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The Blood Books Volume 1: Blood Price, Blood…

The Blood Books Volume 1: Blood Price, Blood Trail

by Tanya Huff

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I didn't think I liked mysteries or crime/detective novels, but this may have converted me (though, then again, maybe it's the supernatural fantasy stuff I like so much). This book is actually two books -- the first in a series by Huff that follows a policewoman-turned-private-detective due to a degenerative eye condition who finds herself involved in supernatural cases after unwittingly teaming up with 400+ year-old vampire Henry Fitzroy, a historical romance novelist and the bastard son of Henry VIII. The first book follows the investigation of the conjuring of a demon. The second follows some trouble with a local (friendly) werewolf pack that is being systematically hunted down.

The writing is fast-paced and engaging and the characters are all very likeable (even the un-like-able ones) which is a sign of decent quality writing to me. After reading this I acquired (hrrm-umph) the Canadian TV series that was based on these books and found a lot of very interesting differences and similarities. I enjoyed that Henry was a romance novelist while reading this book. I thought that it added some dimension and seemed to be a pretty understandable profession for an immortal vampire to take up when he finds that he isn't really able to do things like "be outside during the day" or "associate with other people", and really it was just very cute. In the TV series they change this profession to graphic novelist which just made me kind of nauseous. I got the impression that romance novelist just wasn't masculine enough. They also very explicitly played down on Henry's very transparent bisexuality in the novels which I ALSO thought was very interesting and enjoyed very much.

I liked that the focus shifts to multiple supernatural creatures and that there seems to be a lot of different directions these stories can take. I think that this is fairly standard procedure for novels (supernatural crime solving novels seem to be a genre in and of themselves these days...) like this but I imagine for its time (1991) it was quite progressive. It has the usual trappings of poor plot development and predictable sequences of events that I would expect, but for what it is I think it is pretty decent. ( )
  vombatiformes | Dec 10, 2013 |
I picked this one up because I had enjoyed short stories set in the same world, and I was quite surprised to find that the characterizations were completely different. The huge thing that has already happened to the main character hasn't happened yet in these two books. It's like two books of reeeeeally long setup before everything happens to her later (but not in these books). Does that make sense? These are vaguely interesting as the hard-boiled detective is suddenly introduced to the supernatural world, but she isn't part of it yet.

I did lose momentum after the first story and put the compilation down for a while. I'm glad I picked it back up again because I found the second book much more interesting. Huff's world of werewolves is juuuust different enough from the standard to offer a few surprises. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
Omnibus, so two parts:

Blood Price:

It's interesting to see how oddly dated this feels - not in a "clearly set in the late 80s" kind of way, but in a "urban fantasy has developed as a genre" sort of way. I don't even know that I can pinpoint why it feels a little archaic, although certainly the vampire lore is bog-standard and the demon summoning equally so.

That is not to say that it's not worth reading - it's entertaining enough, and Henry Fitzroy's flashbacks are neat, although they make the narrative a little choppy. It's an intro to a series that is trying to do a bunch of things at once, and doesn't entirely succeed, but it succeeds well enough that I'd happily recommend it to fans of vampire fiction.

Blood Trail:

Blood Trail contains maybe the most engaging werewolves I've ever come across. They're probably more doglike than anything - friendly, cute, innocent, not particularly human but still relatable. It works very well, particularly as they're unquestionably the victims.

The actual mystery isn't all that interesting, and I don't have a ton of patience for the developing love triangle, but the werewolves make up for it. Another solid effort. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Blood Price -- Vicki Nelson, Vampire Slayer. No, wait, wrong character. Vicki Nelson, PI, former Police detective, now with retinitis pigmentosa is an interesting heroine. She's planted firmly in the side of good in this book from the beginning. After all, she was one of Toronto's finest, a detective who solved hard cases and solved a lot of them (maybe with a teeny bit of help from her partner Mike Celluci).

