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To Die Fur: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot    by Dixie Lyle order for
To Die Fur
by Dixie Lyle
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

To Die Fur follows A Taste Fur Murder as the second in an unsual new mystery series - not only do talking animals investigate, but one of them is a ghost. The lead is Deirdre 'Foxtrot' Lancaster, who works as executive assistant for ex-hippie billionaire Zelda 'ZZ' Zoransky, who has a passion for animal rights and a huge estate with a private rescue zoo.

Foxtrot has two pets. Whiskey is a dead Australian cattle dog who appears alive, can shapeshift into other dog forms, has an extraordinary scenting ability, and communicates telepathically with her. Tango's a very much alive tuxedo cat who also communicates telepathically and with a great deal of sarcasm.

Foxtrot is very attracted to ZZ's chef, Ben (who has Native American blood and his own supernatural side), but too many secrets are getting in the way of their relationship. And she has another (unpaid) job on the side, to protect a pet cemetery next to the Zoransky estate. It's 'the Great Crossroads' where dead pets can visit their former owners.

As To Die Fur opens, the estate accepts delivery of an extremely rare liger (offspring of a white lion and a white tiger) named Augustus. Small feline Tango's constant drooling over this handsome hunk is hilarious. But Augustus is only housed here on a temporary basis. ZZ is to decide amongst a group of house guests (including a drug lord's emissary) who each intend to convince her that their organization should take on care of the liger on a permanent basis.

When Augustus is murdered, Foxtrot and her animal associates must not only figure out whodunit but how they done it (and it's a doozy!) And the liger's ghost presents even bigger problems as gods of the afterlife are ready to go to war over him. Turns out Ben's Thunderbird talent is needed for this one so he and Foxtrot have to figure out how to work together to prevent apocalypse.

The series is witty, funny and zany and doesn't take itself seriously at all. If that's to your taste then dive right in and watch out for the third episode (there's an excerpt at the back of this one), Marked fur Murder.

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