Friday, March 15, 2019

Seance for a Vampire

SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE (1994), by Fred Saberhagen, is one of the later novels in his Dracula series. In my opinion, the later books tend to be weaker than the earlier installments, but SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE ranks fairly high. It's a sequel to the second book in the series, THE HOLMES-DRACULA FILE (1978), one of the strongest, in which we learn that Vlad Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are "related" in a peculiar supernatural sense. Like that novel, SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE is narrated alternately by Dracula and Dr. Watson. It begins with a flashback, reconstructed by Dracula, about an eighteenth-century hanging. The hanged Russian pirate, Kulakov, rises as a vampire, obsessed with regaining his stolen treasure.

In the present, Holmes and Watson receive an appeal for help from Ambrose Altamont, whose daughter Louisa recently drowned. His wife has employed a brother-sister team of mediums, Abraham and Sarah Kirkaldy, who she is convinced can summon Louisa's spirit. Altamont wants Sherlock Holmes to expose the Kirkaldys as charlatans. Louisa was engaged to Martin Armstrong, an American journalist, a member of the boating party when Louisa supposedly drowned. Her body was not found, and Armstrong reveals several peculiar features of the accident. The Kiraldys have already produced an apparent materialization of Louisa, solidifying Mrs. Altamont's faith in the mediums' powers. Strangely, the "spirit" of Louisa insists that only the restoration of a lost "treasure" can bring her peace. Her parents, of course, have no idea what she's referring to.

Quickly surmising that Louisa may be a vampire, Holmes and Watson join forces with Dracula to investigate the mystery. The Count soon discovers that the Kiraldys are as baffled by the apparition as the Altamonts and Armstrong are. A Russian vampire—whom the alert reader will identify as the hanged man from the opening scene—appears to be manipulating the undead girl. Furthermore, another shadowy Russian figure lurks in the background. Meanwhile, Dracula has an erotic fling with Sarah, discreetly offstage.

This fast-paced, highly entertaining story takes its characters from England to Russia in search of the ultimate truth behind Louisa's murder and resurrection. The historical settings of both Edwardian England and early 20th-century Russia strike me as vivid and convincing. When we learn the identity of the undead pirate's Russian ally, this revelation seems inevitable, given the era and locale. Like its predecessor, THE HOLMES-DRACULA FILE, SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE works well as both a Sherlock Holmes pastiche and a vampire novel. One minor problem: After the early chapters, many passages aren't marked with the names of the narrators, so we have to infer for ourselves whether the Count or the doctor is speaking; sometimes the answer isn't immediately clear. Otherwise, highly recommended.

Margaret L. Carter

Please explore love among the vampires at Carter's Crypt.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Rod Serlng's Triple W

To begin with an admission up front: ROD SERLING'S TRIPLE W (1963) is not a vampire anthology. As indicated by the subtitle, it collects tales of "Witches, Warlocks, and Werewolves." Because this is an outstanding vintage horror anthology, however, I couldn't resist telling you about it. This was one of the first paperbacks I bought in my teens, while discovering horror and fantasy, and it introduced me to several classic stories. Copies are available on Amazon.

The two best-known classics in the anthology are Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" (witches, warlocks, and Satan) and Kipling's "The Mark of the Beast" (lycanthropy). "The Story of Sidi Nonman" retells a Middle Eastern legend of a man finding himself married to a witch who sneaks out by night to feast with ghouls. Some of the more recent works: "Hatchery of Dreams," by the great Fritz Leiber, narrates the adventure of proper Bostonian Giles Wardwell when he has to rescue his wife, whom he has just discovered to be a witch, from a modern witch-hunter. In "The Amulet," by Gordon R. Dickson, a sleazy and sometimes violent drifter wanders into the Ozark back country and falls afoul of a pair of witches. The rich but discontented protagonist of "Blind Alley," by Malcolm Jameson, which was filmed under a different title as a TWILIGHT ZONE episode, makes a demonic bargain for a time-travel journey to his youthful home in the early twentieth century, where he plans to enjoy the challenge of building a fortune all over again; of course, the fulfillment of his wish doesn't turn out the way he expects. One of my favorites, a unique and often-reprinted variation on the werewolf, Bruce Elliott's "Wolves Don't Cry," is told from the viewpoint of a zoo wolf who wakes up one morning as a man; he has to learn to be human, a process he doesn't enjoy at all.

