(Part I, Lady Crymsyn)
Author: P.N. Elrod
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Ace Trade
Vampire Files Series, Book 9
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (289 pp.), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
NOTE: The Vampire Files, Vol 4 is actually two novels, Lady Crymsyn & Cold Streets. This review is for Lady Crymsyn only.
About the book:
In the latest Vampire Files omnibus, Jack Fleming now runs his own nightclub while remaining a reluctant player in the politics of gangland Chicago in the 1930s. And wherever vampires and mobsters mix, there will be blood…
Jack uncovers the body of a good-time girl who went missing six years ago. And since her body was stashed in what is now Jack’s club, vampire or not, he won’t rest until her murderers are brought to justice…
What B is talking about:
Jack Fleming, P.I. has been excitedly working to get his new nightclub, Lady Crymsyn, ready for opening night. But when the crew he’s hired to complete construction on the basement of the property accidentally uncovers the remains of a woman who’d been buried alive, Jack thinks he’ll be lucky to open the club at all.
Set in 1930’s Chicago, Lady Crymsyn is an entertaining take on traditional murder mysteries with the inclusion of an ambitious, but kind-hearted, vampire, Jack Fleming, in the mix. Elrod’s engaging whodunit is big on twists and turns, and following Jack along as he works through layer after layer of intrigue and deceit was a pleasure.
Elrod keeps quite a few traditional vampire traits for Jack (no reflection in mirrors, must sleep through the daylight hours, and so on), but has created enough differences to set them apart from most others in the genre. One of the more interesting being that since very few humans are able to survive the turning process, most older vampires tend to shy away from making too many for their own purposes.
Though it would probably have been easy to allow the borrowed clichés of the time period to dominate the novel’s dialog, Elrod succeeds in using it as an accent, never letting it becoming excessively obvious. There are a couple of characters that use it quite readily, but, given their personalities, it suits them. The result is a feeling of authenticity, rather than the air of a bad gangster movie.
Lady Crymsyn successfully combines mystery, suspense, and romance into an inventive take on the vampire myth. With plenty strong female characters to give the story plenty of balance, there’s something here for most anyone who enjoys a good crime story. Elrod makes stepping inside her world easy, despite the Vampire Files series having a wealth of titles in it already. Though I would have welcomed a little more romance between Jack and Bobbi, his girlfriend, their relationship is solid, and their enjoyment of one another evident. Overall, Lady Crymsyn was an intriguing tale that kept me guessing until the very end.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)
Books in the Series: