Monday, November 03, 2008

Vampyres Of Hollywood - Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott

Vampyres of Hollywood
Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott
Thomas Dunne Books

Paranormal Mystery

Sure, this premise has been done before, and often. But these two authors manage to put a fun new twist on it. Ovsanna Moore is Hollywood’s reigning “scream queen,” with several box office hits, and a few movies that went straight to DVD. She also owns the controlling interest in Anticipation Studios, one of the smaller dream factories. Ovsanna loves the irony of the fact that an actress/producer of horror movies is, in reality, a five hundred year old vampyre.

What she doesn’t love is the recent run of killings. Three A-listers murdered in under two weeks. And all of them killed in ways that would destroy a vampyre. Ps? Forget what you think you know about vampyre lore. It’s all disinformation, spread by the vampyres through popular entertainment. The point is, whoever killed the three actors – all of whom are connected to Ovsanna in some way – knows the truth about how vampyres can be destroyed.

Peter King, Beverly Hills Detective, is on the case. It hasn’t escaped his notice that all three of the victims had worked with Ovsanna or her studio. Meeting her, he doesn’t think she’s guilty. Or maybe it’s his libido talking. But her assistant has a record that includes a self-defense murder that maybe went a little too far. Still, it doesn’t explain the bizarre methods of death. Or the effects supervisor who was turned into something that looked like her own, gory work.

Clearly, Ms. Barbeau knows the inner workings of Hollywood, and really capitalizes on the behind-the-scenes people and the history. There’s a rich and delicious vein of snark that runs through this entire novel, beginning in the prologue, when the first dead actor is found with his newly-won Oscar “stuffed – Variety said “rammed” – into the orifice by whose name he was often called.” This kind of dark humor, combined with an interesting new take on the legends of Hollywood, make this fast-paced novel a real pleasure to read. I was honestly sorry to see it end, and I’m hoping for more in the near future.

Rating: 8
July 2008
ISBN# 978-0-312-36722-0 (hardcover)


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