The book does, however, contain one vampire story, although not marked as such. "And Not Quite Human," by Joe L. Hensley, is probably meant to fall into the "warlock" category. In the distant future, a race of human-like aliens attacks Earth and clears the planet of its inhabitants to prepare it for colonization. Surprisingly, forty-four Terrans survive the attack, and as the story begins, they are prisoners on the alien ship. They lurk in the shadows of their cells and refuse to eat. Members of the ship's crew suffer nightmares and hallucinations, succumbing to irrational fears supposedly long since eliminated from their species, while the prisoners inexplicably grow stronger. At the end, an old man with sharp canine teeth congratulates the captain on the success of the attack: "Nothing human could have lived through it—nothing human did. Some of us were deep underground, where they'd buried us long ago—the stakes through our hearts—they knew how to deal with us. But your fire burned the stakes away." Deliciously creepy!

This treasury of haunting tales ends with an essay on "Witch Trials and the Law," by Charles Mackay.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Southern Blood

In the late 1990s, Lawrence Schimel and Martin H. Greenberg edited a series of mostly-reprint anthologies of vampire fiction set in distinct regions of the United States: SOUTHERN BLOOD, FIELDS OF BLOOD (the Midwest and the "heartland"), STREETS OF BLOOD (New York City), BLOOD LINES (New England), BLOOD BAYOU (New Orleans), and L. A. BLOOD. Each volume showcases both classics and more recent stories by numerous distinguished authors. BLOOD LINES, for instance, includes Manly Wade Wellman's "Chastel," Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's "Investigating Jericho," H. P. Lovecraft's"The Shunned House," and Mary Wilkins-Freeman's "Luella Miller." In STREETS OF BLOOD, readers can become acquainted or reacquainted with works by Mercedes Lackey, Esther Friesner, and Suzy McKee Charnas, as well as a Saint-Germain story by Yarbro and Evelyn E. Smith's melancholy tale of doomed romance, "Softly While You're Sleeping," which isn't nearly so well known as it deserves to be.

Some highlights of SOUTHERN BLOOD (1997): "Claim-Jumpin' Woman, You Got a Stake in My Heart," by Esther Friesner, on vampires and country music, as funny as you'd expect from this author. "She Only Goes Out at Night," by William Tenn, a classic love story of a doctor's son and a strange young lady who just needs some up-to-date medical treatment to control her unfortunate condition. "Carrion Comfort," by Dan Simmons, which was expanded into his horrific novel of psychic vampirism with the same title. "The Cursed Damozel," by Manly Wade Wellman, set during the Civil War, featuring the superstition that a vampire's grave can be detected by a virgin boy on a never-mated horse. "The Carpetbagger," by Susan Shwartz, the ordeal of a New England woman transformed into a vampire during an ill-fated trip to New Orleans. "The Silver Coffin," by Robert Barbour Johnson, a vintage horror story from WEIRD TALES about a secret in a family crypt. Lawrence Schimel and Billie Sue Mosiman contribute an original piece, "The Scent of Magnolias." Other authors in the anthology include Brian Hodge, Fred Chappell, James Kisner, Delia Sherman, and Tracy A. Knight.

Strangely, these books don't seem to be listed on Amazon (unless they're so deeply buried under newer listings that the search engine can't find them). However, copies of SOUTHERN BLOOD are available on sites such as Alibris.

Margaret L. Carter

Please explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Many Bloody Returns

MANY BLOODY RETURNS (2007), edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, is one of several anthologies from these two editors that combine supernatural creatures or motifs with a particular holiday or other quirky theme, e.g., werewolves and Christmas, death and vacations, the undead or demons and home improvement. MANY BLOODY RETURNS, subtitled "Tales of Birthdays with Bite," links vampires with birthdays, or, as the editors' preface puts it, the dead and celebrations of life. In addition to Harris and Kelner themselves, the volume showcases original stories by other distinguished vampire fiction authors such as P. N. Elrod, Jim Butcher, Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Christopher Golden, Jeanne C. Stein, et al.

