A Regency Vampire Novella (The Unofficial Chronicles of John Grissom, book 2)
by Page Zaplendam
(Review based on an advanced copy received from the author.)
Bacteriologist John Grissom has a secret life. Not only is he a reluctant vampire, conscientiously avoiding human blood while wrestling with his darker desires, but he's a member of the newly created Odd Crimes Division, investigating supernatural and strange events that occur in London - and his partner is none other than famed vampire-slayer Gerhardt van Helsing. In this, the second installment of the series, an investigation into the attempted assassination of the Marquis of Wellesley leads them on a merry romp through the country-side to stop a villain who's new-found elixir gives him power to influence the minds of his victims, to deadly effect. If Grissom and Van Helsing aren't careful, The Egyptian Elixir might just be their undoing.
The Egyptian Elixir is a rollicking good time, filled with snappy dialog, bone-crunching action, and a swift moving plot. Grissom is an appropriately moody, dark figure with a good heart while snarky, arrogant Van Helsing is just a delight to read. The story weaves through London and the outlining towns, and is filled with darkened alleys, elegant homes, codes, secret societies, and everything that makes old-fashioned horror/adventure fun. This is Penny Dreadful for those who want to scale back the gruesome elements and include more fun. Recommended.