Tag Archives: P.N. Elrod

Bloodcircle by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Bloodcircle (Vampire Files, #3) by P.N. Elrod

Title: Bloodcircle
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Gangsters, Paranormal fantasy, Vampire noir
Dates read: 18th – 19th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: His pockets were turned out and a few stray coins littered the floor.

Synopsis

Detective-cum-vampire Jack Fleming’s quest for the mysterious woman who made him a vampire takes him to the palatial estate of a wealthy widow, where a two-hundred-year-old gigolo tries to throw him off the trail. Reissue.

Thoughts

I forgot about how much I enjoy P.N. Elrod’s writing. It did take me a little while to get into Bloodcircle, partly because I spent a lot of time trying to place who people were and the politics of the whole story line. But once I got everything straight in my mind’s eye… I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And I most definitely couldn’t stop turning the pages.

I love this vampire noir feeling throughout this story. Not that I’ve read many noir stories or tales which are set in this time. But with the vampire twist… this is just amazing. I’m transported into a world that I rarely get to spend much time in. One that I’m kind of eager to rejoin again.

I love that this story is a quest for Jack Fleming’s lost love. A quest for answers that he really needs. I feel a lot of Bobbi in this, because I have a lot of hope for them as a couple in the future. But it also shows how much care Jack has for those he loves.

This is a fantastic mystery that will hook you quickly. It may have taken me about 3 chapters to get hooked, but once I did… it was almost impossible to look away. Just what I want in a good mystery / noir genre novel.

<- Vampires Prefer BlondesArt in the Blood ->

Image source: Goodreads

My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding
Author: P.N. Elrod, L.A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Esther M. Friesner, Lori Handeland, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon & Susan Krinard
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 30th September – 30th November 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “You and your” – his eyes flicked toward Ian, who was clambering over the railing – “your intended can wait up on the quarterdeck.”

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Synopsis

Werewolves, vampires, witches, voodoo, Elvis—and weddings

An “ordinary” wedding can get crazy enough, so can you imagine what happens when otherworldly creatures are involved? Nine of the hottest authors of paranormal fiction answer that question in this delightful collection of supernatural wedding stories. What’s the seating plan when rival clans of werewolves and vampires meet under the same roof? How can a couple in the throes of love overcome traps set by feuding relatives—who are experts at voodoo? Will you have a good marriage if your high-seas wedding is held on a cursed ship? How do you deal with a wedding singer who’s just a little too good at impersonating Elvis? Shape-shifters, wizards, and magic, oh my!

Thoughts

I started reading this collection just before my best friend got married. I kind of figured that it was just a suitable kind of anthology to be reading when I too, was experiencing much of the wedding insanity that tends to surround such a fun day. And, it was nice to know that no matter what happened… nothing could go as badly wrong as many of the weddings in this collection.

There is something about weddings that seems to bring out the best and worst in people. So much pressure and stress for just one day which always blows my mind… but most people don’t have to deal with the supernatural. The characters in these stories do. And some of the battles they face are just… well, ridiculous. And difficult. And so much fun to read about.

Most of the authors in this collection I have on my shelves. Which made this a really good collection to read. Not only did I not then add a hundred different books to my wish list, but I often had the pleasure of revisiting worlds that I already have on my shelves. And the few I didn’t recognise? Well, they’ve quickly found their way on my to buy next list…

 <- “…Or Forever Hold Your Peace” ReviewSpellbound Review ->
Image source: Amazon

“All Shook Up” by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Image result for my big fat supernatural wedding book cover

Title: “All Shook Up”
Author: P.N. Elrod
In: My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Humour, Music, Paranormal fantasy
Dates read: 27th October 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Frankie looked at the Elvis guy, her jaw dropping.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

The Elvis impersonator at the wedding she’s catering gets a little bit too into his routine. But there is something deliciously attractive about him that makes her want to get to know the crazy a little better…

Thoughts

This story is a little crazy and different. It’s kind of intense, super fun and features Elvis. Which, of course, immediately makes me think of my Mum. Because she is completely Elvis obsessed. A bit like the Grandmother in this story… a woman who is just deliciously enthralled by the long-dead entertainer. I actually thought that in this story he had been bought back to life… but it was still just an impersonator.

