Monday, June 18, 2012

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire by Fred Saberhagen

Published October 2010.

Author website.

A seance held in an aristocratic London home goes horribly awry when one of the undead nosferatu appear. The resulting chaos leaves one of the fraudulent spiritualists dead, Sherlock Holmes missing, and Dr. Watson alone and mystified. With time running out, Watson has no choice but to summon the only one who might be able to help--Holmes' vampire cousin, Prince Dracula.  (

I've never read any SHERLOCK HOLMES stories before so when SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE came across my inbox for review I opened up a little bit and took it in.  The topic alone (vampires!) drew me in and it was a style I was willing to try out since I wasn't all that familiar with it.  Why not, right?  It could be something I ended up liking.

While I liked the quirkiness of the plot (kind of hard not to picture Downey Jr. and Law in the Holmes/Watson roles, respectively, since I've seen both movies, weird, I know) and it's particular kitsch and drier sense of humor the voice ultimately was not something I could get involved with.  There wasn't anything inherently bad about it.  I thought everything I read was really well-written, the humor was great, the scenes were painted wonderfully.  But the style of writing, the tone of voice, just isn't for me.

I ended up not finishing SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE because of that.  Again, it wasn't bad, what I read.  I just couldn't connect with the story's tone.  If you're into stories from that era (I'm looking at you, Austen fans, just without the romance, really, but there are vampires) I can pretty much bet you'll like something like this.  I at least liked the characters and have I mentioned the humor?  All great.

But stories in this mindset I'll be avoiding from now on.  Take this plot and set it in a more modern tongue (but you can keep the humor as is, I like the quirk) and I'd be all over it.

Ban Factor: High - Vampires and Spiritualists.  That's pretty much all you need to know.
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