La Vida Vampire, by Nancy Haddock (Berkley, 2008)

Francesca Marinelli is one of the best ghost tour guides in St. Augustine, Florida, able to relate spooky stories about her surroundings and the spirits that haunt them like no other. Of course, in her case, she has an advantage: she’s a vampire, born two hundred years ago and only recently unearthed from her underground prison. Holding a job is just part of her acclimatization to the modern world. It could be worse, she’s just happy to be walking the streets in person, rather than experiencing events through her psychic abilities while her body lies trapped in a coffin, her fate for so many years.

Her quiet, well-adjusted life is thrown into shambles when a body turns up, the victim someone who’d just been in one of her tour groups. Next thing Francesca knows, she has rabid anti-vampire vigilantes on her tail, as well as some very suspicious cops. She’s also got vampire groupies eager for a little taste of the night life, a pack of gun-toting middle-aged housewives both helping and hindering her, and a preternatural crimes special investigator who sets Francesa’s libido on fire with a single glare. Can they find the true murderer before he strikes again, even closer to home?

La Vida Vampire’s a quirky, charming tale, with a heroine who manages to defy a great many vampire conventions. She surfs, shops at Walmart, is none too fond of the smell of blood, and rejects the image of vampires as sultry night-time creatures. She’s got a modern sensibility but retains enough dignity to be far more interesting than the chick-lit protagonist she could have devolved into easily. Nancy Haddock’s clearly found enough of a twist on the vampire mythos to let this particular take stick out. The mystery at the heart of the story is clever enough to keep things moving, without dragging things along, and it has a few surprises in store for the reader. One part paranormal romance, one part supernatural mystery, La Vida Vampire is an entertaining read, and I’ll be sure to pick up more by Nancy Haddock in the future.


La Vida Vampire, by Nancy Haddock (Berkley, 2008) — 1 Comment

  1. Dear Michael,

    I’m the author of the book La Vida Vampire. I stumbled across your review a few days ago, and what a thrill it was! I’m delighted you enjoyed the book, and I very much appreciate your compliments on my work.

    My very best wishes on your writing career, and on your review writing. Reviews take special skills I don’t seem to have, so I want to add sincere kudos on doing them so well.

    Best from the Beach,
    Nancy (K.) Haddock

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