Some highlights: In Harris's "Dracula Night," Sookie Stackhouse gets invited to the club Fangtasia for the annual celebration of Dracula's birthday. Elrod's vampire detective Jack Fleming helps a widow victimized by an alleged medium in "Grave-Robbed." Butcher provides an installment of the Dresden Files with "It's My Birthday, Too." Huff's "Blood Wrapped" gives us an adventure of her vampire hero, Henry Fitzroy, and his human sidekick, Tony. In "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," Caine reveals the backstory of Eve, a major character in the Morganville Vampires series, whose eighteenth-birthday crisis leads her to the sanctuary of the Glass House. (This work was what lured me into reading those books.) With mordant humor, the narrator of Bill Crider's stand-alone tale "I Was a Teenage Vampire" recounts how his sister's outrageous wish to have a vampire at her birthday party results in the narrator's becoming one of the undead.

This anthology offers treats for long-time fans of its contributors and delightful introductions to authors whom some readers who might not be familiar with.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Stagestruck Vampires

If you have read THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY, by Suzy McKee Charnas, you'll love her collection of stories and essays, STAGESTRUCK VAMPIRES AND OTHER PHANTASMS (2004). If not, check out this compilation, which includes a few samples to introduce you to that novel and its vampire, Weyland. "Unicorn Tapestry," the Nebula Award-winning central section of the book, in which Weyland submits to therapy as part of his human "cover," makes a good stand-alone read. "A Musical Interlude," a shorter selection from THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY, unlike "Unicorn Tapestry" allows the reader to share Weyland's own viewpoint. "Advocates," a collaboration between Charnas and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, set in an alternate timeline in which vampires have taken over the world, introduces Weyland to Yarbro's Count Saint-Germain. Not surprisingly, they don't like each other much, although circumstances force them to work together. Charnas prefaces this story with an explanation of how she and Yarbro worked together on it.

"The Stagestruck Vampire" is a fascinating account of how Charnas adapted "Unicorn Tapestry" into a play, VAMPIRE DREAMS, and participated in its stage production at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 1990. The other nonfiction piece, "They're Right, Art Is Long," explores in detail the arduous process of transforming her first book, WALK TO THE END OF THE WORLD, from an "unreadable" first draft into an award-winning novel, which led to a four-book series. Anyone interested in a writer's creative process will enjoy these essays.

The longest, most complex, riveting non-vampire story, "Beauty and the Opera or the Phantom Beast," reveals, through Christine's first-person story, what "really happened" at the climax of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA—and it's not how the classic novel ends. To save her young suitor, Raoul, from the Phantom, Christine renounces Raoul and pledges to live with Erik as his wife for a fixed span of time, at the end of which she'll go free. Naturally, the "marriage" doesn't work out as she expects. An intense passion develops between the two, but the vowed deadline looms over them. Christine is a strong, pragmatic character whose narrative voice keeps the reader enthralled. My other favorite non-vampire story, "Boobs," gives us a first-person account of a teenage girl's awakening as a werewolf. In "Peregrines," the female narrator, a tarot card reader, encounters a magical boy and his bodyguard, who turn out to be fugitives from another world. The collection also includes two older, hard-to-find stories, "Evil Thoughts" and "Listening to Brahms."

Fans of THE VAMPIRE TAPESTRY shouldn't miss this volume, which is in print at a modest price. If you're not familiar with Charnas's work, this would provide an excellent introduction.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

