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The Vampire Files: Volume Two by P. N. Elrod
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The Vampire Files: Volume Two

by P. N. Elrod

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vampire Files (Omnibus 4-6)

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Art in the Blood***** This is the earliest 'Vampire Files' book I've read and it's number four. Jack Fleming hasn't been a vampire that long, but he's putting his new abilities to good use (good, that is, if one is not a bad guy). His undead life is being spent in Chicago during the days of the gangsters and the Great Depression.

Jack's lover, a beautiful nightclub singer named Bobbi Smythe, is hired to sing at a party given by a well known and popular artist named Leighton Brett. Jack is her date. There he helps an abstract painter named Evan Robley when the young fool gets in trouble gambling (Evan's fault). Evan is a friend of Brett and his fiancee, Reva, as is Evan's more practical sister, Sandra Robley. Sandra is the one keeping the siblings afloat financially, producing paintings for both the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and an interior decorating firm.

The other artist in this entry is Alex Adrian. Alex was famous, but he hasn't painted since his wife, Celia, died. Celia apparently committed suicide, but the newspapers hinted that Alex killed her.

Jack and his human partner, Charles Escott, will be investigating a murder, dealing with an attempted murder, and finding out whether Celia's death was suicide or murder. There's plenty of action and the main characters are engaging. Now and then Ms. Elrod breaks the mood for me by having an educated character following modern usage that would have been an error for the period, but if you don't know that, it shouldn't bother you.

Notes:

See chapter one for Charles Escott's story about what happened to him the last time he was bored (which was in 1920).

The Lamont Cranston Fleming mentions in chapter 7 was one of the secret identities of that pulp magazine/radio superhero, The Shadow (the one who knew what evil lurks in the minds of men).

See chapter 11 for Charles Escott's opinion of Hitler. No, it's not flattering. ( )
  JalenV | Oct 5, 2015 |
Synopsis: Art in the Blood - Jack goes with Bobbi to an art show and meets a well known painter who has been a recluse since losing his wife. While this sounds innocent, it leads Jack, Charles and Bobbi into a series of murders that unmask at least one murderer.
Fire in the Blood - A wealthy man comes to Charles with a request to retrieve a family heirloom without any scandal. Jack tracks those under suspicion, and finds a young lady who, while from the wrong side of the tracks, has been wrongly accused; Jack also finds that he is as attracted to her as he has been to Bobbi.
Blood on the Water - A gang war is going on with Jack and Charles not only in the middle of if, but the focus. Paco is back, but still nuts, however, his daughter wants him anyway. Jack is suspected of being 'The Invisible Man'.

Review: Art in the Blood - although this is as well written as most of the books, the mystery is quite thin. The portion of the story that deals with vampirism was exciting and enthralling.
Fire in the Blood - this book had me screaming 'don't open that door' in several chapters. It also opened another facet of Jack's personality that makes him 'more human'.
Blood n the Water - even though this book ties up some loose ends, it opens avenues to other stories involving the Paco family and their new bookkeeper, Opal. ( )
  DrLed | May 10, 2015 |
I'm glad these three were available together. I was a little lost with the first book in here as it had been a few years since I'd read the previous collection, but it was easy to get up to speed. And the first story led well into the second, which ended on a cliffhanger. Happily, the third book began right where the second one left off, so the anticipation was immediately rewarded.

Also glad this doesn't support an all-powerful vampire mythology; the main character has flaws (some pretty drastic ones) that make it much more interesting. ( )
  Krumbs | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. N. Elrodprimary authorall editionscalculated
Estreicher, TiffanyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiore, AnnetteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.
--Sherlock Holmes, in The
Adventure of the Greek
Interpreter
by A. Conan Doyle
Dedication
A special thanks to
my friends at ORAC.
I couldn't have done it
without you.

And for Ben Beagle Elrod,
for your patience, courage,
and all the joy you so freely gave. Ten years
was too brief a time.
Sleep tight, little guy.
First words
Hungry and careless, I'd opened the vein more than necessary and the blood slipped past my mouth and dribbled down the animal's leg. (Art in the Blood)
I was in the process of tearing away the top half of Olivia Vandemore's silver-spangled evening gown when Escott abruptly opened the basement door and called my name. (Fire in the Blood)
Quotations
[Jack to a guy who thought he was tough before Jack's show of strength]
He appeared to be very sick.

'Do you know what evil lurks in the hearts of men?'

He made a sick little sound in his throat.

'Well, I do.' At that I reached up and flicked my index finger hard against the bare bulb of the room's single light. The glass shattered with a dull pop and plunged into total darkness. (Fire in the Blood, chapter 4)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This is the second Omnibus edition (Books 4-6). Please do not combine it with the second book in the series - Lifeblood.
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Book description
Omnibus edition of three Jack Fleming novels, Art in the Blood, Fire in the Blood, Blood on the Water.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441014275, Paperback)

The Vampire Files, Volume Two includes three adventures featuring Jack Fleming, Vampire P.I. in prohibition-era Chicago, walking the line between both sides of the law-as well as the line between human and inhuman.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:44 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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