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Curiousity staked the vampire,
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This review is from: Tales of the Shadowmen 5: The Vampires of Paris (Paperback)
Volume 5 is only the second collection of Shadowmen tales I've read, and it won't be the last.
The Lofficiers' introductions to each short story sets up the context perfectly, giving as much of an introduction to the characters and their situations as needed, without spoiling the story. It also performs the important task of making sure that the reader doesn't have to have any prior knowledge before beginning these stories. Better still, it feels like a bit of an education, for me, anyway (I never knew anything about Lord Ruthven before I read this, now I realise he's like a vampire version of Cliff Richard and the Shadows to Dracula's Beatles, if you follow my analogy).
The faults in this collection are only the same as in any other short story anthology: The stories might vary in quality, but this might just be down to personal taste. For me, "Madamn Atomos' Holiday" was merely a mild diversion that passed quater of an hour. But "The Heart of a Man", which deals with the fate of World War II collaborators, is the stand-out gem of this collection. The least good stories are an affectionate homage to pulp fiction. The best transcend it.
It has also made me curious enough to find out more about some of these creations. Madamn Atomos, Lord Ruthven and Monsiguor Lecoq are all characters whose origins and place in their respective genres show some significance. I would certainly be interested in reading some of their original sources.
And you've got to give credit to a collection that brings back Teyve the milkman...