Urban Fantasy Wiki
Urban Fantasy Wiki

Death Warmed Over (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI #1) by Kevin J. Anderson

Dan Shamble, Zombie PI by Kevin J. Anderson

Genres and Sub-Genres[]

Urban Fantasy / Humor / Horror-Detective mash-up 

Series Description or Overview[]

"A dead detective, a wimpy vampire, and other interesting characters from the supernatural side of the street make DEATH WARMED OVER an unpredictable walk on the weird side. Prepare to be entertained." ~ Charlaine Harris ❖ ~ Death Warmed over, FF

Ever since The Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves, and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell being a detective—especially for zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux. Taking on the creepiest of cases in the Unnatural Quarter with a human lawyer for a partner and a ghost for a girlfriend, Chambeaux redefines “dead on arrival.” But just because he was murdered doesn’t mean he’d leave his clients in the lurch. Besides, zombies are so good at lurching.

Now he’s back from the dead and back in business—with a case load that’s downright unnatural. A resurrected mummy is suing the museum that put him on display. Two witches, victims of a curse gone terribly wrong, seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And he’s got to figure out a very personal question—Who killed him?

For Dan Chambeaux, it’s all in a day’s work. (Still, does everybody have to call him “Shamble”?) Funny, fresh, and irresistible, this cadaverous caper puts the P.I. in R.I.P….with a vengeance. ❖ ~ Book Chick City – Urban Fantasy & Romance Reviews

this is an entertaining book that shambles along with lots of noir humor, a profusion of eccentric characters, and just enough violence to make it suspenseful. This is light-hearted urban fantasy at its best. ❖ ~ Fang-tastic Fiction

Books in Series[]

Dan Shamble, Zombie PI series:

  1. Death Warmed over (2012)
  2. Unnatural Acts (2012)
  3. Hair Raising (2013)
  4. Slimy Underbelly (2014)

Shorts, Novellas, Anthologies[]

  • 1.5. Stakeout at the Vampire Circus (2013)
  • 2.5. Road Kill (2013)
  • 3.5. Naughty and Nice (2013)

World Building[]


alternate New Orleans

cockatrice Fights


Zombie P.I., vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, witches, magical tomes, goblins, ghouls, monsters, poltergeist, mummy, golems, necromancers, mummified madame, mixed-race couple (vampire–werewolf), Goblin, Goblin Tavern, necro-maniac, voodoo tattoo artists, lycanthrope, cockatrice fights, gator-guys, weather wizards, gnomes, curse, werewolf gang war, 

  • Necronomicon: Magic book—blood spilled on the pages under a full moon caused a fundamental shift in the natural order of things: unleashing a vast variety of supernatural beings.
  • Big Uneasy: dead are coming back to 'life'
  • Cockatrice: two-legged dragon with a rooster's head ~ Wikipedia
  • Ah'Chulhu: amphibious villain with tentacles


In this zombie-spoof series set in an alternate New Orleans, life has changed drastically since the Big Uneasy occurred ten years ago. Here's what happened: "The original copy of the Necronomicon had inadvertently been left out under the light of a full moon, and a virgin woman...had cut her finger...and spilled blood on the pages—which activated some buried spell and caused a fundamental shift in the natural order of things, unleashing ghosts and goblins, vampires and werewolves, zombies, ghouls, and all manner of monsters. Even the previously existing ones had come out of the closet. The Big Uneasy...the world had been dealing with the repercussions ever since." (Death Warmed Over, p. 153)

Instead of the French Quarter, natural (human) tourists in New Orleans stream into the Unnatural Quarter to get a look at the bizarre community of supernatural beings who live there. In this world, one in 75 dead people returns as a zombie, while one in 30 returns as a ghost. For unknown reasons, murder and suicide victims are more likely to return than those who die of natural or accidental causes.

After the Big Uneasy, new laws and regulations had to be put in place to handle a multitude of exigencies. For example,"New rules required quick-release latches on the insides of tombs..., so the undead can conveniently get back out. Some people were even buried with their cell phones, though I doubted they'd get good service from inside. Can you hear me now?" (Death Warmed Over, p5) New products were developed specifically for unnatural customers, including seasonings that make chicken "taste just like human," cosmetics to brighten up zombie-gray or vampire-pale skin, and deodorants to mask zombie-rot body odors.


The series hero, Dan Chambeaux, was a human private investigator in New Orleans for a long time, but now he's a newbie zombie, having been shot in the head in a dark alley just a month ago. As the series opens, his own murder is at the top of his case list, closely followed by that of his girlfriend, Sheyenne, who returned from her death (by toadstool poisoning) as a ghost—specifically, a poltergeist. Poltergeists can touch physical objects, but not people, so Sheyenne can hold down her job as Dan's assistant, but she can't touch Dan, which has put a serious damper on their love life. Dan laments that "Sheyenne is beautiful, blond, and intangible." ("Stakeout at the Zombie Circus")

Dan has always been self confidant in a naively arrogant sort of way, and death and zombification haven't changed that aspect of his personality: "Even undead, I remain as handsome as ever, with the exception of the [two] holes left by the bullet....Fortunately, a low-slouched fedora covers the big hole." (Death Warmed Over, p. 3) Dan has never acquired a taste for brains, and he's very careful about his personal hygiene, which can be a major problem for most zombies. Since Dan became a zombie, people have begun calling him "Shamble" instead of "Chambeaux." In fact, his business—Chambeaux & Deyer Investigations—has been nicknamed "Shamble & Die." Dan's partner is Robin Deyer, a young, soft-hearted, human attorney who is determined to provide justice to all unnaturals. Both of the partners are workaholics, with Dan's long-time mantra being "The cases don't solve themselves."

