A Bite To Remember
by Lynsay Sands, paranormal (2006)
Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-06-077407-X

PI Jackie Morrisey and her giant colleague are called in to help vampire playwright Vincent Argeneau when someone starts sabotaging his productions to the point of doing in the actors and other people hired by Vincent. Vincent has not much faith in a female PI but Jackie is determined to prove him wrong. You can guess what happens between the two of them, I suppose. No, the giant doesn't get to share the kinky sex games - he cooks instead. This is, after all, a Lynsay Sands story and not a story by a charming if bonkers author who worships the "Diety" and feels the "arduer".

The problem with A Bite To Remember is not that Vincent has been watered down here since he's depicted as this very sinister and mysterious figure in previous books only to be quite mundane here - although that could be a contributing factor - but because this book is so dry that I can put it down too easily. The suspense is pretty dead because much of the "clues" arise from things that Jackie remembers which Vincent forgets. For example, even after Vincent knows that he is being sabotaged, I'm supposed to believe that he doesn't even check his mail until Jackie does it for him (only to find stalker emails and other Important Clues). Or that Vincent doesn't even bother to keep a record of the list of people under his employ and has to chase after his staff to get one for Jackie. Or that he knows surprisingly little about his employees for someone said to be as intelligent as he is. Much of the suspense in this story therefore involves following paper trails that lead to dead bodies and much of the problem stems from Vincent's ignorance or carelessness as well as the antics of the villain.

There is hardly any character development here, other than very obvious "Vampires are good!" propaganda. Jackie starts out mistrustful of vampires but Vincent will prove her wrong by showing her that vampires like him do plenty of good deeds to help people. It's all so Miss Universe to me, really, and Vincent just stops short of launching into a speech about world peace and wanting to work with children and animals (which, in Ms Sands' world, will be a very good thing) while Jackie watches with stars in her eyes.

A Bite To Remember is not a bad book, it's just a surprisingly joyless one with a very dry suspense plot and even drier characters. I doubt I will even remember it a week from now.

Rating: 50

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