The Vampire of Venice Beach: A Novel

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Harley-riding, red-headed identical twins Terry and Kerry McAfee make their way down the Pacific Coast Highway to Venice Beach in this zany third installment (after 2006's The Mangler of Malibu Canyon) to Colt's paranormal series, as they track the killer of their friend Darby Applewhite. Posing as Ephemera, Queen of the Undead, for the Coming Out of the Coffin parade, Darby was to make a grand entrance, but her bloodless, lifeless body tumbles from the coffin instead, and later disappears from the morgue. Darby hired the twins for crowd control, and now Darby's parents press Terry and Kerry for help, drawing them deep into an unholy coverup. Colt enlivens the mystery with snarky social commentary on a subplot involving the twins' rich great-aunt Reba and her Venice Beach charity work. The far-out plot features entertaining characters like a really gross vamp named Shatán, but the standouts are the wisecracking sisters on their shocking pink motorcycle. (Mar.)

                                                 —Publishers Weekly

Colt's lovable detective duo, redheaded twins Kerry and Terry McAfee, last seen in The Mangler of Malibu Canyon (2006), find themselves on security duty for a group of vampire wannabes at the Venice Goth Parade. The last thing they expect is to end up with an actual dead body on their hands, but that's precisely what happens when the coffin they're carrying opens up to reveal a very dead Queen of the Undead. Ephemera--or Darby Applewhite as the twins knew her in high school--appears to be missing a fatal amount of blood, and tooth marks on her neck suggest the work of vampires. Unwilling to leave the investigation to the police, the McAfee twins question a bevy of suspects, including Darby's fellow goth roommates and a truly frightening rival. But when Darby's body disappears, the twins start to suspect she might not be dead after all. Colt's enjoyably fun series holds up well in its third installment and will have mystery lovers reading rapidly to reach the exciting conclusion. Kristine Huntley