Dead To Me (Simon Canderous -1) by Anton Strout

Dead To Me (Simon Canderous #1) by Anton Strout

The Simon Canderous series by Anton Strout

Genres and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy / Noir UF

Series Description or Overview Edit

Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he's gone over to the good side. At New York's underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he's learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it's not the paperwork that has him breathless.

After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the ghost of a beautiful woman—who doesn't know she's dead—he and his mentor plan to find her killers. But Simon's not prepared for the nefarious plot that unfolds before him, involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him. ~ Goodreads | Dead To Me

Lead's Species Edit

  • Psychometrist, Para-PI

Primary Supe Edit

  • Psychic powers

What Sets it ApartEdit

  • Psychometrist in lead

Narrative Type and Narrators Edit

  • First person narrative told by Simon Canderous

Books in Series Edit

Simon Canderous series:

  1. Dead to Me (2008)
  2. Deader Still (2009)
  3. Dead Matter (2010)
  4. Dead Waters (2011)

Shorts, Anthologies and GuidesEdit

Other Series by Author Edit

Spellmason Chronicles series

World Building Edit

Fang-tastic Fiction: Anton Strout: Simon Canderous

Setting Edit

New York City


  • New York Comic Con
  • Soho
  • Manhattan
  • Lovecraft Café
  • Gibson-case Center
  • Hell Gate Bridge
  • East River

Supernatural Elements Edit

✥ Psychometrist (objects history by touch), zombies, elves, ghosts, ghost whisperers, gypsies, Chupacabra, magic user, cultists, ghost-catcher, technomancer, ghost-sucking cultists, (literal) corporate headhunter, enchanted furniture, Haunts-General, Greater and Lesser Arcana, supernaturally empowered workers, (literal) corporate headhunter,

Glossary: Edit

  • Chupacabra: legendary cryptid—attacks and drinks the blood of livestock, especially goats.


  • Psychometry: the power to touch an object and divine information about its history
  • Technomancer: :

Groups & Organizations:Edit

  • Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA): Simon has been recruited;
  • Mayor’s Office of Plausible Deniability: DEA controls the public’s knowledge of the supernatural through it
  • Other Division: Simon and Connor's Division

World Edit

Simon is a psychometrist; he has the power to touch an object and divine information about its history. In his younger years, Simon used his power for illegal gain, but now he’s gone straight. Simon has been hired by New York City’s Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA), which handles all of the city’s supernatural problems and which is entered through a bespelled door in a horror movie theater. Simon's favorite weapon is a retractable metal bat.

With its enchanted furniture, supernaturally empowered workers, constant budget problems, and endless paperwork, the DEA is a cross between Simon Green’s Nightside and Terry Gilliam’s mind-numbing bureaucracy in the movie Brazil. The DEA has many divisions (e.g., Haunts-General, Greater and Lesser Arcana), each with its own director and its own rules and regulations, and all of them require reams of paperwork for even the simplest action. The DEA controls the public’s knowledge of the supernatural through the Mayor’s Office of Plausible Deniability. (A zombie attack at a fashion show is spun as just a new style of runway walking.) Much of the humor comes from the goings on at the DEA, including the sarcastic dialogue among the staff members.

Protagonist: Edit

Simon, along with his ghost-catching partner, Connor, and his technomancer girlfriend, Jane, gets involved with a variety of bad guys, from ghost-sucking cultists to chupacabra-stealing gypsies and a (literal) corporate headhunter. And there are always plenty of zombies to mix up the action.

The series has an interesting character in Simon, the former thief who switches over to the law-abiding side of the justice system. Simon has all of the neurotic anxiety and worrisome life problems that any human would have, but his are compounded by the repercussions from his psychometric powers. Remember, unless he wears gloves, Simon gets blowback from everything he touches. The plots can get a bit monotonous, what with one indistinguishable zombie battle after another, but the story lines can be inventive, and sometimes the enemies are not zombies—always a refreshing break. If you'd like a sardonic urban fantasy hero instead of a heroine, this one's for you. ~ Fang-tastic Fiction: Anton Strout: Simon Canderous

Characters Edit

Fang-tastic Fiction: Anton Strout: Simon Canderous

Characters What About
Simon Canderous psychometrist tell objects history by touch; life of petty crime; favorite weapon is a retractable metal bat;
Connor ghost whisperer Simon's partner
Jane technomancer Simon's girlfriend
Mason Redfield
Allorah Daniels
Godfrey Candella
Dave Davidson
Mason Redfield
Thaddeus Wesker
Heavy Mike

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table or Column (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column.

Anton-Midtown-Comics-030511 thumb

Anton Strout

Author Edit

Anton Strout

Bio: When not plotting against his mortal enemy Patrick Rothfuss, Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series for Ace Books including Dead To Me, Deader Still, Dead Matter and Dead Waters. His new series with Ace Books is entitled The Spellmason Chronicles. Alchemystic is first in the series with the upcoming second book Stonecast due out on 9/24/12. ~ Goodreads | Anton Strout — for more see page

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Don Sipley

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Ace
  1. Dead to Me: Paperback, 368 pages, Pub: Feb 26th 2008—ISBN 0441015786
  2. Deader Still: Paperback, 303 pages, Pub: Feb 24th 2009—ISBN 044101691X
  3. Dead Matter: Paperback, 320 pages, Pub: Feb 23rd 2010—ISBN 0441018440
  4. Dead Waters: Paperback, 335 pages, Pub: Feb 22nd 2011—ISBN 0441020119

Book Cover Blurbs Edit

BOOK ONE BLURB—Dead to Me (2008): Welcome to the Department of Extraordinary Affairs Other Division- New York's answer to the underfunded world of paranormal investigation. It’s a job caught up in red tape, memos, and office politics, but its becoming par for the course for recent recruit Simon Canderous. After a life of petty crime and twenty four years of watching his power of psychometry—the ability to divine information solely by touching an object—destroy any chance of a real relationship, he’s joined the forces of Good hoping to gain some control. But when the mysterious ghost of a recently dead woman shows up at the Lovecraft Café, he and his mentor must figure out how she fits into a nefarious plot involving the cultists rights movement, a large wooden fish, and the forces of Darkness crushing on him. ~ Mad Scribings

BOOK TWO BLURB—Deader Still (2009): It’s hard to defeat evil on a budget. Just ask Simon Canderous. It’s been 737 days since the Department of Extraordinary Affairs’ last vampire incursion, but that streak appears to have ended when a boat full of dead lawyers is found in the Hudson River. Using the power of psychometry—the ability to divine the history of an object by touching it—agent Simon Canderous discovers that the booze cruise was crashed by something that sucked all the blood out of the litigators. Now, his workday may never end—until his life does. ~ Goodreads

✰ It's hard to catch a break when you're the woefully underfunded Department of Extraordinary Affairs's lone psychometrist. In the aftermath of a nefarious plot by some lowdown, dirty cultists, Simon's hoping New York City's paranormal scene will stay quiet for awhile...but the uncanny has an uncanny knack for ruining Simon's day. When a Hudson River booze cruise sails into port full of bodies—drained of blood, no less—Simon thinks he may soon be hearing a lot of the dreaded V word (vampires), as well as the dreaded P word (paperwork). And if things weren't hectic enough at the DEA, his girlfriend is studying technomancy a little too closely with her boss, his mentor seems to be hiding something from him, and a dangerous flame from his criminal past has blown into town and threatens to make his life a living hell unless he helps her out with one last art heist. Oubliettes, living statues, Illinois gypsies, more zombies that you can shake a retractable steel bat at... it's all just another day at the office for Simon Canderous. ~ Author's site

BOOK THREE BLURB—Dead Matter (2010): Shaking up the spirits of Manhattan The spirit populace of Manhattan doesn't appreciate its well-deserved RIP being disturbed, and Department of Extraordinary Affairs Agent Simon Canderous is sent in to do damage control. Meanwhile, his vacationing partner, Connor Christos, is in a sorry state, and he tells Simon that each night he's being haunted by visions of his long-lost brother at his window. Simon is worried that his partner may be going crazy—or worse, maybe he's not… ~ Goodreads

✰ When the paranormal raises its otherworldy head in New York City, the Department of Extraordinary Affairs executes a flawless, stick-the-landing smackdown. That’s the idea anyway, and Agent Simon Canderous can usually count on help from his mentor, Connor Christos. But Connor’s left Simon to handle a double case load as he cashes in on five years worth of saved vacation time. Simon suspects that Connor isn’t Club Medding so much as Club Deading it up—investigating the disappearance of his long lost brother. 

Simon especially needs Connor when the spirit populace of Manhattan is shaken and stirred by someone intruding on their well-deserved R.I.P. But Connor’s relentless ghost whispering has sent him off the deep end; he’s haunted every night by visions of his brother’s ghost at his window. Simon’s partner may be going crazy—or worse, maybe he’s not… ~ Author's site

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Dead Waters (2011): With Manhattan's Department of Extraordinary Affairs in disarray (forget vampires and zombies—it's the budget cuts that can kill you), Simon Canderous is still expected to stamp out any crime that adds the "para" to "normal." And his newest case is no exception...

A university professor has been found murdered in his apartment. His lungs show signs of death by drowning. But his skin and clothes? Bone dry. Now Simon has to rely on his own powers—plus a little help from his ghost-whispering partner and technomancer girlfriend- to solve a mystery that has the NYPD stumped and the D.E.A. shaken and stirred. ~ Author's site. ~ Author's site

First Sentences Edit

  1. Dead to Me (2008) — I managed to get out a quick, "Tamara wait..." before I felt the interior doorknob of my SoHo apartment jab into the small of my back.
  2. Deader Still (2009) — "Watch out for the elves, Simon," Connor Christos said, tugging at my arm.
  3. Dead Matter (2010) — When it came to working for New York City's favorite underfunded supersecret paranormal investigation agency - known as the Department of Extraordinary Affairs - high stakes decision making was par for the course.
  4. Dead Waters (2011) — I wanted to be home.

Quotes Edit

Goodreads | Quotes - Anton (Hightstown, NJ) (showing 1-1 of 1)

Perhaps when a man has special knowledge and special powers like my own, it rather encourages him to seek a complex explanation when a simpler one is at hand. ~ Simon, Dead To Me (2008)
"Hey, kids," Connor called out behind us. We turned. His face was deadpan. "Try not to die on any of the gowns, okay?"” ~ Connor Christos, Deader Still 2

~ Quotes source: Selfari

Trivia Edit

Read AlikesEdit

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Awards Edit

Read Alikes (suggestions) Edit

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Notes Edit

See Also Edit

External References Edit



World, Characters, etc:

Content References:





Community, Fan Sites:

Gallery of Book Cover Edit

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