I have come to the conclusion that Christopher Moore is an acquired taste. I have gone from not especially caring about Moore's books after reading my first of his (Bloodsucking Fiends) to being grudgingly sucked in (no pun intended) and driven to continue reading just to see what happens. And maybe to catch a few laughs on the way.
This book is not a sequel to Moore's vampire books, but is instead a sort of spin-off of a minor character, Charlie Asher, introduced in Moore's second vampire book, You Suck. (Actually A Dirty Job was published before You Suck, but I read Suck first, so Dirty seems like a spin-off to me.)
The first thing I noticed when I got this book is that the cover is glow-in-the-dark! I love stuff like that. (But wouldn't it have been something if they could have managed to infuse it with a pulsating red glow!) Although really, I suppose that the "don't judge a book by its cover" adage applies to covers you like as well as covers you don't. So it was nice to find out that I enjoyed the book's content as much as I enjoyed the cover. In fact, of the 3 Moore books I have read so far, I'm pretty sure this one is my favorite. Whether this is because it's the best of the three, or if it's because I have come to appreciate Moore's writing, I can't say. I do think this book has a little more depth of feeling than the other two, while somehow still maintaining that air of general hilarity, along with more than a few eye-rolls (one example being the name of Charlie's co-"Death Merchant": Minty Fresh).
None of the one-liners stuck in my mind like the neon fart one from Bloodsucking Fiends, but this book certainly had its fair share of giggles. One of my favorite lines was when Charlie's sister Jane, after first meeting Sophie's hellhounds, said, "I'm going to go call in freaked out to work." I'll have to try that sometime. Although maybe that only works if you live in San Francisco.
To me, the biggest flaw in the book is Charlie's second-hand-store employee, Lily. I mean, I liked her a lot, but she constantly reminded me of Abby from the related vampire books. At first I thought Lily was pretty much just Abby remade (and not quite making the grade) and I wished somehow the real Abby could have fit into that slot instead, but then I found out that Abby and Lily were friends. (Was Lily mentioned in the other books? I can't remember.) Anyway, I thought Lily either needed to be Abby, or be someone entirely different.
If nothing else, I'm thankful for the reminder to experience all the glorious cheese of life.