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Vampyres of Hollywood    by Adrienne Barbeau & Michael Scott order for
Vampyres of Hollywood
by Adrienne Barbeau
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Ovsanna Moore wears many hats: when she's not starring in or directing her latest gruesome horror movie, she's busy solidifying her reputation as a cutthroat businesswoman and producer. What very few know however, is that the horror movie scream queen is a real vampyre. Ovsanna Hovannes Garabedian, Chatelaine of Clan Darkhanavar of the First Bloodline, is a full born, pure blood bloodsucker - one who simply basks in the delicious irony of it all.

As the story opens, Ovsanna has just fired the director of her current project after catching him snorting cocaine. Knowing her business partner, Thomas DeWitte, will not be happy once he learns that his current fair-haired boy and lover has been tossed off the lot, Ovsanna goes into combat mode. One too many complaints from Thomas and he too, will receive his walking papers. Ovsanna's deal with a group of Japanese investors is simply too important; their backing would finally put her production company into the big leagues. But when Thomas and other members of her staff begin showing up dead, all of them killed in gruesomely violent ways, Ovsanna becomes the prime suspect.

Detective Peter King knows all about the legend that is Ovsanna Moore. In reality though the woman is far more intriguing that he could ever have imagined. He might be a bit star struck, but he figures out in short order that she and her lovely assistant Maral are lying to him at every turn. He's determined to ferret out their secrets, and if necessary arrest Ovsanna for murder. But when her enemies target her for annihilation and Peter rides to her rescue, nothing can prepare him for the horrors he discovers in the fortress-like mansion tucked away in the Palm Springs hills.

Vampyres of Hollywood is a must read for horror and dark fantasy fans alike. And while not for the faint of heart, it might even appeal to readers who love all things Hollywood. As a former sitcom star and wife of horror flick director John Carpenter, Barbeau's first hand knowledge about Tinsel Town is more than apparent with her many references to the mores, values, gossip, and backstage secrets, all cunningly disguised as fiction of course. The resurrections of Rudolf Valentino, Orson Welles, and Douglas Fairbanks - to name just a few Hollywood legends - are also fresh and wickedly clever. Their banter is often laugh out loud hilarious as they poke fun at themselves and the business.

Adrienne Barbeau and YA writer Michael Scott have created a marvellous, unique tale in Vampyres of Hollywood, a story that puts a very clever and often darkly humorous twist on every vampire cliché that's ever been invented. Let's hope the authors have planned a few additional encores for Hollywood's Scream Queen and the scores of undead movie stars who serve her.

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