Fantasy Book Review: Death Warmed Over

Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson

Synopsis:Ever since the Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves, and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell being a detective—especially for zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux. Taking on the creepiest of cases in the Unnatural Quarter with a human lawyer for a partner and a ghost for a girlfriend, Chambeaux redefines “dead on arrival.” But just because he was murdered doesn’t mean he’d leave his clients in the lurch. Besides, zombies are so good at lurching.
Now he’s back from the dead and back in business—with a caseload that’s downright unnatural. A resurrected mummy is suing the museum that put him on display. Two witches, victims of a curse gone terribly wrong, seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And he’s got to figure out a very personal question—Who killed him?

Chambeaux, or “Shamble” as his friends like to call him, is a smart investigator with a big heart. Unfortunately, both he and his lady love are both dead. And that she’s a ghost means that they can’t even touch, so their relationship is mainly based on their past memories. While he tries to investigate both of their murders, it has to take a backseat to his client’s problems.

Unlike most urban fantasies, this PI doesn’t just follow one case. Chambeaux, together with his lawyer partner, has a handful of clients that keep them extremely busy. From a frightened vampire scared for his undead life to a rich werewolf trying to fight a prenup while divorcing her sleazy husband – Chambeaux is kept busy with stakeouts and searching for clues. Because of the abundance of character, the jumping around cases was a bit confusing at times. But several of them were great comedy relief and others dramatic and tense.

Tim Waggoner’s Matt Richter zombie PI series is the first zombie series I read (though not the only), though Waggoner has more world-building and is a darker urban fantasy series with more horror and darker comedy. Anderson’s new series is a bit more light-hearted and based here in the real world, after the “Big Uneasy” is unleashed, creating all kinds of monsters and undead. Fast-paced and full of fun characters, adventure, suspense, mystery, and humor – Death Warmed Over is the first in a promising new series. Urban fantasy fans should check out this unpredictable and complex story.

2 thoughts on “Fantasy Book Review: Death Warmed Over”

  1. Good review. It was a fun ride, wasn’t it?
    Small point, though, Shamble’s girlfriend is a ghost. You accidentally typed “zombie.”

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