I downloaded Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI #1) by Kevin J. Anderson narrated by Phil Gigante on Audible.
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?
For Dan Chambeaux, it’s all in a day’s work. (Still, does everybody have to call him “Shamble”?) Funny, fresh, and irresistible, this cadaverous caper puts the P.I. in R.I.P…. with a vengeance.
I’m slowly coming around to the zombie genre. It helps that I like detective stories and Chambeaux is an excellent detective, even if he is a little dead. There is a main mystery for the book and then a couple of over arcing stories for the series that get started out in the first book and partially solved. I liked that the over arcing stories actually went somewhere and didn’t drag out too much. Plus, all of the mysteries are really interesting, funny at times, and provide a way for exposition about the background to the universe that flows naturally.
While the main character stays within the general genre scheme of private eyes, except for the being dead part, the rest of the crew and side characters are full of life (even if not literally) and add humor and depth to the story. I found it interesting that Dan as a PI has a lawyer partner and together the two of them solve the problems of their clients. It is an interesting mixture of mystery solving and legal solutions to problems, that I quite enjoyed. Especially, because if zombies, vampires, and werewolves did exist the legal system would have to evolve and change as well. The author’s ability to recognize this as a problem and address it in the series made it more interesting for me. I also liked that Dan had an unusual relationship, and one that was the usual urban fantasy triangle. Additionally, the side characters that are part of the main mystery are interesting and personable characters that add rather than distract.
Phil Gigante is a decent narrator. He does voices and I could distinguish most of his characters, though some of the women characters sounded rather similar. However, his differentiation of male characters was great and he did a very good southern accent which was important as the story is set in New Orleans. Overall, Gigante’s voice acting was an excellent addition to the experience of the story and I enjoyed listening to him tell it.
Death Warmed Over is a fun Zombie PI mystery set in New Orleans that is an enjoyable urban fantasy book. I look forward to getting my hands on the other books in the series.