In the quaint English village of Snupperton Mumsley, esteemed historian and author Simon Kirby-Jones has a closetful of skeletons. He pens historical romances under the pseudonym Daphne Deepwood and female private-eye novels as Dorinda Darlington. Unknown to both fans and friends, he’s also a gay vampire. But it’s Simon’s déclassé literary pursuits that lead to trouble in his second outing (Posted to Death, 2002). Imperious Lady Hermione Kinsale corrals him into speaking and evaluating manuscripts at her annual writers’ workshop at Kinsale House. Enlivening this otherwise dreary undertaking is the prospect of meeting fellow author and faculty member Dorinda Darlington. Yes! Realizing that someone has the audacity to pose as his nom de plume, Simon spends the days leading up to the workshop contemplating creative and embarrassing ways to expose her. With his equally gay and flirtatious secretary Giles in tow, he arrives at Kinsale House ready to rumble. During the Q&A following the faux Dorinda’s lecture, Simon delivers a severe tongue-lashing, dramatically declaring her a fraud. Lady Hermione achieves a détente with the news that Simon’s agent, the elegant pit bull Nina Yaknova, will be arriving shortly. But far from resolving the dispute, Nina fans the flames, and when the imposter is murdered, she becomes a prime suspect. Giles’s and Simon’s libidos turn somersaults when dreamy Inspector Robin Chase arrives to investigate them, Nina, and a full roster of loopy writer wannabes and pretentious faculty members.
James’s sophomore effort, though smoother than his debut, lacks the style or bite of truly effective parody.