Working Stiff by Kevin J. Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The world of Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. is a fun world full of dad jokes and groan-worthy puns. The author doesn’t take himself too seriously and so it’s easy to have fun and roll with it rather than end up rolling your eyes at it. This collection of Dan Shamble short stories does a good job of introducing, and then having fun with, the regular cast of characters. If you like your noir/hard-boiled detective novels with a bit of camp, this is for you. Here’s what I thought of each of the stories within:
Stakeout at the Vampire Circus – I was able to figure out the case, but that doesn’t make it a bad detective story. It shows that Anderson wasn’t cheating. Also, it was a pretty fun cast of characters.
Road Kill – this one was quite a bit of fun. Looks like Mr. Anderson has a good time filling out the details of his world
Naughty and Nice – Santa hires Dan Chambeaux to discover who stole his naught/nice list. Sometimes the best way to be subversive with a detective story is to be direct. Not bad.
Locked Room – Dan and his partner are hired to test a room that’s meant to be inescapable by the undead. The solution is a little bit of a cheat, but still plausible.
The Writing on the Wall – Not too hard to figure out the main case. The fun part was trying to figure out how the two fit together.
Role Model – McGoo and Chambeaux attend a Cosplay Convetion where things go awry. I was able to partially solve it ahead of time, but there were a good number of fakeouts. Also learned that within the world of Working Stiff there are Dan Shamble stories similar to the ones I am reading.
Beware of Dog – The culprits were incredibly easy to guess, but still a BIG twist reveal at the end. Very entertaining.
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