After several years spent traveling Europe, Alfred Rhys Smythe is back in his hometown of London in the late eighteen hundreds or early nineteen hundreds (I wasn’t able to figure out exactly when this took place). He has been hired on as a professor at King’s College and takes up residence in boarding house recommended by the dean. He’s not there long before he learns of the untimely death of the previous occupant of his room.
A young woman, Katherine Latham was thought to have died from heart failure. Strangely though, she was thought to have been spotted by one of the other boarders after she had died. Alfred doesn’t think much of it until he starts hearing of similar stories. People that have unexpectedly died are being seen by friends and family after they have been buried. Because he had a recent encounter with a count in Romania that he believed to be a vampire, Alfred begins to wonder about the rash of unexplained deaths. He decides to look into Miss Latham’s death and starts by coming up with a reason to talk to one of the inspectors involved with the case.
Alfred makes an appointment and speaks with Inspector Arthur Jenkins with Scotland Yard. After discussing various cases for a few hours, it becomes apparent to Alfred and Inspector Jenkins that there is something odd going on. Even though Alfred seems to believe the possibility more so than the inspector, they discover that they both have suspicions of vampires being involved. Using his science and biology background and the inspector’s position, Alfred is able to obtain blood and tissue samples from the autopsy files of some of the people who died suspiciously and are now being seen again. After running various tests on the samples, he discovers an anomaly they all share that leads him to believe his theories on vampires are true.
Alfred and Inspector Jenkins join forces to track down the vampires as well as the master vampire before more people are killed and turned. In doing so however, they put their own lives on the line as well as those around them. The world that they delve into is more frightening than they can imagine and Alfred discovers something that will change his life forever.
This book put me in mind of the more classic English mysteries. Normally I am not able to really get into a story of that type but this one snuck up on me. I found myself becoming attached to the characters and the plot to the point that I did not notice the writing style as much. Anymore, most vampire novels involve vampires that are far from your more traditional vamps. They can go out in the day, are not affected by holy water or garlic or they live openly among humans. This book however, is a classic vampire story. The vampires in this book are dark and are susceptible to the traditional vampire deterrents. Reading this was like watching Bela Lugosi after repeatedly watching George Hamilton in Love at First Bite. Sometimes you just need to go back to the original. The ending is a cliff hanger and will be taken up again in a second book so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.
- Paperback: 248 pages
- Publisher: Mundania Press, LLC (October 22, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594264104
- ISBN-13: 978-1594264108
Books in this trilogy in the order they should be read:
Corpses So Lively
Enter Death, Stage Right – Scheduled for release Fall 2008
The Vampire Lord Unmasked – Scheduled for release in 2009