Like a hardboiled, noir-ish version of A Confederacy of Dunces, Michael A. Lucas’ Devil Born Without Horns is a picaresque tale of a jobless misfit. But, where medievalist Ignatius J. Reilly is a crude, pompous, ultimately lovable buffoon, film geek James Pichaske is another matter altogether. After getting a degree in film theory, the erudite James weighs his employment options, which are grim at best. Finally opting for grunt work in order to protect his creative muse, he lands a job as a deliveryman at Nimbus, a high-end furniture store. He quickly discovers that there’s a lot more to Nimbus than sofas and chairs — a discovery that leads him down a road of crime, drugs, and disillusionment. This smartly paced and wickedly funny satire marks the debut of an exciting new voice in crime fiction.