cover image Razzamatazz


Christopher Moore. Morrow, $28.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-243412-8

In this humorous romp, bestseller Moore returns to the 1947 San Francisco setting of Noir, where bartender and amateur problem-solver Sammy Tiffin is faced with several requests for assistance. Jimmy Vasco, proprietress of a lesbian bar, asks Sammy to find the killer targeting her community; Eddie Shu wants Sammy to recover a dragon statue for his Uncle Ho; and Mabel, “the preeminent nookie bookie in Fog City,” needs help smuggling her girls out of town to a Christmas party. Meanwhile, Sammy’s squeeze, Tilly Stilton, uses her considerable welding skills on a mystery project at the telepathic behest of Scooter, the “moonman” from the previous volume. And in flashbacks to 1906, a younger Ho contends with a very real and terrifying dragon. Moore, entirely in his element and with tongue firmly in cheek, has his characters speak in gumshoe-esque vernacular, while warning in an author’s note that “the language and attitudes portrayed herein regarding race, culture, and gender are contemporary to that time and, sadly, all too real.” Indeed, punctuating all the spoofy amateur sleuthing are more serious depictions of the maltreatment of the Chinese and LGBTQ communities, adding some necessary gravitas. Moore’s fans and those who like their noir with a side of slapstick and the supernatural will enjoy. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore and Company. (May)