Secondhand Souls

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Chronology: This Christopher Moore book is a sequel to A Dirty Job which I read back in the summer of 2016.

Which is kind of a problem for me, sorry. There are quite a few characters, survivors from A Dirty Job, they pretty much pick things up from where they left off, and I'm supposed to remember who everyone is, their backstories, their situations?

Worse, it's set in a Christopher Moore universe, with a lot of supernatural goings-on involving death, souls, and various deities, mostly malign. This universe took an entire book to build, and I'm supposed to remember important details about that, too?

Well, I muddled through. Christopher Moore remains a profanely hilarious writer. But it wasn't as much fun as the first book. I recommend you read them closer together than 18 months.

Charlie, the hero from the past book, died at the end. But fortunately his soul was preserved in a small monster made of animal parts and deli meat. Which is good, because he's needed to fight a resurgent Force of Evil, a reincarnated ancient god who's planning on (um, somehow) using the ghosts of San Francisco's departed to establish his rule over the Earth. (Where's Jehovah when you need him, anyway? I can't help but think He'd make short work of this upstart.)

Charlie's seven-year-old daughter, Sophie is an issue as well. The Bad Guy has designs on her, the hellhounds that protected her in the previous book are seemingly AWOL, and her cute (albeit murderous) supernatural powers may be AWOL too. (She's still pretty foulmouthed for a seven-year-old, though.)

So circumstances dictate that Charlie's soul be incarnated into a new human body. Fortunately, there's a candidate, Mike, who's one of the perpetual painters of the Golden Gate Bridge. And Mike's become enraptured with one of the ghosts who's haunting the bridge, so…

Kind of a hoot, as expected with Moore. But, as noted, kind of a slog, too. It's not him, it's me.