I worried about this book, especially since the cover didn't thrill me. I had been burned by vampire novels before, except for Dracula. Would this be another sex saturated vampire drivel or would there actually be a story? To my delight and surprise, there was a story and some wry humor!!! One way I think I would describe this story is for Fletch to become a vampire. Jack Fleming is a basically decent guy, he'll only take what's due to him, he doesn't like the idea of hurting people, can't lie, and he sends money home to his folks. Naturally, there's a catch, but more on that later.
Later. Picture it, Chicago, 1930s. Jack Fleming's a reporter and has just received some news. The bad news is he's dead, but the good news is he can investigate his own death because he's now a member of the elite undead, which is a heck of a lot better than being mostly dead or all dead, courtesy of Maureen (who never makes an appearance). After Jack recovers from his shock of being killed, he decides to recover his missing last four days and figure out why he was killed (it deals with a list he's supposed to have) starting with the ship, Elvira, but another mystery has popped up. Jack receives a note asking for a meeting. Jack agrees, cautiously, and meets Charles Escott. Escott's a former stage actor/makeup artist turned P.I. who has guessed Jack's condition and is curious, perhaps more curious than Jack. Jack's ex told him some of the traits of vampirism, but not all and Jack's doing some serious OJT. As Jack adjusts, he sets out to find the person who killed him. Along the way, he meets Bobbi Smythe, the first woman to make him feel alive like a man in a long time. He also meets the bad guys, Paco, Morelli, Gordy, and Lucky Lebredo, any of them who could have killed Jack. He sends Paco to the hospital after putting Paco's brain through the vampire blender and hitting "puree" (completely unintentional). With Escott's help, Fleming torments Morelli until it all ends aboard the Elvira.
Hmm… As if the weather isn't bad enough, it appears Chicago is being overrun with wizards and vampires. Don't think I'll heading there any time soon.