From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


  Previous post:   Iles, Greg: Sleep No More  
  Next post:   York, Lynn: The Piano Teacher  


James, Dean: Posted to Death

  Amazon  

4 stars

Dr. Simon Kirby-Jones, an American recently moved to the quaint English village of Snupperton Mumsley, is a man of many secrets. A successful author of respected histories, Simon also churns out best-selling historical romances and a popular series of mysteries, which he publishes pseudonymously. He is also gay, which, if not exactly a secret, is a piece of information he imagines would alarm the straight-laced but nonetheless dishy local vicar. Most interesting, however, is the fact that everything Simon does, from cranking out genre fiction to mooning over married clerics, he does posthumously: young Dr. Kirby-Jones, as it happens, is a vampire.

It being wise for vampires to cultivate good relations with their neighbors, Simon immerses himself upon his arrival in Snupperton Mumsley in various local civic projects. He joins the Church Restoration Fund Committee, for example, and becomes interested in the Snupperton Mumsley Amateur Dramatic Society's rancorous debate over the selection of a new play. These activities allow Simon to become acquainted with the village's more civic-minded residents--the snobbish aristocrat Lady Prunella Blitherington (nee Ragsbottom), for example, the Miss Marple-ish Jane Hardwick, the poorly coiffed and abrasive postmistress Abigail Winterton.

It is less difficult than one might suppose for Simon to blend in with the locals, as medical advances have, in his world, taken the bite out of vampirism. The pills Simon takes twice daily mean that he needn't avoid sunlight--though he is careful to wear sunglasses--or suck the blood of unwilling donors for his daily sustenance. As a newly minted vampire, Simon has in fact never had to engage in traditional vampire activities, and he finds the whole blood-sucking, burying-oneself-in-cemeteries business a bit disgusting. Indeed, apart from a few small differences, Simon is indistinguishable from humans: his hearing is inhumanly acute, he cannot ingest garlic and live to tell about it, he can get by on very little sleep. The last of these is a boon as far as literary productivity goes, and it comes in handy as well when Simon turns to late-night sleuthing after a Snupperton Mumsley-ite is murdered.

Dean James' first Simon Kirby-Jones mystery is a delightful romp of a novel, but it is a disappointment that the author has elected to effectively defang his protagonist. The book would have been much more fun if Simon had had to satisfy his vampiric appetites at least occasionally, fussily wiping the blood from his lips, perhaps, as he returns after the hunt to the drawing rooms of polite society. As it is, Simon's interests are informed less by his vampirism than by the more mundane fact of his homosexuality. Nonetheless, James' clever cozy is definitely worth a read.

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In