Will Duke, Information Systems Manager, recommends Razzmatazz by Christopher Moore.
Sammy “Two-Toes” Tiffin is back in the sequel to Christopher Moore’s sequel Noir. Now, if you haven’t read Noir, go do that right now. I’ll wait.
Okay, good book, right? Well, you’re in for more of the same in Razzmatazz. Eddie’s back trying to start a driving school with his girlfriend, while his crazy uncle is trying to save his opium den business while hiding from the Tongs long enough to get Sammy to retrieve the dragon to appease them. There’s a new top cop in town, no spoilers on what happened to the old cop in Noir, good thing you just read it, but anyway, there’s a new cop now, and he’s got an agenda. Unfortunately, that agenda isn’t to find the murderer.
Murderer? Yeah, someone’s killing Drag Kings, and Sammy’s been conscripted into finding the killer. His reward? Housing. Yeah, some things are timeless.
Anyway, the local Madam’s trying to put on a Christmas party, but that new cop is watching her too closely. She wants Sammy to help her out, too, since he did such a bang-up job with that other cop.
Of course, there’s a new dame in the mix that Sammy has been hired to find; thank goodness for rich fathers that finance everything else in this adventure. But she’s been hanging out with the Drag Kings, so The Cheese goes undercover to investigate.
Oh yeah, don’t worry, Stilton “The Cheese” is back, and in a big way. Sure, she still loves Sammy, and he’s crazy for her, but in addition to her new detective gig with Sammy, she’s got a side project building something for Scooter, Wendy-the-Welder style. If you don’t remember who Scooter is, back you go to Noir. I can’t say here, as it could be a huge spoiler! I can say that even Scooter is a hustler. He has convinced everyone that his people’s greeting rituals involve some rather intimate contact.
Don’t worry, some things don’t change. Meatloafs are eaten, New Years is still celebrated nightly, Government men are afoot, and there’s plenty of supernatural activity to entertain you.
That’s not everything, but it should give you a feel for how this all goes down in post WWII San Francisco. It’s sort of like a medley of Tom Waits music about Bugs Bunny and the gang in a Raymond Chandler novel. Moore does a fantastic job of keeping his tongue in his cheek, and not making fun of anyone, whilst making light of everything. He reserves his contempt for those who are so strait-laced they can’t see the humor of it all. And humor abounds. Moore has a delightful way with language and humor that is sweet, irreverent, and a rollicking good time.