Although this is a wedding story, it’s one that is about the caterer, not the bride. I’ve been to many, many weddings, but mostly as the wait staff. So it was nice to read a tale that I could relate to the lead a lot more. I’ve never been a bride, but I’m aware of all the difficulties and intricacies of working a wedding. Trying to feed the masses and (sometimes) not laugh at the amusing antics of the bridal party. It made this funny, cute and sweet story so, so, so much more relatable than most of the wedding stories I’ve read.

One of the parts I loved most about this story though was the fact that it featured the power of music. I’ve always found music to be an intense pathway through which to experience human emotion. And this story takes it just that little step further… in making it a pathway to help people adjust their emotions for the sake of others. For the sake of the marriage which is just about to begin.

 <- Dead Man’s Chest ReviewThe Wedding of Wylda Serene Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Lifeblood by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Lifeblood

Title: Lifeblood
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: GangstersParanormal fantasy, Vampire noir
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace fantasy
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: He opened the door and Maureen walk in.

Synopsis

Jack Fleming was an investigative journalist in Prohibition-era Chicago until he got shot by an unknown assassin, bitten by his vampire girlfriend, and became one of the undead. Now, this nice-guy nosferatu has a bunch of crazy vampire hunters on his trail armed with crosses, silver bullets, and sharp wooden stakes. He doesn’t know how they found out about him or why they are “out for his blood,” but it’s not a problem for this street-wise gumshoe, until someone starts shooting. Jack himself may be bulletproof, but his friends are not. And Jack is determined to get some answers, even if it kills him-again. It’s a case of the living versus the undead. But who’s hunting whom?

Thoughts

Elrod does it again. She takes this great world of the 1930’s with gangsters and mobsters and creates an amazingly fun and intriguing crime story. Which happens to feature a vampire. It isn’t overly heavy handed on the idea of vampirism and Fleming’s new life, but it does make it all about it in its own, unique way. Honestly, I loved this story from beginning to end. It romanticises a time that I’m sure wasn’t’ even remotely romantic, and makes me think of club singers and back door deals and a time before really good security systems (because, let’s face it, none of this storyline is plausible in our current day and age of technology).

Bloodlist explained Fleming’s death and helped him come to terms with his new vampirism. But there is the mystery of Maureen, the woman who turned him. And, although Lifeblood doesn’t answer all the mysteries related to this past love, it does help to explain her disappearance. And honestly, it was a cause and creation which I really wasn’t expecting. And definitely enjoyed.

So far, the Vampire Files stories aren’t insanely fast paced. I tend to pick them up and put them down again. It is really only in the last quarter that it becomes very difficult to put the tales down. This is because of the way in which Elrod uses the majority of the storyline to set up the big finale. It’s a well-paced, fun book and one I can justify picking up when I have a lot of other, more responsible things to do…

<- BloodlistBloodcircle ->

Image source: Goodreads

Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Bloodlist

Title: Bloodlist
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: GangstersParanormal fantasy, Vampire noir
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 1990
5th sentence, 74th page: Escott was standing on the fender of the Nash, craning to get a better view of things.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

I’ve always had a weak spot for strange ladies. One very beautiful girl had even warned me that she was get this a vampire. But did I listen? No. Before you know it, I m being chased by an ugly thug with a gun, and a bullet blasts its way through my back, and believe it or not nothing happened. I survived! How? You guessed it. I, Jack Fleming, ace reporter, have been transformed into a vampire. Which has its advantages. You never die, you never grow old, you sleep all day…and best of all, you can hunt down your own murderer. This is the first book in the exciting vampire adventure series, The Vampire Files.

