REVIEW: A Tale du Mort by Katrina Monroe
Mort Oleander wasn’t always the assistant embalmer to the world’s worst funeral director. Once upon a thousand years ago, he was the G.O.D. (General Operations Director) of the dead, kicked out of the job thanks to corporate-wide strikes led by his brother, Sy. Faced with mountains of paperwork and a staff high on revolution, Sy decides he’s acted rashly. His afterlife was meant to be margaritas and getting caught in the rain, not Mort’s. Ignoring the inevitable consequences, Sy brings Under out of the dark to mingle with the living. Assisted by a trio of seamstresses living semi-retired in Florida and his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, Mort must stop Sy before the Veil dividing Under and Above is destroyed.
Dear Ms. Monroe,
Looking at the cover and reading the blurb, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book but it sounded like off-beat fun. It was equal parts crazy and humorous but I was glad I knew enough of ancient Egyptian funereal rites to keep up with the characters and background as there isn’t much explanation about them given before we’re tossed into the action.
By the end of the first chapter, I knew the writing style and plot reminded me of someone – Christopher Moore and his insane mix up of the living, the dead and a collision of their worlds. Set in Tampa – I wondered why until the very end when it became clear – and the Egyptian Underworld, life as we know it could be changed forever if a bored Sy screws things up any more than he already has. After ousting his conscientious brother and taking over, Sy has let things slip to the point where the dead are easing through the Veil between them and the living. Mort is reluctantly dragged into bringing everything back into balance by Fate – brush up on Greek death mythology – and Dahlia who looks as if she might have a future in mortuary science or as a handmaiden to Fate, I’m still not sure which.
It’s fun, chaotic, quirky and a fast read. I laughed and enjoyed myself but there are some plot holes, mish-mashed mythology and things left unexplained at the end. Oh and Tampa? – look up the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. B-