Vampires have been a part of our literary psyche for nearly two hundred years now. In that time, they have evolved from villains – sophisticated monsters – to heroes, as in that handsome, big-game-hunting Edward Cullen. Now, Karen Cantwell and LB Gschwandtner have given us a new kind of vampiric anti-hero: the vaguely Yiddish Myron Standlish in Foxy’s Tale (The Reluctant Vampire Series, Book 1).
This novel comes together so seamlessly that I would not have known it was a collaboration. The characters, particularly Mr. Standlish, are well-drawn and interesting. The true meat of the story is the relationship of a beauty-queen, Foxy, and her slightly rebellious teenaged daughter, Amanda. After a messy and costly divorce, Foxy seeks to transform herself, not realizing that her daughter is attempting to do the same thing.
Overall, the vampire theme is just incidental to the story – like one of several spices rather than the main flavor of the dish. The writing is engaging, though initially I found the present-tense format somewhat off-putting – I felt like I was reading a script rather than a novel. I was a little disappointed in the ending, which felt unresolved. However, as this is the first book in a series, I’m sure the questions I have will eventually be answered.
This is a light, entertaining read that I would recommend to anyone seeking an escape from reality and a few laughs. I look forward to getting to know Myron better in the future.