A rollicking second installment in the adventures of Jane Austen, vampire.
Now that her novel Constance has hit the bestseller lists and been picked up by Hollywood, and she’s succeeded in vanquishing her undead nemesis Violet Grey, née Charlotte Brontë, you might think that the troubles would be over for bookseller Jane Fairfax, née Jane Austen (Jane Bites Back, 2009). But when you’re a vampire who’s secreted yourself in Brakeston, N.Y., dreading the time when all your mortal friends will die, trouble has a way of finding you, and not just in the form of sycophantic nuisances like romance reviewer/literary tour guide Beverly Shrop. Item: Kelly Littlejohn, Jane’s wondrously sympathetic editor, becomes an agent and is replaced by Jessica Abernathy, the editor from hell. Item: Her sweet boyfriend Walter Fletcher announces that he’s Jewish and that he’s told his visiting mother that Jane is taking conversion classes with a local rabbi. Item: The contract Jane signed for the film adaptation of Constance gives the producers the right to sex up the story and relocate it to 1950s America (“people are in love with the fifties now,” director Julia Baxter sagely informs her). And of course Lord Byron, the wastrel vampire who turned both Jane and her archenemy into vampires, is at it again with one of the twin clerks at Flyleaf Books (is it Ned or Ted Hawthorne? Byron really can’t tell them apart). To top it off, Brakeston turns out to be playing host to more vampires than Jane had realized—in fact, the most recent arrival is turned by none other than Jane herself—and more vampire hunters as well. What’s a decorous centuries-old novelist who needs her neighbors, her sweetie and frequent doses of blood to do?
Less Pride and Prejudice than True Blood—not that there’s anything wrong with that—and a witty demonstration of how beautifully the dilemmas of being Jane Austen and a vampire can comport with the tropes of chick lit. You’ll thirst for the conclusion of the trilogy.