Monday, October 15, 2018

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Collected Vampire Stories

Most vampire fans have probably read Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's romantic historical novel HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, which introduced the ancient, ravishing "good guy vampire" Count Saint-Germain, and possibly most or all of the many subsequent novels in the series. However, you may not have come across her vampire short-story collections, two of which are a bit harder to acquire. THE SAINT-GERMAIN CHRONICLES (1983) compiles all the stories about the character available up to that point, interspersed with letters written by Saint-Germain at various times in his long life. THE VAMPIRE STORIES OF CHELSEA QUINN YARBRO (1994), a limited edition from Transylvania Press with an introduction by Gahan Wilson, reprints some of those tales, also with a selection of letters, plus an additional Saint-Germain piece, "A Question of Patronage" (in which the Count meets the future Sir Henry Irving before the latter rose to fame as the leading actor of late Victorian England), and two non-Saint-Germain vampire stories ("Investigating Jericho" and "Salome"). Both volumes include Yarbro's essay "My Favorite Enigma: The Historical Comte de Saint-Germain," in which she gives an overview of the real man's biography and the mysteries surrounding him, then explains how she decided to turn him into a fictional vampire. The Transylvania Press collection also features a bibliography of Saint-Germain fiction, arranged chronologically in order of publication with annotations by the editor, vampire literature expert Robert Eighteen-Bisang. Another item unique to this volume is Yarbro's detailed chronology of her fictional Count's life, including many details about his travels not found in the published works.

My favorite stories: "Cabin 33," a darkly humorous piece set in the present day (as of its writing), forces Saint-Germain and the love of his life, Madelaine, to deal with a young vampire who, having watched too many horror movies, embraces all the cliches of a cruelly seductive predator's role. In "Renewal," set during World War II, reporter James Tree, a lover of Madelaine's in an earlier work, dies and rises as a vampire. With no clue about what has happened to him (Madelaine warned him of her true nature and his probable fate, but he didn't believe her), James finds his way to Madelaine's former home, where he encounters Saint-Germain and gets initiated into the undead lifestyle. I've always wished Yarbro would feature him in another novel. The two non-Saint-Germain stories are well worth reading, if you can access them. "Investigating Jericho" takes a hapless IRS agent to an isolated little town inhabited by vampires. "Salome" is a sequel to my favorite Ray Bradbury story, "Homecoming." (That one comes from a 1991 tribute anthology, THE BRADBURY CHRONICLES, which you could probably get.)

A 2007 trade paperback collection, SAINT-GERMAIN: MEMOIRS, comprises newer material—two short stories, two novelettes, and a novella. I especially like "Harpy," in which Saint-Germain meets the wife of soon-to-be-executed Socrates, a woman seldom portrayed with the sympathy shown here. This book includes an introduction by Sharon Russell and an afterword by Yarbro. MEMOIRS, fortunately, is in print and reasonably priced.

The two earlier collections, not so much. Affordable used copies of THE SAINT-GERMAIN CHRONICLES, at least, are available. THE VAMPIRE STORIES OF CHELSEA QUINN YARBRO, alas, is rare and expensive.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Progeny of the Adder

Leslie H. Whitten's PROGENY OF THE ADDER (1965) bears some obvious resemblances to the later novel THE NIGHT STALKER (discussed here last month). Whitten's novel also centers on the hunt for a serial killer who stalks a large city and turns out to be a vampire. The murders pile up, and the investigation gradually uncovers more and more anomalous features, mainly the draining of blood from the bodies. The crimes are traced to a foreigner with a shadowy, suspicious past, who has left a trail of carnage in several different countries. While THE NIGHT STALKER takes place in Las Vegas, the murders in PROGENY OF THE ADDER plague the very different environment of Washington, D.C. The two settings have in common multi-ethnic populations of tourists and temporary residents among whom a criminal can hide. Whitten's protagonist, Harry Picard, as a homicide detective on the police force, confronts the case from an insider's perspective, unlike the outsider's viewpoint of the crusading reporter in THE NIGHT STALKER. Also, by the climax of Whitten's novel, Picard has a personal stake in the case, because the killer threatens a policewoman whom the detective cares for. In a chilling detail unique to this novel, the dead women appear as emaciated as if they had been starved for weeks before their murders.

