Slimy Underbelly

slimy-underbelly-by-kevin-j-anderson

Slimy Underbelly is the fourth book in Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series. As shown on the cover, it stars a zombie detective named Dan Chambeaux (aka Shamble). Each book in the series is a comical detective story as Dan tries to solve cases involving a wide variety of monsters. One of the cool aspects of the series is how accessible each book is. Author Kevin J. Anderson makes sure new readers can dive into any book in the series without missing out on key plot points. And while the books are riddled with terrible puns and bad jokes, it adds to the overall humor and theme of the series.

“Dead gnomes tell no tails!” -Mr. Bignome

Like the previous books in the series, Slimy Underbelly serves up a host of new cases for Dan Shamble. In the city of monsters where he lives, there’s a political campaign going on to elect a new weather wizard. The result is unpredictable, extreme weather and a whole slew of hilarious dick jokes. You see, one of the candidates is named Richard Thudner and he goes by the name Thunder Dick. Accompanied by his annoying cat familiar Maurice, Thunder Dick is full of bad campaign slogans. “Nobody comes faster than Lightning Dick.” Did I mentioned these books are for adults?

Aside from the weathermancers, Dan has his hands full with the usual assortment of cases. For starters, he has to find out who stole the voice of an up and coming ogre opera singer. Then there’s a young mad scientist who had his lab confiscated by an underworld real-estate agent named Ah’Chulhu. Thunder Dick ends up reach out to Dan for help in finding out who has been sabotaging his campaign posters. Plus there’s a band of lawn gnomes going around shooting up the Unnatural Quarter and robbing floral shops. Add in frog demons and gator men and you’ve got quite the assortment of monsters and mythical creatures. Between the dick jokes and the lawn gnome humor, I was laughing out loud as I read this one.

For those new to the series, each book takes place in the Unnatural Quarter. Just picture New Orleans inhabited by monsters instead of normal people. As explained in the book, it’s all because of an unlikely event that caused the undead to walk the earth and monsters of all types to come out from hiding. Before being a zombie, Dan Chambeaux used to be a detective. Once he died and came back to life, he simply went back to work. Aided by friends, a ghost, a cop and lawyer, Dan manages to solve his cases without adding to many new bullet holes to his undead body. It’s an interesting setup that allows for a lot of fun stories.

In the end, Slimy Underbelly is another fun adventure with bad jokes, colorful characters and, in this case, slimy mysteries. Dan is faced with the offspring of the elder gods in a funny nod to H.P. Lovecraft, a band of gnome bandits that are quite the spitting image of your typical bank robbers, and some crazy weather wizards that take a stab at weathermen and their inability to predict the weather. The Unnatural Quarter goes through one mess after another, and it makes for an entertaining story. If you’re looking for some light-hearted, humorous reading, give Slimy Underbelly a try. I give it a four out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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