SEANCE FOR A VAMPIRE by Fred Saberhagen


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Saberhagen's revisionist Dracula series (A Question of Time, 1992) features the count as a sharing and caring New Vampire who also happens to be a relative of Sherlock Holmes. Dr. Watson, capably assisted by the count, relates how, in 1903, Kulakov, a mad Russian vampire of 18th-century origin, sets in motion a plan to recover some missing jewels from the prosperous Altamont family. After the elder Altamont daughter, Louisa, drowns in a bizarre boating incident, her ghost appears in tangible form during a sÉance -- or so avers Martin Armstrong, Louisa's distraught American fiancÉ. Her father, Ambrose, isn't so sure (he suspects an extortion attempt) and calls in Sherlock Holmes, who identifies the revenant Louisa as a vampire before he himself is abducted by Kulakov. Watson immediately summons Dracula to rescue the entombed but uninjured Holmes. Louisa dies again, this time permanently, so the frothing Kulakov kidnaps the younger Altamont daughter, Rebecca, and bears her off to Russia. Finally, in St. Petersburg, the czarina's weirdly compelling confidant, Rasputin, will play a crucial part in resolving the affair. A clever idea, appealingly and persuasively set forth, but about halfway through, the uncomplicated plot subsides into aimless twiddling.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Tor -- dist. by St. Martin's