Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Secondhand Souls

by Christopher Moore
335 pgs  (Grim Reaper series #2)

In A Dirty Job Christopher Moore introduced Charlie Asher, the owner of a second-hand store in San Francisco. Charlie was selected to be a death merchant, responsible for retrieving the souls of the newly-departed and protecting them from the forces of the underworld while they wait for a new soulless body to be born.

At the end of that book Charlie sacrifices his own life in order to save the city from the forces of darkness. Fortunately his new girlfriend Audrey is a Buddhist nun who knows the practice of p'howa and uses it to transfer his soul into a small creature she pieced together using the head of a crocodile, various parts from roadkill, and cold cuts.

Secondhand Souls begins one year later, and the city of San Francisco is once again on the cusp of being overtaken by dark forces from the underworld. The other death merchants in the city haven't been fulfilling their obligations and the souls of the dead have been piling up, especially on the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide spot in the city.

Charlie is once again needed, but before he can do anything, he needs to find a way back into a living body, preferably one of an adult male with all the right parts. He and Audrey must find someone willing to leave their own body and voluntarily give it to Charlie.

I love reading Christopher Moore's books. It's clich√© to say a book is laugh-out-loud funny, but his always are. They're also vulgar, profane, and irreverent. But they're always filled with a lot of heart and soul. His protagonists are usually flawed in some spectacular fashion, but they usually exemplify some of the best qualities possible. Secondhand Souls is no exception. It's not the right book to start with if you've never read one of his books, especially since it's a sequel, but if you're already a fan, and have read A Dirty Job, this won't disappoint.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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