The inventive detective series starring Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., is back for a third outing. The story’s tale of the publication of a Dan Shamble novel and a horror convention are nice touches that blur the line between reality and fiction. The “monstrous” characters — who are occasionally more human than the humans — are deftly handled with humor and pathos, while subjects as diverse as death, discrimination and assault will have readers rooting for the team at Chambeaux & Deyer Investigations.
Dan’s seemingly simple case of consumer dissatisfaction grows by leaps and bounds, distracting him from other cases. Meanwhile, Dan’s graveyard buddy Steve wants his father-son visitation rights, full-time werewolves are ready to rip apart the throats of “monthlies” and the harpy waitress at the local greasy spoon seeks justice against a wizard who left a special tip. With Robin and Sheyenne poring through case documents, Dan is out on the streets doing what he does best. (KENSINGTON, May, 288 pp., $15.00)