Tireless sci-fi chronicler Anderson (Enemies & Allies, 2009, etc.) creates a day-after-tomorrow world in which a zombie sleuth prowls the mean streets as he works a half-dozen seriously weird cases.
Ever since the Big Uneasy, when a 58-year-old virgin accidentally spilled her blood on a copy of the Necronomicon and “caused a fundamental shift in the natural order of things,” vampires, werewolves, ghouls, goblins and other undead creatures have been common. One in 75 dead people rises from the grave, like zombie private eye Dan Chambeaux. One in 30 becomes a ghost, like Dan’s equally murdered girlfriend, Sheyenne. Together with Dan’s still-living partner, Robin Deyer, they juggle a dizzying caseload. Dan, Robin and Sheyenne work to protect vegan vampire Sheldon Fennerman from harassment by the Straight Edgers, who want to keep human nature human. They fight for the emancipation of Ramen Ho-Tep, a long-dead pharaoh whose museum demands he stay put in his glass exhibit case. They search for a way to keep Jackie Dorset’s late Uncle Stan from haunting her family. They press Mavis Wannovich’s suit against the publisher whose book of spells had a typo that turned her sister, Alma, into a giant sow. And they seek evidence that will allow Miranda Jekyll to break the prenup that prevents her from divorcing her wealthy husband, Harvey, CEO of Jekyll Lifestyle Products and Necroceuticals, on her own terms. Mainly, though, they try to solve Dan and Sheyenne’s own murders.
Like Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Precious Ramotswe, the sleuths really do settle most of their cases, and they provide a lot of laughs along the way. It’s hard to disagree with Dan’s verdict: “Never a dull moment.”