Thoughts

I am mildly obsessed with this story. It was a beautiful tale of the noir persuasion, set in Chicago in the 1930s. It was fiddled with mobsters and gangsters. Beautiful club singers and tough private detectives. And, also, a vampire. It worked just beautifully.

Jack Fleming is one of my favourite characters – he strikes me as gangly and a little odd. Somebody that doesn’t quite fit in, but still has found his own way in the world. Yet, for all of this, he is incredibly fun and not self-conscious at all. He just has this fun, gumptious way of living, that, even though he is undead, carries throughout the tale. His characterisation provides a great, fun counterpoint to the rest of the tale which is quite dark and convoluted.

I haven’t read many books that feature the 1930s. Or Chicago gangsters for that matter. So this was a fun, new world to step into. And there is something about this genre, this time in history, this style, that makes the story kind of fun and nostalgic. It almost makes you think of a “simpler time” as jack battles to unravel the mysteries of his own death.

Unlike most vampire tales, this one left me with some amazing dreams – dreams of the 1930s and prohibition and the romanticism of crime. Alright, this might not have all been realistically within the same time period, but in my brain they work seamlessly and now I can’t wait to see how the next of Jack’s adventures goes.

<- Dark LadyLifeblood ->

Image source: Urban Fantasy Wiki

Dark Lady by P.N. Elrod

Overview
Dark and Stormy Knights

Title: Dark Lady
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #12.6
In: Dark and Stormy Knights (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Even the undead need an edge.

Synopsis

A local undead club owner has a ghost. And a brand new conspiracy to deal with.

Thoughts

I love the noir gangster setting of this short story. It made me think of the 20’s, and some of the old movies that I’ve admittedly never gotten around to, but always plan to watch… it was kind of dark, lots of fun and incredibly captivating. The only complaint I have about this story is that it was over way too soon.

This short story starts off with a dame in trouble, there is also a ghost and a conspiracy that twists and turns with every passage. Which, of course, is why I enjoyed it so thoroughly. Nothing was quite like I expected, and although Elrod followed noir themes and styles, it is also a little different and unexpected. At least for me, since I don’t really read much of the noir genre.

Myrna is a fun change from the rest of the story – a ghost that likes dance music and plays her part in the chaos that unfolds. She’s small, sweet and one that I would really like to get to know better…

<- Even a Rabbit Will BiteBeknighted ->

Image source: Goodreads

Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

Dark and Stormy KnightsTitle: Dark and Stormy Knights
Author: Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Shannon K. Butcher, Rachel Caine, P.N. Elrod, Deidre Knight, Vicki Pettersson, Lilith Saintcrow & Carrie Vaughn
In: Dark and Stormy Knights (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Easy reading, Short story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Even today’s cleverest smiths are no match for the magic of the fomor.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

It was a dark and stormy knight, and nine dark defenders are about to embark upon a perilous quest…

They’re the shadowy defenders of humanity – modern-day knights committing the darkest of deeds for all the right reasons. In this all-star collection, nine of today’s hottest urban fantasy authors bring us thrilling, all-new stories of the supernatural brimming with magic, mystery, and mayhem.

An unlikely hero goes head-to-head with a ruthless cantrev lord in Jim Butcher’s “Even Hand”. Kate Daniels is called upon for bodyguard duty to protect Saimen, a shifter she trusts less than her worst enemy, in Ilona Andrews’s “A Questionable Client”. At all costs, Cormac must stop a vicious werewolf before it attacks again on the next full moon in Carrie Vaughn’s “God’s Creatures”. And in Vicki Pettersson’s “Shifting Star”, Skamar reluctantly enlists the aid of her frustratingly sexy neighbor when she takes on a vengeful creature kidnapping young girls.

When everything’s on the line, can these sinister guardians complete their missions and live to fight another day? Find out in Dark and Stormy Knights!

Thoughts

I loved this collection. I loved it so much that I really didn’t want to put it down. And bought almost every series featured in this collection. Which has cost me a fair bit of money in the last few days… yes, I am well aware that I have a problem. And I’m a little bit concerned by how quickly and easily I fall into these amazing literary worlds.

