Review of STAKING THE VAMPIRE by Mike Resnick (see his website)
A FABLE OF TONIGHT
Pyr, August 2008
Private detective John Juston Mallory is settling down for a boring all-hallowed eve when his partner is attacked by her own nephew. Rupert has recently arrived from Europe...complete with fang scars on his neck. At first, it looks like Rupert is the problem, but when the nephew ends up murdered, Mallory, along with his talking feline 'pet,' a vampire scared of everything, and a frustrated mystery author who wants to see how real detecting happens and is continually disappointed when it doesn't match his fiction, set off in search of one of the most dangerous vampires in the world.
Mallory's investigation takes him through an alternate New York where Madison Square is a circle, where the tallest building is the Vampire State Building, and where the wrong turn can take the unsuspecting to a whole set of streets that don't exist on the map. Worst of all, everyone he meets suggests to Mallory that the smartest thing he can do is to fail. Because if he ever catches his vampire, the hunter is likely to become the victim.
Author Mike Resnick has a good time playing with the vampire myth and with the punny alternate New York he creates.Fans of genre fiction will snicker along with Resnick as he explains about all romance heroes being vampires (pretty much true over the past five years or so), and mystifies the author-character with a protagonist who doesn't use his fists to drive answers from unwilling badguys and doesn't bed a new woman every five pages.
I enjoyed the humor and Resnick's observations about the world of reality and of fiction. Still, although STALKING THE VAMPIRE is a short novel, it was running a little thin by the time I reached the end. But Resnick wrapped things up cleverly, even adding an excerpt of the version of the story created by the writer/sidekick.
Too generous? Too stingy. Or did I miss the whole point? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll publish the best letters I get so let me know if I can use your name.
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