La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock
I am not a particular fan of vampire novels, but every little bookshop I browsed through during my trip to St. Augustine had copies of Nancy Haddock’s series, so I was curious enough to download a copy to my nook. La Vida Vampire is the first in the Oldest City Vampire series, paranormal romance/mysteries set in Old St. Augustine. Overall, the novel combines the feel of a Sookie Stackhouse novel with the fluffiness of a cozy.
The series follows the misadventures of recently unearthed, 200-something year old vampire, Francesca “Cesca” Marinelli as she tries to find her place in modern St. Augustine by working as a tour guide for Old City Ghost Tours. In Cesca’s world, vampires are part of everyday society, but are registered and tracked via a GPS device implanted in their arms. Other paranormal creatures abound, including warlocks, ghosts, and shapeshifters, but vampires steal the scene in this installment.
A reluctant vampire at best, Cesca blends in well, living with her human sponsor and making friends with other members of the ghost tour company, but a visit from a member of the local, anti-vampire Covenant and a couple of strange French tourists rattles her quiet afterlife. Murder, misleading evidence, and a sexy detective soon bring Cesca’s world on its head.
This is a quick, beachy kind of read. It’s fluff with a side of local history, and made for a fun way to remember my mini-break in St. Augustine. Haddock does a good job of tying loose ends, while also setting up the premise for the next installment in the series, so it can be read as a standalone without the cliff-hangery feeling you get with some paranormal romance series.