I loved the variety of stories, genres and tales throughout this. I loved the fact that the dark fantasy common thread ran through seamlessly. And I loved that each time I turned the page something exciting and thrilling was leaping out at me. There’s actually not much negative that I can say about this collection. After all, it took me through the scale of emotions, a number of whirlwind adventures and made me feel like I never wanted to put this book down again. For any fans of fantasy, this is definitely one to add to your shelf.

 <- A Questionable Client Review God’s Creatures Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Hecate’s Golden Eye by P.N. Elrod

Overview
strange-brew

Title: Hecate’s Golden Eye
Author: P.N. Elrod
Series: Vampire Files #11.5
In: Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: It had a hell of a lot more force than a bare fist.

Synopsis

Sometimes you need to steal something to return it to its rightful owners…

Thoughts

I didn’t really know what to think about this story – I liked the idea of a moral private investigator with a vampire sidekick, but some of the suave present in past stories by P.N. Elrod is missing from this short tale. However, the voice of the narrative helped to bring me back to the story when I wasn’t entirely sure it was what I was in the mood for. The tone of the tale had just the right balance of cheerful self-deprecation and intrigue to keep me interested in the chief protagonist and his quick journey into re-stealing a gem for its rightful owner.

The idea of multiple kinds of retribution to the “bad guys” throughout this story left me with a warm feeling at the end of the tale. From the long con to out and out thievery, the selfishness of those perpetuating the crimes onto others had consequences which left me smiling at the end of the tale. It’s always nice when the good guys win, and the bad guys are punished in some way, shape or form.

<- Vegas OddsBacon ->

Image source: Goodreads

Strange Brew edited by P.N. Elrod

Overview

strange-brew

Title: Strange Brew
Authors: Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, P.N. Elrod, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kittredge & Jenna Maclaine
In: Strange Brew (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasyParanormal fantasy, Paranormal romanceShort story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Murphy jumped on me then, pinning my left arm down as Meditrina started raking at my face with her nails, both of them screaming like banshees.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection of short stories!

Thoughts

This was a thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories – they all erred on the side of dark fantasy and had twists to traditional ideas that I didn’t expect. The balance of female and male chief protagonists was well thought out, with a range of characters for even the most discerning reader to fall in love with. I loved that each tale was strange and unique, but they all fit together in a fabric that made the stories flow easily into each other.

The nine authors collected together in Strange Brew contributed short stories from their larger series, but they were easily accessible if you have not read the greater series (as I hadn’t for the majority). They are a window into another world that encourages you to jump in, feet first, something that I, for one, intend to do!

<- Dark Sins Review Seeing Eye Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Outside the Box by P.N. Elrod

Overview

hex-appeal

Title: Outside the Box
Author: P.N. Elrod
In: Hex Appeal (P.N. Elrod)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: The vamp had kidnapped the poor girl, forced the change on her, and buried her deep in a box in that old cemetry.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

A tale of vampires, witches and pointless bureaucracy – and how the intersection of these can go completely wrong sometimes.

Thoughts

This was an amazing short story – it had vampires, witches and pointless bureaucracy. The voice of Mars, the woman telling the story was strong and realistic, she’s bored with the tedium of a government job and worried about money. I love when writers pull the concerns that we all have, such as money, hobbies, careers, into a paranormal setting, like waiting for a newly turned vampire to rise.

The idea of bureaucratically controlling newly risen vampires was a great commentary on how everything in our lives appears to be governed by rules. Yes, without them things could fall apart, but with them, sometimes those who do the right thing, such as Mars and Ellinghaus, are punished to make the governing body look good. The fact that this regimented system was part of the cause of the carnage that followed just helped to highlight how important flexibility can be within such a system.

This short story is set in the world of the Vampire Files, but it is still separate. It is an easy way to spend half an hour and immerse yourself in a wonderfully constructed world.

 <- Snow Job Review How Do You Feel? Review ->
Image source: Succubus