Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Legacy - Jeanne C. Stein

Anna Strong, Vampire (Book 4)
Jeanne C. Stein


Anna Strong has been an unwilling vampire for just about six months. She’s done everything she can to hide that fact from her family and her bounty-hunting partner, David. It helps that some of the lore is wrong: she can walk around in daylight, for instance, but she can’t eat food or be seen in mirrors. But hiding her true nature is becoming increasingly difficult.

Actress, model, and all-round self-centered individual, Gloria Estrella asks Anna for her help. That’s rich, considering the way she mistreated David during their ill-advised relationship. Gloria claims that her billionaire business partner is trying to blackmail her. Of course, Gloria isn’t telling the whole truth, but Anna agrees to help her on the condition that Gloria stays away from David. When the billionaire ends up dead (a pistol, in the study) Gloria immediately comes under suspicion.

While dealing with Gloria’s drama, Anna is confronted by a threat that’s quite different. In the past, Anna managed to kill Avery, the vampire who turned her. By vampire law, his vast estate now belongs to Anna, who wants no part of it. Enter Sandra, a werewolf, who claims that she’s Avery’s widow. Anna tries to convince her that she can have the estate, but Sandra is strangely unwilling to take ‘yes’ for an answer.

Not having read the previous novels in this series, I think I’m at a bit of a disadvantage. The basic back story is laid out succinctly, and the pertinent characters introduced. But, in many series, there comes a point where the basic goal of an installment is to get the characters from Point A to Point B in their lives. I have the distinct feeling that LEGACY is that kind of bridge novel.

There are werewolves, and Anna manages to learn the basics about them through a book loaned by a friend, but they’re really shoved to the periphery in favor of the Gloria plot, and the murder mystery. This will no doubt be frustrating to readers who expect more of a paranormal flavor. Those who are looking for a mystery will be disappointed, since, in the end, there is no definitive solution. Longtime readers may enjoy this installment quite a bit more, having seen the events that led up to this point. This is probably not the best place for new readers to start.

Rating: 6 ½
September 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01626-6 (paperback)


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