Book Review: Molly Harper’s Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

Posted April 24, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Molly Harper’s Care and Feeding of Stray VampiresCare and Feeding of Stray Vampires on July 31, 201 and has 356 pages.

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Second in the Half Moon Hollow paranormal romance series with ties to characters in Harper’s Jane Jameson series. The couple focus in this story is on Iris Scanlon and Cal Calix. Hmmm, flowery names…

My Take

This is a fun read with slightly nuts characters in a warm small town setting with a great sense of life. Yeah, a vampire-centric novel with life in it! The twist that vampires put on it simply makes it more interesting. I love that Harper has included, even in this small way, the primary Jane Jameson characters.

The start is great. You’ll be LYAO. Then you get into the snarkfest going on between Iris and Cal and you’ll start to wonder why you’re bothering. Just keep going. Eventually, you’ll tune it out and simply enjoy the fun.

You’ll crack up with Harper’s description of the packaging for products for vampires! It’s interesting seeing the issues with which a daywalking service for vampires has to cope. I do like Iris’ practicality — wait’ll you read about her fresh flower arrangements!

Oh, yeah! You parents can appreciate this one!

“Never underestimate a teenager’s work ethic if the end result is averted embarrassment.”

I cracked up — again — over the encounter between Cal and Gigi’s date. Wow, what a parent he would make!

Oh, oh, oh, then there’s the scene where Gigi finds out about Cal…

“He followed me home,” I said, deadpan. “Can we keep him?”

It’s definitely an adversarial relationship with these two, one which develops into a funny variation on a normal human’s reactions with boyfriend/girlfriend and parent/child relationships.

Who knew gardening could provide so many protections…?! Hooie, Homer is a vampire and currently writing for TV. You know, Homer. Illiad. Cal has a different take on the Trojan war; well, he was there.

I’m with Iris…Crown has loyal humans??

The Story

Well, frak-frakity-frak…who’d leave a soft pile of…eek…

Nuh-uh, nuh-uh, just plain no. There is no way Iris will consent to take this vampire home! She’s got an impressionable, vulnerable teenager. A sense of self-preservation..! NO.

So, naturally, Mr. C. Calix is going home to hide with Iris. It’s a serious business with potential for a huge death toll, and Cal isn’t sure whom he can trust.

The Characters

Iris Scanlon started up Beeline, a special-event/concierge service for vampires. There aren’t many jobs available to someone like Iris with a degree in Botany in Half Moon Hollow… Iris is the one who arranged and salvaged Jane’s wedding to Gabriel (see Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors (Jane Jameson, 4)). Gladiola Grace, preferably a.k.a., Gigi, (hey, mom was an avid gardener) is her typical teenage sister whom she’s raising since their parents’ deaths. Ben Overby is an infatuated classmate.

Mr. C. Calix, a.k.a., Cal, a private vampire investigator working for the Council, is a new client, courtesy of Ophelia Lambert, the teen-looking leader of the local World Council for the Equal Treatment of the Undead Office. Georgie is her younger sister, and another vampire. Other Council representatives include Sophie, a very scary vampire with mind control powers (eek); Peter Crown (Iris reckons his vampire power is in maintaining a really bad mood for centuries); and, Waco Marchand is a Colonel Sanders-lookalike who is the most human-acting of them.

Her clients include:
Mr. Rychek has the misfortune to be in love with Diandra Starr, an extremely picky, vegan vampire. Ms. Wexler and Mr. Kraznov are fairly standard clients. Jane Jameson, Gabriel Nightengale, and Jamie. Ophelia! Dick and Andrea. Mrs. Dunston still has a need to throw dinner parties. Peter Crown. Ooh, ick. The creepy Mr. Dodd doesn’t last long.

Paul Simms, a.k.a., Booty Call Paul, the assistant coach of the Half Moon Hollow High football team, is Iris’ on-again/off-again boyfriend. A mistake. Jolene Lavelle is her backup. Posey Stubblefield is the town nightmare who has a penchant for setting fires.

Blue Moon has created a flavoring agent that passed all of Nocturne Beverages‘ tests. John is a nutjob. And a vampire. A very bad combination.

The Cover and Title

The cover makes me think of HBO’s True Blood as the male vampire makes me think of Eric. I do like the smooth, muscled chest peeking out from the black shirt while Iris fulfills her concierge duties, presenting a silver chased wine glass of steaming blood.

The title does rather sum up Iris’ tasks within her fledgling business, as it’s all about The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires.


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