A novel by Creator/ChristopherMoore, published in 2006. It deals with [[DeathTropes Death]], {{Psychopomp}}s and loss.

Meet [[UnfazedEveryman Charlie Asher]], content and loving husband and owner of a thrift store in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco. This all changes when his pregnant wife [[DeathByChildbirth dies after giving birth]] to their first and only child, Sophie. After her death Charlie finds that things are just [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore not the same]]. For starters, objects from his shop start to glow, he starts getting attacked by giant ravens and people start dropping dead all around him.

A man in a [[Literature/CoyoteBlue mint-green suit]] contacts Charlie and tells him that this is all happening because he is a Death Merchant, a sort of GrimReaper tasked with saving souls from the Forces of Darkness.

Has a sequel, entitled ''Secondhand Souls''.

!!This novel provides examples of:

* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: As the creatures of the underworld are starting to move:
-->"And there were hundreds of singular events experienced by individuals: creatures moving in the shadows, voices and screams from the sewer grates, milk souring, cats scratching owners, dogs howling, and a thousand people woke up to find that they no longer cared for the taste of chocolate."
* BadassBoast: When Charlie snatches an eggplant away from an [[NeverMessWithGranny old Chinese woman]]. She gives him a ''look'' which he interprets thusly:
-->"O White Devil, you do not want to purloin that purple fruit, for I have four thousand years of ancestors and civilization on you; my grandparents built the railroads and dug the silver mines, and my parents survived the earthquake, the fire, and a society that outlawed even being Chinese; I am mother to a dozen, grandmother to a hundred, and great-grandmother to a legion; I have birthed babies and washed the dead; I am history and suffering and wisdom; I am a Buddha and a dragon; so get your [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] hand off my eggplant before you lose it."
* CassandraTruth: Charlie tells the hospital security about the "black man in the green suit" and they give him drugs to help him cope with his grief and hallucinations.
* TheChosenMany: Death Merchant'''s'''. With an emphasis on the "s".
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Bab'd
* DeathByChildbirth: Rachel.
* DisposableWoman: Rachel gets maybe about eight lines before she kicks the bucket.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Anton]] blasting the hell out of the Morrigan with a cluster of claymore mines.
* {{Epigraph}}: [[Creator/ChristopherMoore Moore]] quotes ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' at the start of the novel.
* EnfantTerrible: Subverted with Sophie who despite being the [[spoiler: incarnation of Death]] is really quite sweet.
* {{Expy}}: Of Tom Flood from ''Literature/BloodsuckingFiends''. In the third book of the ''Literature/BloodsuckingFiends'' series, Jody lampshades the many, many similarities between Charlie Asher and Tommy Flood.
* ExtremeOmnivore: The hellhounds can eat propane tanks, and burp flames when they do. Soap makes them burp bubbles, and they like to lick insecticide. Blenders and engine blocks go down pretty easy, too.
** Taken UpToEleven in ''Secondhand Souls'', wherein they take down and nom up [[spoiler:an entire Subaru, ''and'' the kayaks and assorted other shit inside for good measure!]]
* FetishRetardant: In-universe example. Charlie once said "Who's your Daddy?" to Rachel during sex, and she responded with [[LiteralMinded "Saul]] [[DeadpanSnarker Goldstein"]]. This response made Charlie impotent for an entire week.
* FunWithAcronyms: The ScaryBlackMan in the Mint Green suit? His name is '''M'''inty '''F'''resh. He even spent most of Coyote Blue being refered to as M.F. Also, there's a website called '''U'''kranian '''G'''irls '''L'''oving '''Y'''ou.
* GagPenis: The Epilogue
--> [[spoiler:'''[[MixAndMatchCritters Squirrel person]] Charlie]]''': Wow, would you look at that.
* {{Hellhound}}: Two of them are tasked with guarding a little girl who happens to be [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Death]]. Their names are [[AerithAndBob Mohammad and Alvin]].
** Also an example of FluffyTheTerrible.
* HospitalHottie: The nurse handling Sophie has a highly visible tattoo on her calf.
* InvisibleToNormals: Any Death Merchant, but only while collecting a soul. They don't show up on security tapes either.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The first chapter is a reference to an Emily Dickinson poem.
* MadLibsCatchphrase: Bab'd has one for every time she gets hurt by something.
-->'''Bab'd''': Well [Modern invention]s suck, I can tell you that.
* MixAndMatchCritters: The Squirrel People.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore
* PhysicalGod: The Morrigan and Orcus both qualify.
* PleaseWakeUp: Averted in wherein Charlie's daughter Sophie [[spoiler: cries and tells him not to go when he leaves to fight the Morrigan but after it is finally officially revealed that she is the Luminatus (aka Big Death) simply says "Goodbye, Daddy" as Charlie passes on.]] Most. Tearjerking. Scene. Ever. [[spoiler: He got better. Kind of.]]
* {{Psychopomp}}: Charlie and Minty Fresh.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: The Morrigan.
* ScaryBlackMan: Minty Fresh.
* SickAndWrong: Charlie walks in on one of his employees and one of his former employees (the first a middle-aged retired and paranoid cop, the latter a twenty something goth girl who had worked there since her teens) shagging in the thrift store he owns. This trope is his reaction.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: The "Beta Male" theory is explained in detail by Creator/ChristopherMoore. It boils down to the observation that the [[DoggedNiceGuy nice-but-average guys]] who make up most of the population win in the end after girls get kicked to the curb one time too many by the JerkJock and cutthroat businessman.
* ShoutOut: Plenty. For one, Charlie goes to meet an old Chinese man named Three Fingered Hu. His grandaughter is named [[Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas Cindy Lou Hu]].
* WordsCanBreakMyBones: And the word "Kitty" can kill you.