-old child. This means that the main character makes some really stupid decisions that could be solved by just an ounce of common sense.
So, this book may be a mildly diverting read for the casual reader, or someone looking for something a little different with a bit of humor. However, more discerning readers may want to look elsewhere.