Whenever you read something by Christopher Moore, you enter a whole new world. In the case of The Stupidest Angel, the world you enter is familiar, if you have read Moore's previous books. Moore is reprising many of the most popular characters from the past in this Christmas-inspired satire of life in Pine Cove, a California coastal community, filled with "holiday quaintage" and "festive doom." Lena Marquez, divorced from Dale Pearson, an unmitigated boor, first appeared in The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, and becomes the subject of the major plot here when she inadvertently "kills" Dale, who is dressed as Santa. The local constable, Theophilus Crowe, also appeared in Lust Lizard..., and Tucker Case, who comes on the scene and falls madly in lust with Lena, was the main character in Island of the Sequined Love Nun. His sunglass-clad, talking fruit bat, Roberto, also plays a role.
Lena's argument with Dale is witnessed by young Josh Barker, aged seven, who is distraught at the thought that "someone killed Santa." Soon Josh is visited by the Archangel Raziel, who appeared in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, a klutzy angel whose mission it is to go to earth and "find a child who has made a Christmas wish that can only be granted by divine intervention," and do something for him. Josh wants Santa to come back to life.
As always, Moore's off-the-wall imagination takes over, and the investigation of Dale Pearson's disappearance becomes complicated. As the holiday comes closer, Raziel starts to work his bizarre magic and bring about his Christmas "miracle." The juxtaposition of the Christmas message and the violence in town are seen in sharp, ironic relief, and the question of whether there are any heroes in this novel and whether Raziel is truly an archangel come to the fore.
A no-holds-barred, let-it-all-hang-out free-for-all which gives a whole new meaning to "the willing suspension of disbelief," this is a fast-paced narrative that will keep you in stitches. The young at heart probably will not bat an eyelash at its profanity, its vulgar hilarity, and its unexpected satiric twists and turns. Your staid and proper Aunt Martha, however, may be more than a little startled. Mary Whipple