Monday, May 15, 2017

Blood Price

If you like urban fantasy with romantic vampires and have never read Tanya Huff's "Blood" series, start with BLOOD PRICE (1991). This novel introduces Vicki Nelson, former Toronto police homicide detective turned PI. A degenerative eye condition forced her to resign from the police department. Her peripheral vision is deteriorating, and she's almost night-blind. In an appropriately ironic development, she ends up working on paranormal-related crimes with a vampire (of the "can't function in daylight type"), Henry Fitzroy. The bastard son of King Henry VIII, Henry is based on an actual person who died as a very young man in real-life history. He has learned to feed without killing, taking and giving pleasure with donors who don't know his true nature, and he earns good money as an author of historical romances under the name "Elizabeth Fitzroy." He and Vicki team up to investigate a "slasher" serial killer that turns out to be a blood-drinking demon summoned by a hapless wannabe magician. Vicki also works with police detective Mike Celluci, her former partner and lover, with whom she has an ambivalent friendship marked by annoyance and professional rivalry as well as lingering fondness.

In subsequent novels, Vicki, Henry, and Mike encounter other supernatural creatures, including a werewolf pack and a reanimated mummy. Throughout the five-book "Blood" series, Vicki's triangular relationship with Henry and Mike adds tension on top of the paranormal suspense plots. Vicki is a strong, likable character whose medical problem (with the frustration she suffers over her resulting limitations) and other personal issues that arise in the course of the series engage the reader's sympathy. Any lover of dashing, sensual "good guy vampire" heroes will enjoy Henry Fitzroy. The original five novels are followed by a couple of story collections, plus a spin-off series that begins with SMOKE AND SHADOWS (2004), which includes an affectionate satire of vampire TV shows no fan of FOREVER KNIGHT should miss.

The "Blood" books also spawned a pretty good two-season cable TV series, BLOOD TIES, available on Netflix.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

1 comment:

JUSTIN LEO said...

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