Charlie Asher is a normal male living in San Francisco, what he calls a beta male. He owns a secondhand store that he inherited from his father and is married to Rachel.
When Rachel dies after giving birth to his daughter Sophie, Charlie sees a site he is not supposed to see one of death's assistants. No mortal human is supposed to see this. After this people die when he is around them and he starts seeing names and dates on his notepad near his bed. These are people who will be dying soon and he will have to retrieve thier souls, he is chosen to be one of death's assitants, he calls himself a death merchant. Charlie goes through much to protect his daughter including being seduced by "birdlike"thing that nearly pokes her talons through his ear into his brain. With hounds from Hell, shadows of ravens, wacky characters like Lily, a goth high school student who is always playing hooky from school and has a truant officer on her trail, who works for Charlie, Ray another employee who searches the internet for filipino mail order brides and thinks Charlie is a serial killer because things turn up in the store from recently deceased people, his sister Jane a lesbian who wears mens suits and Mrs. Ling and Mrs. Korjev neighbors and Sophies baby sitters. Mrs Ling thinks a shiksa is a shih tzu and Mrs Korjev thinks everything is a bear.
Christopher Moore has put together a likable and at numerous time a laugh out loud funny story. As Pil Kloer from the san Diego Union says "He(Moore) is Stephen King with a whoopee cushion and a double espresso imagination