But then the eye thing came along and she had to retire and her life finally got interesting. When the book opens she's been a PI for a year, with no particularly special cases. Of course, there'd be no book if something didn't change that. She sorta of witnesses the killing of a young man and then gets sucked into the police investigation by the young man's friends. She meets Henry Fitzroy, and they try to solve the mystery of who killed the kid.

Since the whole reason that I read these books were because of the TV Series on Lifetime "Blood Ties" I can't help compare it to the show. I miss Vicki's wrist tattoos for some odd reason, and I miss Coreen from the show. She is in Blood Price, but in the show it was such a cool secondary character.

Truthfully I wasn't expecting this book or the other ones in the series to be good. Vampire books are such a sensitive thing to write, it can wind up totally unbelievable, or too real and with not quite enough unbelievability in it. But it kept me guessing at the mystery, and wasn't too over or under when it came to the vampire and other supernatural story lines.

Blood Trail - Werewolves, or perhaps they prefer werepeople. This is an interesting novel. It's Henry who asks for Vicki's help for a friend, who just happens to be a werewolf. She, of course, says yes (really, who could say no to Henry, even if he doesn't use his Vampire mojo) and they set off for the Ontario Country side (I think, I'll admit that I'm used to the relatively small states of the USA, not the much bigger provinces. Heck, it took me wayyy too long to realize that Vancouver was on the West Coast of Canada not the East Coast, I know, I know, really bad, what can I say, my brain is unique).

Henry and Vicki get into lots of mischief in the countryside of course, but the plot is simple enough, someone is killing off werepeople. They want it to stop.

I think that one of the reasons that Huff makes many of her mystery story lines so straightforward in this series is because by having the bare plot simple. "Find murderer, catch murderer". The rest of the story, all the werewolf and vampire and other supernatural beings story lines don't get lost or diluted, making them pop from the rest of the story. Like a yellow painting in a black room

Anyway, it was an enjoyable book and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a fun (though intense at some points) supernatural mystery read that isn't Sookie Stackhouse. ( )
1 vote DanieXJ | Apr 26, 2010 |
Blood Books (vol. 1) is an omnibus containing the first two of Tanya Huff’s “Blood” series; Blood Price and Blood Trail.

Blood Price, the first in the series, introduces us to the main characters. We have Vicki Nelson, a female detective that left the force because of failing eyesight, her ex-partner (and on-again, off-again lover) Mike Celluci and her assistant, Henry Fitzroy. We learn that Henry is actually a vampire.

The novels are similar in style to Butcher’s Dresden Files in that each deals with some supernatural “baddy.” However, other than Henry, the detectives don’t have any special powers other than those that would be possessed by any good police officer. Huff’s novels are, however, much truer to standard police procedurals being somewhat formulaic. The first third of the book sets the scene and introduces all of the possible bad guys. Tension builds through the next third until the true villain is unmasked and the remainder of the book is the capture with a final climax.

Blood Price has a college “nerd” using demons as a weapon to try to become popular and get friends and women. In Blood Trail, we meet some of Henry’s friends that happen to be werewolves. Family members are being assassinated by a religious zealot and Henry asks Vicki to track down the perpetrator. In the end, they are left to “wer justice.”

The first two books were really entertaining. I’m looking forward to volume 2 and might also look into the Blood Ties series on Lifetime which is based on Huff’s novels. ( )
  pmtracy | Sep 4, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756403871, Mass Market Paperback)

Blood Price

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans, how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world—but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeit.

Blood Trail

Second in the “scary and sexy” (Judith and Garfield Reeve-Stevens, authors of

The Chronicles of Galen Sword) Blood series.

For centuries, the werewolves of Toronto have managed to live in peace and tranquility, hidden quietly away on their London, Ontario farm. But now, someone has learned their secret—and is systematically massacring this ancient race.

The only one they can turn to is Henry Fitzroy, Toronto-based vampire and writer of bodice rippers. Forced to hide from the light of day, Henry can’t hunt the killer alone, so he turns to Vicki Nelson for help. As they race against time to stop the murderer, they begin to fear that their combined talents may not be enough to prevent him from completing his deadly plan.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

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