Narrated in a conventional third-person style, rather than the mock-documentary format of THE NIGHT STALKER, PROGENY OF THE ADDER develops at a more deliberate pace than the later book, although still with plenty of suspense and violent action scenes. Although the task force identifies the suspect, Sebastian Paulier, about halfway through the novel, that discovery marks only the beginning of the real quest for the murderer. They learn his address and search his home, but he has fled. They have to spend the rest of the book tracking him down, with several near-miss confrontations. The team listens to Picard's vampire theory with an open mind and readily accepts the idea that anti-vampire measures might have an effect on a homicidal maniac who believes himself to be a vampire. They conscientiously arm themselves with crosses, holy water, etc. To their astonishment, although probably not the reader's, these weapons work surprisingly well. Picard's cross-cultural research into vampire legends is recounted in detail. It does come across as a little amusing, from a post-1970s perspective, when he earnestly informs his colleagues of vampire lore factoids that, thanks to Anne Rice, the TWILIGHT series, and countless other books and movies, have now become inescapable features of popular culture.

Whitten's vintage horror story creates a sympathetic hero and a striking, scary villain in the context of a well-constructed police procedural plot. Fans of the old-fashioned, murderously bloodthirsty vampire will enjoy this novel.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Night Stalker

Most dedicated vampire fans have probably seen the vintage TV movie THE NIGHT STALKER, which was followed by a sequel, THE NIGHT STRANGLER, and spawned a short-lived series, KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER. The original movie began as a novel by Jeff Rice, working title THE KOLCHAK PAPERS. The iconic horror and SF writer Richard Matheson (author of I AM LEGEND) adapted it into a screenplay, and the novel was published as THE NIGHT STALKER (1973) after the TV broadcast of the film. The author structures the book in documentary style, inserting himself into the narrative, with a letter from Carl Kolchak to Jeff Rice and a prologue by Rice himself explaining how he became acquainted with Kolchak and compiled the facts of the case. The main text comprises Las Vegas journalist Kolchak's first-person story of the murder mystery and his involvement in it. The few third-person accounts of incidents he couldn't have witnessed are framed as Rice's reconstructions from the available reports.

For at least half of the book, the characters realistically assume that the multiple murders of young women in Las Vegas have been committed by a human serial killer. Kolchak pushes for recognition of links among the crimes as well as a connection to thefts of blood from blood banks. His editor, with whom he's constantly at odds, tries to rein him in, while the police resent his interference and only grudgingly allow him access to information. Kolchak does have some allies in law enforcement, though, including an FBI agent. One thing I like about this novel is that the police don't look stupid, as they do in much horror fiction. They're fairly efficient and, on their own terms, sensible. They do, however, reject Kolchak's theory too vehemently, in my opinion. When the reporter maintains that the killer is probably a deranged homicidal maniac who believes himself to be a vampire, the bloodless condition of the bodies makes this idea seem perfectly reasonable.

Later in the book, evidence begins to accumulate that the suspect, Janos Skorzeny (born in Romania, naturally), may in fact be supernatural or at least preternatural, rather than a very strong but quite human lunatic who looks strangely youthful for his alleged seventy years of age. The story moves along at an unrelenting pace, victims piling up as Kolchak researches vampirism and the suspect's past. The gruesome scene discovered by the police and Kolchak when they break into Skorzeny's lair constitutes one of the more horrific moments in the vampire fiction of the 1970s. The law enforcement agencies' subsequent cover-up of the truth about the killer and his destruction, foreshadowed in the prefaces, seems to spring inevitably from the incredible nature of the crimes.

The novel portrays Kolchak as the archetypal world-weary, hard-drinking, authority-defying veteran crime reporter, dedicated to unearthing the truth despite the futility of that endeavor. The murderer is neither the charismatic vampire of film and romance, a ruthless aristocrat in the Dracula mode, nor the bloodthirsty, nearly mindless animated corpse of folklore. He displays cunning and intelligence by evading capture through many decades of murders and false identities. We get no glimpses of his inner life, however; through Kolchak's eyes, we see him as purely a monster to be destroyed. The book ends with an appendix reviewing the "Jack the Ripper" case and a bibliography purporting to list Kolchak's research materials.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Repentant

If you enjoy reading about "monsters" who transform from evil to good, or in some cases at least not-so-bad, you'd like THE REPENTANT (2003), edited by Brian M. Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg. This compilation of thirteen original stories isn't exclusively a vampire anthology but, rather, ranges over all the most familiar types of humanoid monsters. It includes works by many major authors, such as Jody Lynn Nye, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, James Lowder, and Thomsen himself. The categories, with three or four stories in each, are: Werewolves and Witches (I'm not sure why they're lumped together, since the editors could surely have found enough items to fill two separate sections), The Dead (walking dead other than vampires), The Undead (vampires), and The Demonic (including one Lovecraftian entity). As indicated by the book's title, all the creatures in these tales are in the process of atoning for the "evil" of their existence.

