This is the sort of story where one can quite honestly write, "I forgot to mention that Heaven and Hell collided some volumes back."

It also features this exchange, which I believe can be appreciated out of context, and is probably the only time in the entire series when I liked Rosiel:

Sandalphon (creepy): Once I have my own body... I will devour you! I'll devour you all!

Rosiel (deadpan): Well, I'll look forward to that, Sandalphon.

You think that lump of flesh clinging to life in that tub is my true form?! )
This was similar to but not quite as cracktastic as Aiken's A Cluster of Separate Sparks: an adult suspense/Gothic thriller featuring irritating "humorous" racial stereotyping or possibly parodies of racial stereotyping, I seriously could not tell which, that keeps the form of a thriller while subverting the tone of one at every step, and has a completely and deliberately ridiculous plot and a pro-forma romantic subplot, though possibly its pro-forma nature was also part of the joke.

Martha works at an advertising agency, a job which provides some pricelessly funny bits involving explosive self-heating soup cans and Bom the Meat'n Milk drink. The eponymous bouquet refers to the new perfume she concocts an advertising campaign for, and which somehow leads her a decaying Cornwall castle, her long-lost insane ex-husband who is now a monk, more monks, one repulsive baby, one adorable baby, a phosphorescent dead seal, a black widow spider whose bite proves that Aiken did not even attempt to research its actual effects, and some ravenous slugs which, like the wind in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, destroy the McGuffin that the entire plot revolved around.

If this is the kind of thing you like, you will certainly like this book; I have a number of Aiken's other and hopefully even more cracktastic thrillers on my Book Mooch wish list, and plan to instantly mooch them should they turn up.

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] cija!
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