Title: Seven Drops of Blood Author: Robert Weinberg In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley) Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!) My Bookshelves:Cops, Crime Dates read: 12th January 2020 Pace: Slow Format: Short story Publisher: Robinson Year: 1992 5th sentence, 74th page: According to ancient Hebrew tradition, Ashmedai reigned as king of demons.
He’s the resident psychic detective. His latest job? To track down the Holy Grail. What he discovers is nothing like what was expected.
This short story had a very noir detective feel to it. And, since it’s in a collection of Dark Magic short stories, I spent a very high proportion of it wondering where the dark magic actually was. That was kind of frustrating. Even once I found the “magical” aspect, it wasn’t anywhere near as intense as I was expecting and I kind of felt a little perplexed at its place in this anthology. But, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable story.
What I did love about this short story was that it featured the Holy Grail. It’s such an interesting topic, and one that I want more of in my reading. Actually, I think that I just want more of this noir detective feel in my reading in general.
This was a light, easy read. Not as dark and twisted as most of the other stories in this collection, and one that I seriously enjoyed reading. I was actually really disappointed when it was all over…
Claire is in an uncomfortable marriage, but a two week training trip away with her partner (who she has a bit of a crush on) might help her find a way out of it. Even if it’s not quite the way she had planned to escape a loveless life.
From fairly in this story it seemed to be a tale about vampires. After all, the first, very naked perp that Claire and Jackson bring down is a woman with filed down teeth. What I didn’t expect was Holder’s unique take on a modern vampire and who the actual serial killing crazy person was going to be. That took me nicely and pleasantly by surprise.
Most urban fantasy stories which involve a cop tend to either
have a completely platonic relationship or one full of romance. This was
somewhere in between, it was obvious from the beginning that there was an extra
level of feeling between Claire and Jackson, but then there’s a mention of her
husband. This little spanner isn’t one that I normally come across. Most of the
paranormal and urban fantasy stories I read involve the act of falling in love,
but not what happens when that falls apart. I liked this change in relationship
status, I wouldn’t want to read a huge amount of stories which deviate this
far, but every now and again they’re fun.
I enjoy the idea of a vampire serial killer. Don’t get me
wrong, it would be ten times more terrifying than a human one, but it gives a
good reason to hunt down the culprit. That whole us versus them doesn’t sit
overly well with me, so having a reason to hunt down a vampire and study
him… it just added that extra shine and enjoyment to this story. A story which
I’m quite disappointed is over.
The Academy is teaching young police recruits about those odd cases. But one woman is about to be singled out… and it’s not for the reasons you’ll think.
It was surprising to read a cop story in this collection.
Mostly because it’s a collection that is surrounded by ideas of school and teaching.
And well, cops aren’t normally what I would associate with such a topic. Having
said that, it was still a thoroughly fun and exciting journey to be taken on. And
probably a little more enjoyable because it was such a surprise…
Since this was a cop story, I was kind of expecting a
typical one – you know, the cops outline an issue, pull a newbie in to help
them solve it. And after you turn the last page, you find that the bad guy has
been caught, stopped whichever. This didn’t quite work out like that. Actually,
it really wasn’t about the bad guy at all. It was more so about the battles
that are fought. About the woman who is caught up in a vampire’s snare. And the
ways in which the battle for good doesn’t stop, but sometimes does blur the
lines a little.
Rachel stops an attack on a woman late one night in Paris, only to become the victim herself. As things go from bad to worse, she finds more than a quest for justice, but a reason to stay alive.
I’ve been reading a lot of vampire stories lately, and I really wasn’t sure how over them I was feeling. So I’m not even sure why I picked up The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2. But I did, and I absolutely loved the opening story of this collection. It was everything I like in a short story, a bit of action, a bit of intrigue and a bit of romance. But, unlike a lot of vampire tales that I’ve been reading lately, this wasn’t as… well… annoyingly sappy as others. There was just too much of a cop / crime vibe to it.
