Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The opening trio of adventures of Jack Fleming, Vampire P.I.
In literature and popular culture there are the Bram Stoker vampires of Dracula, the Anne Rice vampires like Lestat, Louis and Armand, and the Joss Whedon vampires of Angelus, Spike and the Master. A distant, but by no means a poor relation, are the vampires of P. N. Elrod. "The Vampire Files" collects the first three novels in the Jack Fleming, Vampire P.I. series, where...
Published on 2 Feb. 2005 by Lawrance Bernabo

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars new vamp
Having heard that this author is alegedly one of the best vampire writers, I was eager to read this book, but was unable to get hold of any copies anywhere! So i was delighted to find this new compilation of 3 books, and a very good book it was. The idea of a new vampire having to learn how to use his skills was interesting and finding a friend and boss to help find his...
Published on 17 Nov. 2003


Most Helpful First | Newest First

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The opening trio of adventures of Jack Fleming, Vampire P.I., 2 Feb. 2005
By 
Lawrance Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 (Paperback)
In literature and popular culture there are the Bram Stoker vampires of Dracula, the Anne Rice vampires like Lestat, Louis and Armand, and the Joss Whedon vampires of Angelus, Spike and the Master. A distant, but by no means a poor relation, are the vampires of P. N. Elrod. "The Vampire Files" collects the first three novels in the Jack Fleming, Vampire P.I. series, where a slightly different type of vampire inhabits the film noir world of the hardboiled detective.
"Bloodlist" introduces us to Jack Fleming, who does not remember how he became a vampire let alone how he ended up dead, which lends an air of mystery to "Bloodlist." Jack was (is?) a reporter, so he sets about to learn who wanted (wants?) him dead. Fortunately, shortly after waking up on the beach a goon tries to run him down and tells Jack, after some encouragement, that he had some sort of list that is important enough for some gangster types to want him dead. Unfortunately, Jack remembers none of this. Allied with Charles Escott, an eccentric private investigator and former actor who is fascinated by Jack's current, ah, condition, our hero gets closer and closer to solving one of this two burning mysteries. Along the way he makes the acquaintance of Bobbi, a beautiful singer at one of the clubs and the current "girlfriend" of one of the bad guys. But even dead, Jack knows how to show a lady a good time. More importantly, eventually he gets to remember every excruciating detail of his "death."
"Bloodlist" certainly establishes the potential for this series, which as even Jack notices is more reminiscent of the Shadow than Dracula; the best parts of this book are when Jack uses his new powers to toy with the bad guys. Jack is a vampire, but since he feeds his blood lust at the Chicago Stockyards and is still trying to learn the ropes about being one of the undead he qualifies as being a "good" vampire. As a faithful sidekick, Escott is a unique combination of elements from a lot of literary ancestors, while Bobbi makes an interesting love interest for our hero simply because she does not bat an eye at Jack's unique approach to love making. The Vampire Files is clearly a series that is going to rest on the strength of the three main characters and she has certainly given herself something to build upon. Plus, there is that other mystery to solve as to how he ended up undead.
The first novel is the weakest of the three, only because the film noir aspects are not as strong as the developing idea of vampires the first time around. In "Lifeblood" vampire hunters are after Jack, as "The Vampire Files" kicks into high gear. Nice guy vampire Jack Fleming is still getting used to being one of the undead, helping his friend Charles Escott with a few investigations and trying to build some sort of happy live with Bobbi Smythe. However, his "life" is suddenly facing a couple of major complications. First, a pair of fairly incompetent but nonetheless deadly vampire hunters are on his trail. They do not know that crosses and silver do not bother our hero, but there is no reason for Jack to tell them that. Second, he has finally had a response from the ads he has been placing for Maureen in newspapers around the country and meets Gaylen Dumont, an old woman who claims to be his beloved Maureen's younger sister. Yes, it seems that Maureen is the vampire who sired Jack, and now Gaylen wants a small favor from our hero.
Elrod has a much better feel for the bad guys (and gals) this time around that she did with the gangsters. The practical side of being a vampire has been pretty much worked out in terms of what parts of what everybody knows about vampires, courtesy of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," are actually true. But what I like is that the practical realities of being a vampire are central to the story Elrod is telling. There is also a harder edge to this story, with the more gruesome elements balancing the comic confrontations a bit more than in the previous volume. It is clear that we are in the beginning of a lengthy tale to be told and I appreciate a writer who wants to take their time in telling their tale well.
In the third offering, "Bloodcircle," Jack finally finds out the truth about Maureen. After cleaning up a few loose ends from their previous adventure, Jack and Escott try to uncover what happened to Maureen, Jack's former lover and vampire sire, when she disappeared five years ago. Apparently on that night she was at the estate of Miss Emily Francher, whose personal assistant Jonathan Barrett not only turns out to be a 160-year-old vampire, but also is revealed to be the one who sired Maureen. With plenty of in-jokes for those who still remember the soap opera "Dark Shadows," P. N. Elrod follows our hero and his faithful human companion as they seek to solve the mystery of Maureen's disappearance, which has been haunting Jack for years. Once again, Elrod saves the best for last, as the climatic chapters of this novel elevate the story line to a new level. What I continue to appreciate with these novels are not only how Elrod deals with the practical aspects of being a vampire, especially once they are staked, but how Jack never responds in a predictable manner.
I also like the fact that "Bloodcircle," like its two predecessors in "The Vampire Files," are clearly part of a larger story, always "to be continued" and always compelling our continued interest. These books are fun reads, perfect for a day at the beach or living the commuter lifestyle, even when they come three to a volume as is the case with this collection. Elrod has created a rather different but still entertaining type of vampire, and even got around to trying to integrate her vampires with Bram Stokers in "Quincey Morris, Vampire." However, you should start here, with Jack Fleming, before moving on to that particular vampiric tidbit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First three in the Jack Fleming, Vampire PI series, 1 Aug. 2007
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 (Paperback)
PN Elrod's "Jack Fleming, Vampire PI" series is a great read with humour and a fantastic setting in 1930s Chicago with film noir aspects. This collection of the first three stories is excellent value for money.

