by Alex Bledsoe.
Tor, April 2009.
Baron Rudolfo Zginski awakes after 50 years in a coffin with a gold crucifix wedged into his heart. He has been transported from a small town in Wales, where he had been judged to be a vampire, to a University medical morgue in Memphis TN. The year is now 1975. Zginski is a quick study, but he finds the modern world quite perplexing. Much of the humor found in this vampire horror story comes from his quaint way of describing contemporary conveniences like the automobile as well as from his fascination with such things as movies. He is enthralled by Blackula.
The Baron has a strict set of priorities - what he needs and wants comes first. Concern for others comes second if at all. His fortunate discovery of a group of naive, young vampires (their knowledge of their undead status coming mostly from movies) helps him navigate this bizarre new world. In turn he shares his knowledge of vampire characteristics such as being able to walk in daylight. Yes, they can! As long as their needs don't interfere with his own he is willing to show them the way. But if things get sticky, and they will, he plans to take off. The biggest danger facing all of the vampires is a mysterious gray powder which has already caused one true death.
Couple that with a single-minded, ruthless medical examiner and you have an intoxicating brew of mystery, humor, and horror. For readers with a weak constitution there are a few gory scenes but only a few and sexual seduction, because it is one of a vampires primary powers, is often employed. All in all this is an edgy, enthralling, entertaining story.