Slimy Underbelly, Kevin J. Anderson, Kensington

slimy underbelly

Zombie PI Dan Chambeaux—or Dan Shamble, as some prefer to call him—returns for another funny, spooky adventure. As usual, Dan is juggling a handful of complaints: a couple of weather wizards are making life a bit unpredictable; an opera singer’s voice has been kidnapped; a teenage mad scientist says he was unfairly evicted from his laboratory; and someone is causing the city’s plumbing to back up, causing a stench so bad that even Dan, whose olfactory sense is severely limited due to his walking-dead status, is offended by it. The basic premise is silly (A zombie private investigator? Seriously?), but Anderson is clearly aware of that and packs the book with in-jokes, references to horror-genre staples (the evicted mad scientist’s name is Caligari, after the classic film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), and plenty of goofy goings-on. But, still, there’s a tender side—Dan and his girlfriend, a ghost, make a very appealing couple—and Anderson builds a solid, engaging mystery whose solution is rather delightful. A thoroughly entertaining book for fans of horror, horror comedy, and mystery.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, August 2014.

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