Monsters in the Mist is the third of my books featuring Galbraith & Pole. It can be read as a stand-alone book, but it builds on the world established in the first two books. It certainly helps to have read the first in the series, Something Wicked.
Something Wicked explains how the vampire, Pole, came to be working with the Metropolitan Police, where he met Chief Inspector Galbraith and they worked together on their first murder investigation. Pole is not your conventional vampire. He lives in an elegant apartment in Chelsea were he enjoys cooking (often with garlic) and fine whisky. But he does avoid daylight and feeds on blood.
For the next five days, Something Wicked will be on offer for just 99p/cents. It’s quite a short book, so it gives you time to read it ahead of the publication of Monsters in the Mist on 27 October.
If you’re not sure about spending 99p, you can get an idea of the story because the opening is available free, read by me here:
Monsters in the Mist is the third book I’ve written featuring Galbraith and Pole. Galbraith is an old-school London detective who finds himself working together with a vampire to solve some distinctly unusual crimes.
The first book in the series, Something Wicked, found them investigating a murder that had left a peer of the realm dead in his study, drained of all his blood. Obviously vampires were involved by why, after hundreds of years of hiding in plain sight, were they revealing themselves now? The investigation takes in a tango hall (vampires are big on tango) and night classes at Birkbeck College (vampires can hardly be expected to study during the day) before an explosive climax in Brompton Cemetery.
In the second book, Eat the Poor, a werewolf is attacking people on council estates across London. Is this a supernatural beast with a political agenda? Galbraith and Pole team up again to track down the killer, who, it seems is close to the heart of government.
In their latest adventure they are called in when a dismembered body is found on a Welsh moor. The urbane Chief Inspector Pole is well out of his comfort zone in rural mid Wales and Galbraith is almost equally uncomfortable so far away from London. Pole is unhappy, too at suggestions that there might be another werewolf on the loose. He is certain that there must be an alternative explanation for the killing but others are not so sure. This time their investigation takes them to a classified government research facility and a dramatic showdown in a secret military base.
The cover is another wonderful effort from Dave Slaney.
The Galbraith & Pole stories are not your conventional vampire tales. For a start Pole is hardly your conventional vampire. An enthusiastic cook (not that he needs to eat solid food), he loves garlic as well as tango. His Chelsea flat is an oasis of calm, where Galbraith finds himself Increasingly at home. It’s fair to say that these books do not take the genre too seriously.
Monsters in the Mist will be available in time for Halloween and can be pre-ordered now. Watch out for it: a police procedural with added bite.
It’s still October, so I’m still blogging about my fantasy novels.
The second was Something Wicked. Something Wicked is a vampire/police procedural crossover. It is firmly tongue-in-cheek and, according to one reviewer, it is “frequently funny and clever”, which is not to say that it does not have its share of blood and horror. But these vampires are not the traditional creatures of darkness, hunting through the night to drain the blood of virgins. Instead, like regular people (or ‘Mortals’ as they think of us), they come in all shapes and sizes, from the perpetual student (“Jacob’s at least 110 years old. Still, they say you’re never too old to learn”) to the senior partner in a top law firm. Urbane and sophisticated (at least for the most part) they just want to be left alone, taking the odd sip of blood where it can do no harm. When things go wrong and a peer of the realm turns up drained and dead, the vampires send their own investigator to work alongside the Metropolitan Police to close the case before things get out of hand.
I had huge fun writing this story, taking all the standard vampire tropes and tweaking them to make a credible London subculture. Brompton Cemetery features heavily because after a visit it is difficult not to believe that there are creatures inhabiting some of the amazing sepulchres there. Tango also figures prominently. Partly this is because authors are always encouraged to ‘write what you know’ and I am passionate about the dance, but also because I have always associated tango – its social rituals and nocturnal lifestyle – with the Undead. My vampires love tango and humans who join in their dances can consider themselves privileged.
“Tango is, I think, a point at which your world and ours converge. The music speaks of great beauty and unbearable sorrow; of love and of death.”
Because I usually write historical novels, I tried to provide some historical context for my vampires, so we have visits to the world of Anglo-Saxon Britain, an interview with Charles II and a final solution to what actually happened to Princess Anastasia during the Russian Revolution.
So there you are: police procedural, vampire fantasy, an essay on tango and some history thrown in. What more could you ask for?