The red-headed private-investigating McAfee twins are back and funnier than ever in Jennifer Colt’s third McAfee mystery, The Vampire of Venice Beach. After going after a dirty plastic surgeon in The Butcher of Beverly Hills and proving their aunt and cousin innocent of murder in The Mangler of Malibu Canyon, the twins take on their toughest—and strangest—case yet when Terry (the wild twin) agrees to help provide security for a ‘vampire’ in The Vampire of Venice Beach.
Kerry is none too happy with her ex-druggie sister when she commits them to a gig providing security for Ephemera, Queen of the Undead, as she helps to open a new shop catering to the vampire scene. She’s even less happy when the coffin containing Ephemera is opened at the opening day parade and her lifeless (bloodless) body comes tumbling out. Since Ephemera, better known as Darby Applewhite, just happened to be a high school acquaintance of the twins, they feel it’s their duty to find her killer. After a little digging, however, they soon realize it may not have been Darby in the coffin after all. She just may still be alive—and in mortal danger from vampires who take their lifestyle much more seriously than Darby ever did.
Jennifer Colt has created another winner in this, the third installment of the McAfee twins mysteries. Her plot is fast-moving, interesting and never gets bogged down. However, where Colt really excels is in her characterization. Terry and Kerry continue to be entertaining, witty and strong women who beautifully carry off a series such as this. To add to the fun, Colt has included three beefcakes (called the three Bruces, because they all want to be like Bruce Willis) who are interning with the girls, some colorful folks who are involved in the Venice Beach vampire scene and, of course, the girls’ two spirited pups, Muffy and Paquito.
Those who have been following Colt’s series will be more than satisfied with The Vampire of Venice Beach, and those who start with the third novel will definitely want to go back and catch up with the first two books. Funny, rollicking and thrilling, the McAfee twins mysteries are simply a delight.