Rachel was one of those characters that you can immediately relate
to. She is vulnerable and kind of innocent, but at the same time completely
kick ass and independent. Something that I think most women aspire to be. Or at
least, it’s something that I always aim to be like in my own personal life. The
fact that she’s suffering a loss and grieving whilst on the streets of Paris
somehow just managed to make her all the more beautiful. I’m not entirely sure
why… but it worked perfectly.
I really liked that although there is an instantaneous
attraction between the two leads, it isn’t really about that. This story is
about justice and finding a link to Rachel’s past. It is also a really
fast-paced tale that makes it impossible to pull your nose out of the book,
because, damn it, you want Rachel to get her revenge!
Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. finds himself tackling a bizarre Christmas case when Santa Claus himself becomes a client, hiring Dan to recover some very precious stolen North Pole property. If you like werewolves, vampires, evil elves, zombies, as well as a lot of belly laughs, curl up with this story and some eggnog.
I’m struggling to get into the Christmas spirit this year. So I thought that I would try and read some Christmas themed stories to get the festive feelings going… and it’s kind of working, but mostly it’s giving me that nice,happy, buzzy feeling that a good story gives me. And this was an amazing story to start the collection off with. It was funny, sassy and reminded me of the joy that Christmas time used to bring as a child (and I’m not talking about the presents).
For me, Christmas has always been about the joys of family,friends and community. Although, as with any other kid, I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed present receiving (and giving), it’s been about the people that I’m around. So it’s always been a little annoying to be thrust into a world full of the commercialisation of Christmas. And how many people have bitched about that? Luckily, Anderson feels the same – this story is all about how bad the commercialisation really is. The comedic and entertaining way in which this was done worked nicely.
This story by itself would have made me quite happy and entertained.But the fact that a zombie was the P.I. and his poltergeist girlfriend helped him out… that just made everything ten times better. It introduced a level of dark and urban fantasy to a Christmas tale that worked incredibly well for my happily crazy and convoluted brain.
Her partner died two years ago. And now she has a mysterious stalker. When her ex-partner comes back from the dead, she finds out that her life is about to completely change.
When I started reading this story, I didn’t really understand how it tied into the idea of vampire romance (since I found it in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance). It starts out with a cop who is being stalked. And I kind of assumed that this stalker was probably going to be a vampire… but still, it was probably the least romantic of the tales in this collection so far. At least at the beginning, the end had that za za zing that I’ve come to expect.
The premise that there are a bunch of rogue vampires running free, and that Tim is desperate to stop them with the help of his old partner was kind of fun. That it involves sex, romance and true and deep love just made it all the more intriguing. It did, however, annoy me a little that his condition was caused by a creepy little girl with a crush… but I digress, the story wouldn’t have happened without this catalyst.
All in all this was a fun and engaging short story that featured a vampire, sex and crime. There’s not really much more I could ask for from a vampirific short story.
Listen to the secrets of the beautiful animal whisperer who’s drawn intimately closer to danger, and to the most suspect of all male animals – man…
This was such a great and fun novella. Okay. Maybe not really fun. And not really the kind of novella you want to read just before bed if you are a woman living alone. Since it features a rapist. It’s pretty intense actually, and although I really enjoyed this, I kind of wish that I hadn’t read it just before bed.
Although, once I focused on the beauty of the romance, and the fact that the lead female can actually talk to animals… which is the one superpower I’ve always wished I could have. The ability to communicate with my four-legged friends. Using this ability to not only solve a crime, but somehow entrance a man into her bed was fun. What I loved the most was when she asked Jay’s dog what his fantasies were so that she could re-enact them. On second thought, it’s probably best not to read this novella if you’re in a bit of a dry spell… it makes you feel quite lonely.
My biggest disappointment from this story is the fact that it’s not part of a greater series. It works brilliantly as a stand-alone but I want more of Macy and Jay!