Razzmatazz

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Christopher Moore's latest is a sequel to his 2019 novel about post-WW2 San Francisco, Noir. It contains Moore's usual dollops of ribald comedy and supernatural hijinx. Also present are some plain old science fiction touches.

(One downside: I read Noir over two years ago. Sue me, but my aging brain didn't remember that much about the characters or plot. And this book takes off pretty much immediately after that one's finish.)

Let's see: the previous book's protagonist, bartender Sammy, is back, as is his main squeeze, Stilton ("the Cheese"). Sammy is roped into investigating a couple of murders most foul, preying on the sexually-offbeat denizens of Frisco. And the Cheese has her own secretive project in the works, driven by the friendly little fella that arrived from Roswell, New Mexico in Noir. And there are a host of other colorful characters involved in their own dramas. I didn't try to keep track of them all, but I still had a good time.

I am a sucker for loving pastiches like this (page 11):

A low ghost of cigarette smoke hung in the air over about forty tables where dames, only dames, in dresses or men's suits, were paired up, looking sad and urgent as, up on the stage, a skinny dame in white tux and tails with a painted-on mustache squeezed out a slow song about lost love in a sultry alto. The joint looked like some daffy Sapphic goddess had sprinkled an abandoned coal mine with melancholy lesbians, then taken a powder in a puff of smoke.

Or this (page 257):

She laughed. She had a nice laugh. The kind of laugh that made you want to take her to a Marx Brothers movie, buy her a Coke, and watch her shoot it out her nose.
All in all, a fine read. A little long (I assume padded out to publishing contract demands.) I'd recommend reading Noir and Razzmatazz consecutively, if that's an option.