THE STUPIDEST ANGEL: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

Christopher Moore, Author
Christopher Moore, Author . Morrow $14.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-06-059025-3
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Hilarity abounds in Moore's latest satirical gem. Sleepy Pine Cove, Calif., is abuzz with Christmas spirit, but Lena Marquez is fed up with her despicable ex-husband, Dale Pearson. On his way home from playing Santa Claus at the local lodge, Dale spies sneaky Lena uprooting his Monterey pines; he pulls a gun on her, she lashes out with a shovel and—oops!—kills him. Seven-year-old Josh Barker, thinking he's just seen the murder of Santa, prays for a miracle to save Christmas. To Lena's rescue comes Tucker Case, a slimy, reformed Casanova and DEA pilot, who gives her an alibi and sweeps her off her feet. The marijuana-cultivating town constable, Theo Crowe, suspects foul play, but Tucker intervenes with a blackmail scheme to keep the crime buried. Meanwhile, there's a new arrival in town: the glowingly blond Archangel Raziel (last seen in Lamb ) has come "dirtside" on a "miracle mission" involving Josh's wish and reviving the town's dearly departed. Pine Cove's biggest challenge surfaces as comically reanimated zombies begin to rise and feast on the living, and a huge El Niño–induced storm swirls. This little slice of perverse Christmas cheer is enough to make even the most cynical Scrooge guffaw. Agent, Nicholas Ellison. (Oct.)

Forecast: Moore's reputation for quality satire and the book's compact size should make hand-selling this as easy as pie.

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