I couldn’t leave the Christmas season without at least one review of a Christmas book. Given that I like the genre(s) of thriller, crime, mystery, and horror; I was delighted to find this seasonally appropriate book which author Christopher Moore describes as “A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.” In The Stupidest Angel, I couldn’t find the terror because of unrestrained and continuous laughter. This novel is absurd, hilarious, and laughing-out-loud fun. The only way I can review it is by examining some of the improbable characters.
Lena Marquez: Wife of Mayor Dale Pearson for five years, ex-wife for five years but occasionally bestowing benefits on her ex-husband. She will try to steal a Christmas tree from land owned by her ex-husband. Dale, dressed in a Santa Claus suit, and coming home from a party, discovered her with a shovel in her hand. She accidentally kills Dale with the shovel (he falls on it).
Tucker Case: A freelance helicopter pilot flying DEA agents into the Big Sur region looking for pot (the drug). In town for the holidays, he was determined not to spend them alone. His fruit bat didn’t count. He had inherited the bat from a Filipino navigator while he was doing a flying contract job in Micronesia. He will discover Lena with Dale’s body and, after agreeing to help her bury the body and hide the truck, will take her to dinner (and later her home). He agrees that a bit of accidental death should not spoil the holidays.
Josh Barker: A teenage passerby who witnessed Lena’s killing of Santa, he will grieve for the loss of Christmas. He worries that his mom will catch him coming home late, so he ignores what he has seen and hurries home. He will later be mistaken by the Angel Raziel to be the Child, the Christmas miracle that was foretold. Raziel had been late for the miracle a few thousand years before and had been given this chance to make it up.
The Angel Raziel: An angel who liked Snickers bars, he was on a mission. He had to go to Earth, find a child that wished for something which required divine intervention, then he, Raziel would be given the power to grant the wish. Not all of mankind was to be saved this time; the task was only to fulfill one child’s wish.
Theo: Constable of the town, despised by everyone in “legitimate” law enforcement, ex-stoner, and last seen by Lena and Tucker (from the diner) in his Volvo with portable blue flashing lights chasing a gigantic Christmas tree down Main Street.
Molly Michon: Also known as Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland after a movie she had starred in during her youth. Wife of Theo, she was driving a Honda topped by a giant Christmas tree (the one Theo was chasing). She likes to keep up her training with the broadsword and had used it to cut down the tree (also stolen from the deceased Dale’s land).
This novel also explains the doctrine of Christmas Amnesty. If you show up with a present, all is forgiven no matter how long it has been since you were last in contact. Friendship is instantly renewed, all is forgiven. Some present!
There is Winter Denial, a distinctly California phenomenon in which Californians deny the existence of Winter. This is mirrored by the rest of the country’s California Schadenfreude in which everyone outside of California takes delight in California disasters with thoughts such as “Serves ‘em right.”
And then there are the Undead. This section of the novel works together well with all other characters. It could have been a novel by itself. This novel has weird, unique, and offbeat humor. For me, a five Amazon star read.