BLOODLIST
The story begins with "Bloodlist" where we meet Jack Fleming waking up having crawled out of the sea. No sooner has he staggered to the road when a passing driver clips him with his bumper - clearly on purpose. Jack finds himself in discussion with the car driver and discovers that he is supposed to be dead, killed because he wouldn't tell people where an important list was hidden.

Jack realises pretty quickly that he has become a vampire. Fortunately he knows about the vampire life, having had a vampire girlfriend previously, and he prepares his life accordingly (fetching some of his home earth, finding somewhere safe to sleep the day, feeding from the stockyards). Elrod gives her own particular selection of traits to vampires - garlic, crosses and invitations into rooms don't work, disappearing, extra strength and glamour do. What's fun about this story is that we learn about Jack's skills and nature as he does and because he's clearly not evil, just a pleasant and friendly ex-reporter who wants to get to the bottom of his own death.

Chicago is a city of gangsters and other dodgy types in this story and Jack falls foul of several of them. What's great about Jack as a character is that if he were fully human he would have died multiple times as he really isn't quite up to dealing with these characters. However his vampire nature gets him out of a lot of sticky situations and also enables him to have a great time scaring some of the people who were involved in his death. Assisted by the trusty Charles Escott, a brave private agent and sometime actor, the two of them try to find out why Jack was killed and what was on the list. In the course of their investigations Jack meets Bobbi, girlfriend to one of the gangsters and a surprisingly phlegmatic person who seems able to cope with his vampiric nature.

There are a lot of amusing jokes and allusions to various books and films which went over the head of this relatively young English reader but that didn't matter as the story was always enjoyable. The best parts are when Jack is 'haunting' his killers but the fun is interspersed with some serious moments as he slowly begins to remember all that they did to him and to come to terms with his new nature.

This is an excellent first story in the series and Jack is a great new character, both as a vampire and also as a slightly hapless investigator.

