Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Goldcamp Vampire

By Elizabeth Scarborough

Pelagia Harper, aka Valentine Lovelace, aka Pat Harper, aka Corazon has recently lost her father.
Pelagia despises her father's widow, who owes her money that she had failed to pay. Her father's mistress, Sasha Devine, is leaving California to head to the Klondike to work in an opera house there.  She offers Pelagia a job as her traveling companion, with Pelagia to make all the arrangements and the salary to be paid upon arrival at their destination. Traveling along with the two women will be the coffin of one Mr. Lawson, whom Sasha has promised to bring home to Alaska.
Mysterious deaths accompany the two women on their travels north. One of the deaths is that of a Canadian official. One evening the official demanded that Mr. Lawson coffin be opened to check for contraband. Upon refusal, he attacked the coffin with a pry bar. Mist boiled out of the coffin and engulfed the man and he died. Pelagia, fearful she would be blamed for his death, weighed his body down and, with the help of a friend, sunk him in the lake.
But he didn't stay down for long. And the authorities are looking for Pelagia now. Sasha offers her a position with the opera disguised as a flamenco dancer named Corazon. Pelagia, who has still not received her wages from Sasha, feels forced to accept.
But strange doings are going on at the opera house, centered around the owner, Vasily Bledinoff. Soon all the girls in the opera, except Pelagia, are going around with small wounds on their necks.  The nearby woods appear to be full of werewolfs and weremoose. Vasily is attempting to woo Pelagia into becoming another of his blood cows and the authorities are soon going to figure out that Pelagia is the dancer Corazon.
Who will get her first, the police or the seductive vampire?

This was an OK story. It has a lot of different characters and at times I had a bit of trouble keeping them all straight. It seemed to take Pelagia a long time to figure out that Vasily is a vampire. She only begins to understand what is happening when someone brings Bram Stoker's book, Dracula, to the opera house where she is working. Vasily is an interesting character and it would have been nice to read more about him and his ways. Pelagia herself is kind of boring.

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