Book of the Week: One Extra Corpse.

One Extra Corpse is the sequel to Barbara Hambly’s straight-up mystery novel Scandal in Babylon, and I’m not gonna lie: I went right from the first book to the second one. I’d have the next one pre-ordered except the current sales price on that is so blatantly a place holder. At least, I hope so. If not, somebody’s about to learn a valuable life lesson on price points.

Anyway, these are good books.


Book of the Week: Scandal in Babylon

I haven’t read much straight-up mystery novels lately, but I was always a fan of Christie and Sayers. I’ve just started Barbara Hambly’s Scandal in Babylon, which takes the characters from Bride of the Rat God, changes all their names*, presumably shakes all the supernatural pulp off of them, and have them deal with conventional murders and mysteries.

…I think I’m okay with this. At least it’s been a good book so far.

*Except for the dogs. The dogs’ names are inviolate. I’m also okay with this.


In the e-mail: CASTLE OF HORROR (sequel to BRIDE OF THE RAT GOD).

I include this as a public service announcement. Today I learned that Barbara Hambly has written a very complicated set of sequels to BRIDE OF THE RAT GOD, which is a pulp supernatural horror in silent-movie era Hollywood novel that I have read at least three times. CASTLE OF HORROR is the straight-up sequel to that: the A SILVER SCREEN series is the reboot where the names were changed, and the supernatural elements removed. I’m reading CASTLE OF HORROR first.


Book of the Week: Bride of the Rat God.

Well… Bride of the Rat God is simultaneously about the silent film era of Hollywood; Pekingese dogs; and an ancient, murderous Chinese curse. ….Yes, this is pulp. Quite entertaining pulp, particularly regarding the bits about the Pekingese. They’re apparently much more awesome dogs than I had been previously led to believe. Seriously, this standalone by Barbara Hambly is well worth perusing, especially if you like historical fantasy where you don’t have to take a refresher course in medieval/Renaissance history first.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. Continue reading Book of the Week: Bride of the Rat God.

Book of the Week: Blood Maidens.

I am, admittedly, only one-fifth of the way through Blood Maidens, which is Barbara Hambly’s third book in a series of distinctly unsparkly vampires circa the Edwardian age; but so far it does not disappoint.  I also have the pleasure of knowing that as soon as I done with Book Three that Book Four and Five await, patiently; so thanks, folks.  Bought these with the Amazon referral money, and I appreciate the Christmas present from all y’all.

So, ciao to Those Who Hunt the Night… which is Book One in this series. Traveling with the Dead is Book Two.  You should enjoy them.

Book of the Week: Those Who Hunt the Night.

I mentioned this one in passing, years ago: Those Who Hunt the Night is a vampire novel set in the early Edwardian era.  It is… unsentimental and unromantic about vampires; they are monsters that think and eat people. And they are not what the hero of the book is fighting. And, hot damn! …Barbara Hambly wrote a couple more sequels than the one I knew about.  Guess those all go on the Wish List.

Adieu, Declare, adieu.

Was Twilight really *that* bad? (with a Barbara Hambly reference!)

I mean… that bad?  The authors of that piece did everything except formally declare kanly on Stephenie Meyer.  Certainly this guy was likewise unimpressed:

Since I’m bringing up vampire books, people may want to try these two by Barbara Hambly instead: Those Who Hunt the Night and Traveling with the Dead. They’re horror/fantasy novels set in the Victorian time period, and are remarkably free of sentimentality about the implications of vampirism as it’s portrayed in historical myth.  Which is to say, it’s a condition whose sufferers are apex predators who have no option but to eat human beings on a regular basis to survive, and who possess a set of abilities that allow that to be done easily.  Or, more shortly: monsters.

Monsters who can think.

Moe Lane