Jul 28, 2014

Review--Blood Bath & Beyond by Michelle Rowen

Sarah Dearly is adjusting to life as a fledgling vampire, satisfying her cravings at vampire-friendly blood banks. But when her fiancĂ© Thierry takes a job with the Ring—the secret council in charge of keeping vampires in line—Sarah’s about to get more than a taste of danger…

Being engaged to a centuries-old master vampire can be challenging—especially when he takes a job with the Ring. Thierry’s in for fifty years of nonstop travel and deadly risk. It’s enough to make any woman reconsider the wedding…any woman except Sarah, that is.

Traveling to Las Vegas for his first assignment, they encounter a child beauty pageant contestant from hell, as well as a vampire serial killer leaving victims drained of blood, potentially exposing the existence of vampires to the whole world. But when Thierry’s truly ancient history comes back to haunt him, and he’s accused of a crime he didn't commit, it’s up to Sarah to clear his name before their immortal lives come to an end.

Blood Bath & Beyond is Michelle Rowen's foray into the mystery world! I love a good paranormal mystery and Victoria Laurie's quote on the cover is what led me to try this one out. It was pretty good, but I guess what threw me off was that while this is a NEW series, it's a spinoff of Michelle's previous paranormal romance one that involved the characters. So I missed 5 books worth of info, but again, this is the first in this series.

Yeah, kind of confusing. But like I said, I basically just missed quite a lot of back story, but I tried to not let that bother me. So of course mentioning old friends and whatnot and the unsaid history there, leaves you wondering a bit, but overall, I didn't struggle too much.

Thierry is a 600 year-old vampire engaged to his fledging Sarah. He's been "offered" a new job he can't refuse to be apart of the Ring--basically the vampire justice system that keeps vamps in line. He must go to Vegas and basically tell a vampire child beauty contestant that she must stop entering pageants, because it is a risk to the vampire society which must be kept secret from humans. And Sarah agrees to come along.

Where the mystery lies is when Thierry's predecessor and old acquaintance is murdered. And the number one suspect is Thierry. The Ring sends in its enforcers to exact justice, but Sarah knows that Thierry would never hire a hunter to kill a vampire, no matter how much he may dislike said vampire. So she does a bit of investigating of her own.

I enjoyed this mystery quite a bit. I didn't foresee who our murderer is, because there's also a lot more going on. Such as another serial killer killing humans one a day for the past week, in a way that is very much like a vampire taking a bite out of their necks. Vegas is most definitely the city that never sleeps and it is quite dangerous at the current time apparently! No one is safe, neither humans or vampires and Sarah struggles to find the real killer so that Thierry is in the clear and they can move on to their happily ever after.

There's quite a bit of secrets going on in this one, and not just the aspects of the mystery. But with Thierry himself, although I was able to guess as his real motives and that proved correct. Thierry is a pretty mysterious vampire. I guess missing the first series left me to miss out on his character development but I could never seem to get a grasp of why he is the way he is. There were times I wondered if he really cared for Sarah like he claimed because he was just so darn secretive! It drove me nuts! And Sarah too for that matter.

But all answers come in the end. All around questions and mysteries are solved and new problems are set into place--very minor ones really, just to get the new mystery series going. It was definitely a fun, cozy mystery for sure. If you like Victoria Laurie and Juliet Blackwell kind of mysteries I definitely recommend this one, but that paranormal aspect kind of gets forgotten sometimes. Even though the characters are vampires, it feels almost normal! Not sure what that says about my own personality, but I look forward to more mysteries with Sarah!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars


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