Hair Raising, Kevin J. Anderson, Kensington

hair raising

The first three Dan Chambeaux novels appeared in rapid succession in 2012 (Death Warmed OverStakeout at the Vampire Circus, and Unnatural Acts). Now here’s the fourth book featuring the zombie private eye who’s better known by his moniker, Shamble. Ever since the Big Uneasy, humans have been getting used to sharing the world with all manner of once-mythological creatures, and Dan, being one of the walking dead (the first book in the series saw him solving his own murder), catches a lot of seriously odd cases. Like this one: someone is scalping werewolves. Is it some weirdo with a follicle fixation, or do the scalpings signal trouble between the two werewolf factions (full-time lycanthropes and those who get furry once a month)? As usual, Dan is also juggling a variety of other cases: a murdered vampire; a fellow zombie who wants his (mortal) ex-wife to give him visitation rights so he can see his son; a bodybuilder—and not the kind who lifts weights—who purchased a defective spleen from an online vendor. The Shamble stories are comedies, obviously, and very good ones, too. The characters are weird and wonderful; the environment is carefully constructed (it makes its own kind of logical sense); and there are plenty of high jinks (a werewolf expert named Walter Zevon, named, presumably, for the musician Warren Zevon, one of whose hits is highly relevant here). Fans of humorously handled urban fantasies, mysteries, and horror stories won’t stop laughing until long after they’ve finished the book.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, May 2013.

 

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