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The Vampire Files, Volume 1 - P.N. Elrod, Tiffany Estreicher Here's the deal: P.N. Elrod outshines every author in the genre. Why? Because the woman can tell a story, that's why. And just in case you're wondering, that's exactly why I read books in the first place - for the story - and The Vampire Files delivers.

Don't believe me? Fine. This is my take on the series to date..

You're a reporter, see? You're cool, you're in love, you're abandoned and you wake up dead. That's right, d-e-a-d dead. You wanna know why, doncha? Of course ya do! Meet Jack Fleming. He gets to try to solve his own murder... and it won't be as easy as you think.

Now if that isn't a start with a bang, I don't know what is. After all, what more could you want? Did you just say "everything"? So did I. But that's okay. Like I said, The Vampire Files delivers.

You like to read about the past? It's set in the 1930's. You like the glam and glitz of classic Hollywood? It's got night life, night clubs and night style. You like that mob kinda feel? It's set in Chicago. You want a romantic lead? Enter the tangible yet elusive Jack Fleming. You want vampires? That would be Fleming, too. You want romance? Meet his girlfriend, Bobbi. She's a singer in a club and she's hotter than Harlow and cooler than a young Hepburn. You want a mystery? Like I said, try solving your own death. Yearn for a sidekick that's far more than a mere sidekick? That would be Charles Escott, eclectic and intriguing and ever so British, the private detective ready to solve the case.

Are you with me yet? Well, you should be because this series is The Shit.

We got murder, mayhem and mystery. We got old time radio, diners, boats and stockyards. We got real rules to this familiar but fantasized world Elrod seduces us into and the rules don't change when it's convenient. We got well-fleshed characters that maintain and sharpen their identities over time throughout the series. Real plots. Real action. Real people.

Why are you reading this? Start with book one, Bloodlist. I know how hungry you really are after all the crap you've read over the years in an effort to quench your thirst for entertainment without sacrificing substance. You'll devour your way to Dark Road Rising, book twelve, in nothing flat and, like me, you'll be hoping she's working on lucky number thirteen.

See you in Escott's office. ;)