The vampire section showcases works by several big names. Tanya Huff's "Sceleratus" narrates a flashback to an episode when vampire Henry Fitzroy clashed with the Inquisition in Italy. In P. N. Elrod's "Slaughter," good guy vampire Jack Fleming deals with one of his kind who gives the rest of them a bad name. "Intercession," by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, features her millennia-old character, Count Saint-Germain, in the seventeenth century. In editor Thomsen's contribution, "A Hollywood Tradition," a vampire regales a journalist with secrets behind the myths of the film industry.

Although there's no extensive editorial commentary, the anthology begins with a short general introduction, prefaces each category with a few introductory paragraphs, and provides a brief biography of each author. Lovers of monsters with consciences should make sure to check out this book.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Mark of the Moderately Vicious Vampire

The reader can instantly guess from the title of THE MARK OF THE MODERATELY VICIOUS VAMPIRE (1992), by Lionel Fenn, that it's a humorous novel. It hits all the notes of classic vampire fiction and film, satirizing features of Stoker's DRACULA, Universal and Hammer horror movies, and 'SALEM'S LOT. Count Lamar de la von Zaguar arrives on a dark and stormy night in the seacoast village of Assyria, Maine, with two goals: (1) To find a woman to become his immortal mate, and (2) to take over the town as a base for wider conquest by his potential undead minions. An anonymous letter summons the nominal hero, actor and Scottish baron Kent Montana (who stars in a series of other novels as well, none of which I've read), to save the community, his occasional summertime "home away from home."

Count Lamar's coffin washes ashore in the midst of an unnatural storm, not in a derelict sailing ship like the more illustrious Count, but in a purple dinghy. The vampire breaks off a fang in the rough landing, causing him to leave one puncture mark on his victims' necks rather than two. After settling in the sinister, abandoned mansion that overlooks the village, he recruits an insect-eating minion (who has trouble adjusting to his new diet), transforms the obligatory trio of voluptuous brides, and hires a greedy real estate agent to buy up all the property in town for the "Master." Bloodless corpses, mysterious fog, hints dropped by a grizzled, retired pirate (who carries a stuffed vulture on his shoulder instead of a parrot), and random bat and wolf sightings impel Kent Montana to consider the possibility of vampirism. Townspeople inundate him with cryptic remarks about the supernatural menace but remain stingy with hard facts. A local couple repeatedly implores him to kill their deceased daughter, one of the vampire's victims. To hunt down the bloodsucker, Kent joins forces with a former girlfriend, a clergyman, and a professor who travels the world, along with his beautiful assistant, using his occult expertise to destroy monsters. The minister proves to be far from a courageous holy warrior but does his best to "save the soul" of a woman at risk of being seduced by the Count. The professor shares alleged esoteric vampire-hunting lore, all of which turns out to consist of factoids familiar to everybody from horror movies. The group wanders cluelessly around the mansion, arguing about whether the coffin will be hidden in the most obvious place or the least obvious place. Naturally, in defiance of conventional wisdom, they split up. At the climax, a torch-bearing, pitchfork-waving mob storms the villain's lair. Meanwhile, Kent, confronting the vampire face-to-face, resorts to a technique from a Christopher Lee film that any fan will recognize.

Because THE MARK OF THE MODERATELY VICIOUS VAMPIRE is a parody, it doesn't invite us to identify with the characters or particularly care about their fates. It's a fun story that exists mainly to allow the alert reader to spot the vampire cliches and other stray pop culture references peppered throughout the text.

Margaret L. Carter

Explore love among the monsters at Carter's Crypt.