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The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire (original 1994; edition 2010)

by Fred Saberhagen (Author)

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216753,956 (3.18)2
Member:seasonsoflove
Title:The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire
Authors:Fred Saberhagen (Author)
Info:Titan Books (2010), Edition: 1, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:sherlock holmes, supernatural, vampire, mystery

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Seance for a Vampire by Fred Saberhagen (1994)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This sequel to "The Holmes-Dracula File," while adept at mimicking the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was not as compelling as its predecessor. It starts off strongly enough with a quiet investigation into a pair of supposed psychics calling up the spirit of a noble's dead daughter. However, when the "dead" girl appears and Holmes is kidnapped, Watson is forced to call upon the aid of Sherlock's vampiric cousin, Count Dracula himself.

Unfortunately, the reasons necessitating Dracula's involvement are not as compelling or interesting as in the first book. While Dracula as a narrator is as charming and engaging as ever, he and Watson do not switch off evenly in their narrative duties, which, in my opinion, rather detracts from the book. Sherlock is rescued far faster than I expected and with few complications. Very little attempt is made to keep suspense and the latter half of the book feels rushed. There is a lot of recounting of events, but little visceral or emotional experience. I don't expect the style to lend itself to as much emotional language as modern books, but I do hope for a little more than a rendition of human chess. The last 5 chapters when they go to Russia chasing after the vampire perpetrator is especially bloodless.

I do think this book is worth reading once, but only once. If you can find a copy at your library, that's great, but I wouldn't suggest spending money on it. Thankfully it is not necessary to read "Seance for a Vampire" in order to understand or enjoy "The Holmes-Dracula File." ( )
  Starsister12 | Sep 14, 2013 |
I really wanted to like this because it's kind of hammy and silly and over the top with the characterisations, but as the story progresses I just found myself getting increasingly bored by the slow pace and then what felt like a sudden ending. I never really got into it sadly.

However, I did realise that because this book takes places in two series, one a Holmes series and one a Dracula series, it's a series crossover sequel of sorts and had to track down the book where Sherlock and Dracula meet for the first time.

Unfortunately, this means I already know about one of the major secrets revealed in The Holmes-Dracula File, which is taking away a certain element of surprise, but so far I seem to be enjoying it more than I did this story. ( )
  h_d | Mar 31, 2013 |
Suppose Sherlock Holmes had a case that led into dangerous supernatural territory -- so dangerous that the only possible help could come from Sherlock's cousin, Prince Dracula. I know ... it sounds a bit far-fetched but it really works!

A young woman disappears during a leisurely rowboat trip and turns up dead a day later. When spiritualists arrive to take advantage of her mother and promise that they can contact Louisa, her father goes to London to ask Sherlock Holmes for help revealing the charlatans for what they are. However, when Holmes and Watson attend the séance they must admit that something out of the norm is happening. The young woman appears out of nowhere, looking pale and having no reflection, one of the spiritualists is brutally murdered and Holmes is dragged off by a powerful malevolent force. So Watson must turn to the only one who can help -- Prince Dracula.

I had a lot of fun with this book! It was the perfect read for a summer afternoon. This is actually one of a series of Holmes books by different authors and I plan to read more of them. Usually I'm touchy about retooling of characters but I think that Holmes has been taken in so many different directions over the years that I've come to accept it. So why not see what his adventures would be like with Dr. Jekyll or martians?

http://webereading.com/2010/07/new-release-seance-for-vampire.html ( )
  klpm | Jul 23, 2010 |
It was OK, but not super. We're back to Sherlock Holmes, entirely in 1903. Much of the book is written from Watson's perspective with the remainder from Dracula's. Sometimes the shifts are too quick or often for me - jarring. All told it wasn't bad. Might deserve 3 stars, but it just didn't hold me like some of the others. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Sep 25, 2009 |
I must admit, after the somewhat-dull stories of the previous couple of Dracula books, this one is more enjoyable. It brings back the Dracula/Sherlock Holmes relationship and enhances it by assuming we all know that Dracula and Holmes are distant cousins. I don’t remember reading this in the Holmes-Dracula File, and Holmes hasn’t appeared in any of the other Dracula books Saberhagen wrote.

In any case, it was a better book than some of the previous ones were. It still doesn’t reach the height of the first book, which was eminently enjoyable.

In this book, a couple outside early 20th century London are convinced that a seance has brought back their (vampire) daughter to them. When the father askes Holmes to investigate, realizes they’re probably dealing with vampires from his previous experiences with Dracula, gets kidnapped, Watson calls on Dracula for help, they track down the evil vampire and wreak their vengeance.

Also appearing in this book is Rasputin, as a small side character. The plot was interesting, although not all was wrapped up in the end (whatever happened to Doll?).

A better read than several of its predecessors, I give this book 3.5 stars.

The Dracula Series:
* The Dracula Tape (1975)
* The Holmes-Dracula File (1978)
* An Old Friend of the Family (1979)
* Thorn (1980)
* Dominion (1982)
* From the Tree of Time (1982) (short story)
* A Matter of Taste (1990)
* A Question of Time (1992)
* Seance for a Vampire (1994)
* A Sharpness on the Neck (1996)
* Box Number Fifty (2001) (short story)
* A Coldness in the Blood (2002) ( )
  Homechicken | Dec 8, 2007 |
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"Wealthy British aristocrat Ambrose Altamont hires Sherlock Holmes to expose two suspect psychics. During the ensuing seance Altamont's deceased daughter Louisa reappears as a vampire - and Sherlock Holmes vanishes. With time running out, Watson feels he has no choice but to summon the only one who might be able to help - Holmes's vampire cousin, Prince Dracula..."--Back cover.… (more)

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