LIFEBLOOD
The second story, "Lifeblood", takes place just a few weeks after the first story finishes. Jack and Bobbi have settled into some kind of a relationship and Jack also spends some of his time helping Escott with his private investigations. However they soon decide that it would be wise for Jack to have some more of his home earth stored at Escott's place in case he has a problem with returning to his hotel room so Jack drives 'home' to Ohio to collect it. On the way he realises he is being followed and eventually has a showdown with the two people in the car - vampire hunters. They're obviously both rather loony and have read far too many vampire novels, thinking that they are safe from Jack with their garlic and crosses. He gives them a flat tyre and then continues on his way.

Once he's collected the earth he passes his parents' house to find the vampire hunters are there. He chases them off, then returns to Chicago but worried about his parents. Unfortunately he hasn't completely escaped the vampire hunters and they start to plague him in Chicago; he's worried about Bobbi and whether they will go after her. His attention is also taken by an old woman, Gaylen Dumont, who has responded to his adverts in the papers asking for Maureen to contact him (Maureen is his lost love and the vampire who made him). Gaylen is Maureen's sister, now 74 years old, and she gives Escott some information which might help him to find Maureen. However there's more to Gaylen than Jack initially realises and more danger to Bobbi than just from the vampire hunters. Jack is faced with an impossible situation, one that he realises Maureen found herself in, and it's only with the help of Escott his friend that he can survive at all.

This story is more gritty perhaps than the first as we have more emotional engagement from Jack. Being a vampire makes him mostly bombproof but it doesn't mean that he isn't extremely vulnerable because of the friendships he has made and because of his family. The story is always interesting with some great humorous touches and Jack as a character is always very appealing. I found that as a reader I really cared about what happened to him and wanted things to work out well for him. It's a great second book in the series and possibly could be read as a standalone book although it might seem rather complex. The ending leaves the question of Maureen still unresolved and this is dealt with more fully in the third book.

BLOODCIRCLE
The third story, "Bloodcircle", continues straight from where "Lifeblood" left off. Jack Fleming, vampire investigator, and his assistant/boss Charles Escott are still trying to find out what happened to Maureen Dumont, the female vampire that made Jack. She disappeared five years ago when realising her sister Gaylen was going to force her to make her a vampire. Jack and Charles have a small clue to follow about Maureen's disappearance so they set off on a trip to New York State to follow the clue.

Eventually their search takes them to a rich household of the reclusive lady Emily Francher whose mother died in strange circumstances. Jack goes to investigate and soon discovers that Emily's gigolo lover is rather more significant than he might seem. They follow more clues which culminate in Jack being seriously injured and with a very amusing scene where Charles appears to be a body snatcher. The unmasking of the villain and the explanation of what really happened five years before is no great surprise but is well written and enjoyable nonetheless.

In this episode of the Vampire PI series we learn more and more about Jack's personality, particularly with regard to his morals and his feelings. There are some really interesting little vignettes into his thoughts, for example when seeing coffins sized for children when he is in the funeral parlour. Jack's about as far from the traditional view of the evil vampire as it's possible to get and yet he also has to drink blood and carries out mind control on people. The scene where he's trying to find a meal in a farmyard is an amusing episode amongst some of the darker events of the story.

Again this is a great read, like the two previous stories, and it seems like P N Elrod has settled well into her characters and is slowly revealing more and more about them. It's a most enjoyable series and a welcome change from the usual overblown and sex-obsessed vampire genre tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars new vamp, 17 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 (Paperback)
Having heard that this author is alegedly one of the best vampire writers, I was eager to read this book, but was unable to get hold of any copies anywhere! So i was delighted to find this new compilation of 3 books, and a very good book it was. The idea of a new vampire having to learn how to use his skills was interesting and finding a friend and boss to help find his old girlfriend(who made him into a vamp) cool. If you like the old films about private dicks in america (ie the thin man)and some good mysteries, then you'll like this, also not all badies are so bad, some end up helping to hide the bodies of the really bad guys.Although more humour would of helped this book,the concept was different than most vamp book around now and i am eagerly waiting for more to be available. Thanks for reading my first book review
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A great way to begin reading The Vampire Files., 30 Nov. 2009
By 
J. Lesley "(Judy)" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 (Paperback)
This is Volume One of The Vampire Files and contains the first three books in the series, Bloodlist, Lifeblood, and Bloodcircle. I have also seen the books titled as Blood List, Life Blood, and Blood Circle, but the first example is how they are presented in my copy of the collection.

