Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blood Lines

When the Royal Ontario Museum's curator of Egyptology is reviewing an English estate's collection of Egyptian artifacts, he is fascinated by an unusual sarcophagus. Everything about it indicates that there is a mummy inside, and he brings it back to Canada full of triumphant joy. But then things start to go wrong. Mysterious murders occur in the museum - or are they murders? They seem to be deaths from natural causes, but when Mike Celluci is told by a police officer that a mummy was in the room with a victim - only to be told later that there is no mummy at all, he becomes suspicious. When told by his superiors to let the matter drop, he turns to his ex-partner Vicki Nelson, who is now a private investigator, for help.

The more they discover about the ancient Egyptian who has been brought to their city, as well as the cruel and powerful god he serves, the more they fear that there isn't much they can do to fight such power. Their adversary is skilled at manipulating minds, and savvy enough to target the minds of those who are in charge. Henry, a centuries-old vampire, joins in their fight, but compared to the Egyptian priest he is young and inexperienced. If they cannot stop the priest before he creates a new temple to his dark god, Toronto - not to mention the rest of the world - will be in dire straits indeed.

This is the third book in Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson series, which I'm rereading before I start watching Blood Ties, the television show that is based on these books. These are among the first in a subcategory of fantasy that has exploded during this past decade, and if you are a fan of urban fantasy/paranormal romance, I urge you to give this series a try to see where it all began. The first in the series, Blood Price, involves ex-cop Vicki Nelson becoming acquainted with 450-year-old vampire/romance author Henry Fitzroy, and fighting some supernatural crime together. Blood Trail, second book, deals with werewolves, and this one deals with a very interesting mummy. The writing is tight and effective, the characters fresh and real, and I enjoy the suspense as well as the humor of the stories. The books are best read in order, as the events in the characters' lives, as well as their relationships, evolve from one book to the next. I continue to enjoy my reread of this series, and it remains amazingly current despite the fact that it was published nearly twenty years ago.

Books in the Vicki Nelson series:
1. Blood Price
2. Blood Trail

3. Blood Lines

4. Blood Pact

5. Blood Debt

Blood Lines
(#3 in the Vicki Nelson series) by Tanya Huff (DAW Books, 1993)

Also reviewed at:
Tez Says: "I particularly love the setting. So many books in the genre are American-based, which gets a bit same-old after a while, so Canada is a welcome change. From the Royal Ontario Museum to the CN Tower, Toronto is a city I’d love to read more about."
What Cheesy Reads: "Best book of the series so far."

B&OT reviews of other books by Tanya Huff:
The Enchantment Emporium


  1. I just read my first Huff book (Fifth Quarter), and quite enjoyed it. These sound pretty different, but equally fun - I'll keep my eye out for them!

  2. I've bought a few of her books, but haven't read them yet. I really should as this sounds so good.

  3. Fyrefly - I loved that one, too. She is a versatile writer and tries all kinds of things. I think it's her characters and sense of humor that keep things so consistently enjoyable for me. Hope you'll have time to give this series a try!

    Heather - I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think when you get around to reading them.

  4. I think it's been long enough that I could read these without being overly influenced by the TV show. I really loved it so I had too many issues with what I was able to get through of the first book.

  5. Ladytink - It's funny how our images of things that we read can totally connect or clash with a dramatization of the same thing. I agree - I like to have one a bit fuzzy in my mind before moving on to the other. I'll be interested to hear how your experience changes (or doesn't) if you try them again.

  6. I must admit that this show is one of my guilty pleasures! I have only seen it once, but was very fun. I haven't read the books though.

  7. I could get into it, but here is the big question, are vampires and all the other supernatural stuff part of everyday life in this book or hidden like in the Gardella series??

  8. VA Gal - Yes, they are hidden except from those "in the know" - just like in the Gardella series. It's a fun blend of mystery and fantasy, with a dash of romance. I'd be curious to hear what you think!

  9. Mariel - I'm looking forward to giving the show a try. Should be fun!


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