Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly

I’m finally back to my 5 book challenge. I had to drop John Saul because his books weren’t exactly my thing. I replaced his books with Joyce Graham’s Tooth Fairy. But in the meantime, I read Hambly’s book.

It reminds me of Laurie R. King’s Monstrous Regiment of Women. Both are well written and set in the early 1900s. King uses Sherlock Holmes as a main character and Hambly refers to Bram Stoker and Dracula. Neither Bram Stoker nor Dracula appear in this book. At the heart of Hambly’s book is a moral question, much like the moral quandries in King’s books.

The plot: an ex-spy James Asher is forced to help vampires solve a murder mystery. The chief focus of the story is the development of an edgy friendship between the hero and the elegant vampire, Don Ysidro, who has hired him.

Hambly’s vampires are not as glamorous and sexy as they are in other stories. In fact, they are deadly and disgusting. Still, Ysidro manages to hide all signs of his grotesque appetite, except for an occasional warmness in his fingers.

The story is set in England, with a brief and eerie foray into Paris. The human stories and the vampire stories are interwoven and the resolution of the mystery was satisfying to me. The moral element was satisfying as well – for the character and for the situation.


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