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    Review of MIDNIGHT HARVEST by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (see her website)

    Aspect/Warner Books, September 2003

    Four thousand year-old vampire Ferenc Ragoczy, Count of Saint-Germaine flees Spain at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Despite his largely successful attempts to mislead those researching him, the Spanish send an assassin after him, tracking him across multiple countries into the United States. Saint-Germaine ends up in San Francisco where a longtime lover welcomes him and near where his investments in California winelands are finally beginning to pay off. Although depression-era United States is not torn by civil war as is Spain, right-wing hate groups threaten Saint-Germaine's Italian partner in the wine business. Somehow, Saint-Germaine must protect both himself and his friends from both assassins and American facists.

    Author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro does a fine job conveying a sexy and sophisticated vampire who uses love rather than violence ot gain willing providers to his blood-need. Saint-Germaine's wealth and generosity make him both sexy and a good friend. His four thousand years of life give him a broad range of experiences to draw upon. Together with his vampire ability to stave off the true-death, he is a formidable opponent to the Spanish and American facists.

    For the most part, Yarbro's research rings true--from the cars to the movies to the political climate of depression-era America. A few errors stand out--discussions of Molotov Cocktails before this term came into use, description of the load of a shotgun as 'grapeshot' which actually consists of grape-sized balls fired from a cannon, but these can be largely overlooked. More seriously, however, Yarbro choses to slow down the action in her story with long conversations where a few points are discussed ad nauseum. MIDNIGHT HARVEST is interesting. This Spanish Civil War/American Depression historical context, the four-thousand year-old vampire with his two-thousand year-old servant, and the assassination plot are all fascinating. Unfortunately, Yarbro's heavyhanded dialogue and extensive repetition detract from the pleasure.

    See more reviews of novels by Chelsea Quin Yarbro.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 10/25/03

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