I have made it a mission to check out all accessible UF novels as I am attracted to novels featuring kickass female protagonists. Who are flawed but have qualities that make me root for them and their happiness despite their flaws. Protagonists such as Rachel Morgan and Cassandra Palmer. Though Lafferty has quite an impressive backlist, I haven’t read anything by her so I went into The Shambling Guide intrigued but not expecting anything. I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing is smart, crisp and to the point.Urban Fantasy is a genre in which lyrical prose really doesn’t work. It is fueled more by the plot unfurling than by character development. Lafferty delivers perfectly on that count. We meet Zoe as she searches around a seemingly decrepit bookstore. There she sees a job ad for an editor in chief. A position she has just lost due to her affair with her boss without realizing he was married. I am a bit skeptical about that. How does a man hide his wife? Especially when she’s the chief of the police in the area? Wouldn’t she drop by the office? Wouldn’t other people know? Do men really hide their wives like that?Anyway, I’m getting distracted. As I said, flawed protagonist. And while I don’t condone adultery and cheating at all, I will take Zoe’s flimsy excuse that she didn’t know he was married. The novel is jam packed with action. Things are happening at full speed and there is just the right amount of tension and danger. There’s even a slightly yoda-ish lady and a crazy surprise at the end that I liked. There is a little romance and Lafferty does awesomely well in making the romance a side plot. I hate books that promise to be UF and end up as romance novels disguised as UF.What I especially liked about this novel is that while the setting and characters are fantastic, they’re realistically fantastic. There are overweight vampires, zombies who bring brains for lunch, incubi who are creeps and change appearances according to their targets and hunger level (that was quite fascinating). All the supernatural creatures mentioned are fascinating and unique and have something to themselves other than the stereotype popular culture has foisted on them.. Zoe is a very likable protagonist and she completely won me over. I look forward to following her on more adventures as she writes/edits traveling guides to other cities. Strongly recommended.