Dan's BHF (Best Human Friend) is Officer Toby McGoohan, the beat cop for the Unnatural Quarter. McGoohan's defining characteristic is his constant telling of really bad, non-PC jokes about unnaturals. For example, "What goes 'Ha-ha-ha...plop?'...A shambler laughing his head off." (p. 30) ~ Fang-tastic


Characters What About
Dan Chambeaux newbie zombie private investigator his own murder is at the top of his case list
Sheyenne ghost, girlfriend poltergeist;
Robin Deyer Partner, human attorney soft-hearted, determined to provide justice to all unnaturals
Officer Toby McGoohan Dan's BHF beat cop for the Unnatural Quarter

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.


Kevin J. Anderson

  • Website:
  • Genres:
  • Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

Bio: He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in collaboration with Tom Veitch, Predator titles (also for Dark Horse), and X-Files titles for Topps. Anderson serves as a judge in the Writers of the Future contest. His wife is author Rebecca Moesta. They currently reside near Monument, Colorado. ~ Goodreads | Kevin J. Anderson (Author of Jedi Search)

Cover Artist[]

Artist: Mark Fredrickson — Source: Publication Listing - Death Warmed Over ~ isfdb

Publishing Information[]

  • Publisher: Kensington
  • Author Page:
  • Bk-1:

Book Cover Blurbs[]

BOOK ONE—Death Warmed over (2012): Death Warmed Over is a laugh-out-loud horror novel about a zombie private investigator and a bleeding-heart human lawyer tackling an unnatural caseload. Ever since the Big Uneasy, the dead are coming back to 'life' and have a bone to pick with the living—a skittish vampire who believes he's being stalked by straight edge predators armed with stakes; a mummy fighting the museum that has encased him for thousands of years for wrongful imprisonment; two witches suing a publisher because of a typo in a spell-book that caused a spell to go horribly wrong. All the while trying to figure out who murdered zombie P.I. Dan Chambeaux and his former lounge-singer-turned-ghost girlfriend. ❖ ~ Death Warmed over (Dan Shamble, Zombie PI, book 1) by Kevin J Anderson

BOOK TWO—Unnatural Acts (2012): To Be Dead Or Not To Be Dead. In the Unnatural Quarter, golems slave away in sweatshops, necromancers sell black-market trinkets to tourists, and the dead rise up—to work the night shift. But zombie detective Dan Shamble is no ordinary working stiff. When a local senator and his goons picket a ghostly production of Shakespeare in the Dark—condemning the troupe’s “unnatural” lifestyles—Dan smells something rotten. And if something smells rotten to a zombie, you’re in serious trouble…

Before his way of life, er, death, is destroyed, Dan wants answers. Along the way he needs to provide security for a mummified madame, defend a mixed-race couple (he’s a vampire, she’s a werewolf) from housing discrimination, and save his favorite watering hole, the Goblin Tavern, from drying up. Throw in a hairy hitman, a necro-maniac, and a bank robber who walks through walls, and Dan Shamble’s plate is full. Maybe this time, the zombie detective has bitten off more than he can chew… ❖ ~ Goodreads | Unnatural Acts

BOOK THREE—Hair Raising (2013): The fur really flies when a serial scalper stalks the supernatural citizens of the Unnatural Quarter, targeting werewolves—and what’s sadder than a chrome-domed lycanthrope? Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble is on the case, trying to stop an all-out gang war between full-time and full-moon werewolves. As he combs through the tangled clues to hunt down the bald facts, things get hairy fast.

Shamble lurches through a loony landscape of voodoo tattoo artists, illicit cockatrice fights, body builders assembling make-your-own-human kits, and perhaps scariest of all, crazed fans in town for the Worldwide Horror Convention. Yet the reign of hair-raising terror grows longer. If Shamble can't snip this off at the roots, the whole world could end up howling mad. ❖ ~ Goodreads | Hair Raising

BOOK FOUR—FLUSHING OUT EVIL (2014): There's something fishy going on in the Unnatural Quarter. Bodies are floating face-down, the plumbing is backing up, and something smells rotten, even to a zombie detective like Dan Shamble. Diving into the slimy underbelly of a diabolical plot, Dan comes face-to-tentacles with an amphibious villain named Ah'Chulhu (to which the usual response is "Gesundheit!"). With his snap-happy gang of gator-guys, former pets flushed down the toilet, Ah'Chulhu wreaks havoc beneath the streets. While feuding weather wizards kick up storms and a gang of thieving lawn gnomes continues their reign of terror, Dan Shamble is running out of time before the whole stinking city goes down the drain. ~ Goodreads | Slimy Underbelly

First Sentences[]


Read Alikes (suggestions)[]


Trivia & Notes[]

See Also[]

External References[]


Cover Reveal: 

Kevin's Bibliography:

Summaries, Articles:

The World, Characters, etc:





Community, Blogs, etc:


Gallery of Book Covers[]