Kirkus and Fresh Fiction review SLIMY UNDERBELLY

SLIMY UNDERBELLY

From Kirkus Reviews

Dan Chambeaux, zombie private eye (Hair Raising, 2013, etc.), once again juggles a series of cases as deftly as if he were equipped with the same tireless tentacles as his chief suspect. In the Unnatural Quarter, it’s either a feast or an orgy of malefactors. Just as Chambeaux & Deyer’s former client, frog demon Lurrm, is celebrating the opening of the Recompose Spa, his smartly refurbished zombie bathhouse, the competition between Alastair Cumulus III and Chambeaux’s client Thunder Dick over which of them will be elected head of the Weather Wizards Fraternal Order breaks into open warfare, as each wizard stoops to new lows to undermine the other. Mr. Bignome, head of a ring of garden gnomes that robs flower shops, compounds his felonies by stealing the glorious baritone voice of Stentor, the ogre opera star who’s frantic that he’ll get fired by The Phantom of the Opera. Twelve-year-old junior mad scientist Jody Caligari seizes the moment to ask Chambeaux to take on a pro bono case: overturning his eviction from the underground lab he’d rented from fearsome Ah’Chulhu, the demon sewer landlord who’s the richly tentacled half-breed son of a pair of Senior Citizen Gods. Ah’Chulhu, it turns out, has a tentacle in most every one of Chambeaux’s current cases—which may make them easier to solve but certainly doesn’t make them any less dangerous. An appended bonus story, “Stakeout at the Vampire Circus,” reminds you that the best parts of Chambeaux’s waggish adventures are often the early chapters, before the normal zaniness of the Unnatural Quarter gets clogged with criminal mischief. Anderson’s obviously found his niche. Readers who share it will be in zombie heaven, or wherever zombies would go if there were life after undeath.

from Fresh Fiction

SLIMY UNDERBELLY is Book four in Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Zombie PI series. I love this series! I always look forward to a new book in this series because it is always funny, and very entertaining. This book is no exception. Even though SLIMY UNDERBELLY is part of a series, I believe that it can be enjoyed without having read the previous books in the series. Kevin J. Anderson does a good job of establishing characters and background information. This is a great book for anyone who likes paranormal mysteries with a little goofiness and great story-telling.

As with other books in this series, there are a few side stories going on at the same time. Dan works a few different cases throughout the course of SLIMY UNDERBELLY, but a lot of them tie back to the sewers. For that obvious reason, there are some gross bits in the story but nothing that ruins the story. There are some cases that are lighter in tone than others. Some situations border on slapstick. I think it’s because of the sillier moments that the more serious ones pack such a punch. Right after some amusing antics by some paranormal characters, a crime will happen and a character you get emotionally invested in or some innocent bystander might get hurt.

In addition to the cornball jokes, a little social commentary is thrown in for good measure. In SLIMY UNDERBELLY, the villains might be bizarre, gross, or goofy, but I like that Dan humanizes them and considers what made them become a bad guy. This is illustrated beautifully by the storyline involving one of Dan’s clients — junior mad scientist Jody Caligari. He’s a cute little kid who might be too smart for his own good, and aspires to be a supervillain. Dan and company take him under their wing and try to encourage his intelligence, while trying to steer him away from a potential life of crime. For me, there are no stock characters in this series. All of them are full of life and multi-faceted.

SLIMY UNDERBELLY is another in a long line of wildly imaginative and entertaining detective stories. Dan Shamble is a zombie take on Philip Marlowe. I can’t wait for the next installment in this excellent series!

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share