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Bite Me

May 3, 2006

My latest obsession started innocently enough: I was scanning the racks of books on CD at the library and one with a vampire on the cover caught my eye. It was 8 discs, just under 10 hours, or one week of commute time–a good length. (I tend to look for things I can finish in less than the three-week long check out period for most items; yes, renewals are allowed but only if no else puts a request in, and I have not liked the times when I’ve been forced to either turn something in I’m not done with or keep it out and incur the fines and the disapproval of the library police.) The jacket indicated there was a mystery angle to the story–also good, from a keeping interested perspective. So I checked it out and listened to it and liked it.

I liked it so much that I decided to see what else the author had written, and thus the trouble began. It turned out that the book I’d listened to, Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris, was part of a series. I’d sort of gotten that idea while listening, based on how it referred to past events in the heroine’s life as if I might already know about them and just need reminding. I worried about whether those references would ruin the earlier books for me, but not so much that I didn’t want to read them. Since the library didn’t have any of the first three books in their collection, I turned to Amazon, and when I saw they were having a “buy 3 get the 4th free” sale, I just went ahead and bought the first four. (When Mr. Karen asked about the box of books, I told him about the good deal I’d gotten, describing it as a “buy 3 for the price of 4” sale. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize why he didn’t seem impressed.)

In short order, I zipped through Dead Until Dark and Living Dead in Dallas. Fortunately, starting with book five hadn’t spoiled these earlier ones for me. I thoroughly enjoyed them (despite a couple of what looked to me like editing errors–things that didn’t make sense in that fictional world as I understood it). There was enough humor in them to keep the sometimes awful things that happened from depressing me, and enough spice to keep things interesting. I didn’t want to use up all my new books at once, so I took a little break (like a day or two) and read something else, then zoomed through Club Dead. I meant to take another break before the last new to me book in the series, but before I knew it, there I was finishing Dead to the World, which I’d been looking forward to because of the references in book five. It did not disappoint.

So at this point I was caught up with the series (well, the series in paperback–the sixth book, Definitely Dead is just, as of yesterday, out in hardcover, and I’ve got a hold request in at the library). Fling over, right? Nope. As with Harry Potter, I found myself looking for fanfic to tide me over. I didn’t discover anything except a Buffy crossover with vamp Eric from the Dead books–telepath Sookie Stackhouse and her supporting cast of vampire, were (as in werewolf), and shifter admirers evidently don’t have the right type of fanbase to generate much fic–but I did come across a rather pink message board with a thread recommending other funny vampire romance and/or mysteries. Which I’ve now read four of.

Bitten & Smitten tells the tale of a newly made female vampire in Toronto. I found it confusing that these vamps could go out during the day–the ones Sookie knows don’t do that–but that led to more merriment for me, so why not? Then I got into the Undead series: Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, and Undead and Unappreciated so far (with holds on the next two already filed with the library). I am not in love with Betsy, the heroine of these books–she is often petty and whiny and annoying and dense and occasionally infuriating–but reading them makes me smile, and more smiles is a good thing.

And now I am out of funny vampire romance/mystery books. Whatever will I do? Well, first I’m going to read a non-supernatural romance novel for the White Noise Book Club–Fluffy Fiction Spring Edition (because the vampire novel did not win the poll). After that, maybe one of my holds at the library will be fulfilled, or maybe I’ll have gotten over my case of spring fever and be ready to read something more serious.

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