Theo Petrakos is a homicide detective in Bahia Vista about to go on holiday for Christmas. However, he finds himself involved in a case of a mysterious mummified man with an odd laptop, and the
computer brings a strange group of people into his life. Jorie Mikkalah is a Guardian Force commander,
one of a group of people who travel the galaxy to defeat the Zombies, drone-like beings who kill indiscriminately. When she realizes
that Theo Petrakos has seen the alien laptop, he is taken to their spacecraft to prepare for resettlement - people from low-technology worlds aren't allowed to know about the other races in space. Theo convinces Jorie that he is needed to provide cover for them when working against the Zombies; although they speak a language which is similar to English, there are also many differences. Theo has also proved himself able to fight a Zombie. Jorie and her crew return to the planet with Theo and start working on a machine to call the Zombies so that they can be destroyed. However, when the rest of the team disappears, Jorie and Theo have to work together with minimal technology in order to try to defeat the group of Zombies, one that they realize has been modified to be more dangerous. Jorie faces frightening aspects of her past as well as the difficulty of being alone on a strange world and attracted to Theo. Theo knows that he must gather more people to help them but is afraid that Jorie will be taken away by the FBI and never seen again. How can they succeed against so many Zombies with so little time and so few weapons and soldiers?
Although this story is billed as a romance, the romantic element is subordinate to the overall plot of the fight against the zombies. In some ways, in fact, the romance feels like a very minor aspect. There's little disagreement and misunderstanding between Jorie and Theo; the main course of the romance between them is the difficulties of a cross-cultural relationship of a rather dramatic kind. The Down Home Zombie Blues is more focused on the fight against the Zombies and the different technology and skills that Jorie brings to Earth. Much is made of the different speech patterns between Jorie's Vekran and Theo's English, clearly a very similar language, and of the interest of Theo's family in his love life.
Although an interesting read, The Down Home Zombie Blues does drag at times, and there
are too many unrealistic elements to the plotting timeline. It's very much a book for those who like space stories and aliens rather than those looking for a straight romance. All the characters
are well-drawn and interesting, although we don't find out very much about many of the 'baddies,'
and the story could have benefited from tighter writing in places.