Saturday, March 10, 2012

Let Them Eat Stake-Sarah Zettel

Let Them Eat Stake

Sarah Zettel

Obsidian, Apr 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451236456

When the vampires came out in public, humans reacted overall with equanimity. They granted all rights to vampires and the other paranormal species (weres, witches and warlocks) who followed except they must register. Just like humans have restrictions the paranormal do too. For instance, vampires can drink human blood that is given freely but cannot be sold as a commodity. The paranormal species are not a monolithic block as vampires and witches have been enemies for centuries. Clubs and restaurants cater to the paranormal. For instance, Nightlife, owned by Chef Charlotte Caine and her vampire brother Chet, serve "Noir Cuisine" to Nightbloods and Daybloods.

When celeb chef Oscar Simmons quits working a marriage gala, event planner Felicity Garnett begs Charlotte to cater the multispecies wedding of the decade between witch Deanna Alden and Gabriel Renault the Nightblood allegedly from Paris (not Hoboken). Charlotte accepts the job that could make the restaurant a success. Soon afterward, Oscar is dead from what appears to be a heart attack and the groom’s side has begun to disappear. Charlotte realizes her boyfriend Brendan Maddox is related to the Alden family and everything turns sour when someone steals the anti- vampire weapon the Arall. Charlotte seeks the purloined object before she serves rations to the combatants.

The second "Vampire Chef" mystery is a delightful amateur sleuth fantasy that is much darker than its predecessor (A Taste of the Nightlife). The paranormal comes across as normal; especially enhancing that sense of “reality” is the heroine’s egalitarian attitude as she believes all species are equal with each having the good, the bad and the ugly. Readers who want something different will enjoy stopping for something red served up by Sarah Zettel at Nightlife.

Harriet Klausner

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