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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

The Vampire Papers

By Michael Romkey
Fawcett Gold Medal, 433 pp, 1994

My first Romkey book was I, Vampire, and I really liked it. I wrote in that book review that I'd be reading the next book in the series very soon.

Well, here we are, almost three years later, and I've finally read the next book! I know, I know, I'm a bit of a procrastinator, but what the hey.

I'm happy to report that this book is just as good and enjoyable as the first one. David Parker returns as does his mentor Mozart, who assigns David the task of hunting down and killing a renegade murdering vampire.

The antagonist this time is not Jack the Ripper but John Wilkes Booth. Like in the first book, David feels overwhelmed by Booth's power and wonders why Mozart asked him to do this. To add to the mix, Nicoletta Vittorini di Medusa, an ancient and most powerful of vampires, shows up to aid Booth - or is it to help David?

As a history buff, I enjoy Romkey's use of historical characters and the vampire organizations he's created. It's a refreshingly original approach, though I maintain it's a bit too close to Anne Rice at times, like when David quotes Keats and writes compositions (a blend of Louis and Lestat).

But that's a minor point and just barely worth mentioning. I will read the next book, The Vampire Princess, and I promise it won't take another three years to do it.

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