BLOODLIST, book one, 4.5 stars
This is the first book in the series and introduces Jack Fleming as the main character and the vampire of the series. Jack finds himself being hunted by killers who want "the list". Jack would probably be glad to give it to them but since he has amnesia he can't even remember what the list is. To add to Jack's woes he looks in the rearview mirror of the car he is driving and is shocked to find that he casts no reflection. Not only is he hurt, not only does he have amnesia, but now he finds he is also a vampire.

I liked this novel very much. P N Elrod used the recovery from amnesia device to fill in the back story for Jack over the length of the book as he was dealing with the killers who were trying to retrieve something he didn't seem to have. During these efforts Elrod placed the character of Charles Escott within the story to provide Jack with the aid he needed in order to remain undetected as a vampire in the world of 1936 Chicago. This story is violent since Jack and Charles are dealing with gangsters, but at least the author made the violence an essential part of the story and didn't just add it for effect. Jack Fleming is a very believably confused man because of all the changes he has undergone in such a short space of time. I liked his character very much, but Escott almost stole the entire show for me. Charles Escott I really liked a lot.

LIFEBLOOD, book two, 3 stars
This second story in the series picks up within days of the ending of the first book. We are now in September of 1936 Chicago. Jack has developed an attachment for the nightclub singer, Bobbi Smythe, from the previous book and he and Charles Escott have formed a working relationship and the beginnings of a deep friendship. Suddenly a fanatical zealot arrives on the scene to rid the world of vampires. Jack finds himself being hunted by this zealot and his young acolyte who will not be content until Jack is dead, again. There are links revealed to Jack's former fiancee Maureen who is responsible for his present vampiric state. If Jack can only reason with these fanatics he might be able to find Maureen after five years of fruitless searching.

This second story wasn't as enjoyable for me. I felt that the plot was rather weak and Ms Elrod never convinced me that James Braxton and his young sidekick Matheus Webber were nearly as fanatical as they needed to be in order to be on their mission. There were just too, too many questions about why they had suddenly decided to show up and even how they knew where to show up. I still am glad I read the story and feel that it is a good idea to know what happens in this episode because Jack has begun to utilize his special vampire talents now. He is much more resigned to the inevitable direction his life has taken, but still has many things to learn. I must say though, if I had picked this book up as a standalone and tried to understand the happenings, I would have been rather confused.

BLOODCIRCLE, book three, 4 stars
Jack and Charles travel to New York to zero in on the search for Maureen in this third story which begins within days of book two ending. They are able to trace her to an estate on Long Island, but then the trail runs cold. What they do find is the vampire Maureen was involved with when she was first turned. Jonathan Barrett will be their best resource for finding the truth about where Maureen is. Of course, there is that pesky little problem of Jack waking up on a slab in the morgue. Leave it to Charles to figure a way out of this predicament.

Story number three jumped right back up almost to the level of the first book for me. I thought the handling of all the new characters introduced for this series of adventures was very well conceived and believable. Jonathan Barrett was the vampire involved with Maureen and wanted to find her almost as much as Jack Fleming. I liked the pace at which this story moved and the tension and twists to the story kept me completely entertained.

These three stories are all very worthwhile reading to fully understand the complete background involving how Jack Fleming became not only a vampire, but also came to be involved with Charles Escott in his private investigations. I heartily recommend reading all three books to have the characters firmly fixed in your mind so that you (and I) can continue with this very entertaining and well written series. Having them together here in a single volume is a convenient way to read them all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 21 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 (Paperback)
I like Jack and his adventures
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1
The Vampire Files, Volume One: 1 by P. N. Elrod (Paperback - Sept. 2003)
£11.04
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews