I've been a fan of Tara Moss for quite a while now, watching her interview other famous authors on Tara Moss in Conversation, watching her on Tough Nuts - Australia's Hardest Criminals, and following her comments on Twitter.
So you might be surprised to learn The Blood Countess is the first Tara Moss book I've read. The reason for my hesitation until now was the fear I might not enjoy her work as much as I enjoy her in the mediums mentioned above, and that it could damage the high regard in which I hold her.
I needn't have worried. I deliberated before settling on The Blood Countess, and I must confess I was a little influenced by the front cover.
Pandora English moves to New York City to live with her eccentric Great Aunt Celia and pursue her dream as a writer with a fashion magazine. Her Aunt lives on the top floor of a gothic revival style Victorian building located in Spektor, in Manhattan. I thoroughly enjoyed the references to the history and description of the mansion, and I share Tara's enthusiasm for gothic architecture and Victorian influence. I was keen to learn more about the building, it's history and it's architect Edmund Barrett, the founding member of the Global Society for Psychical Research. My interest was piqued but the plot moved on, and I almost felt like Tara was teasing the reader with a whiff of what could be interesting enough for another book altogether!
The fashion angle in The Blood Countess is something largely outside my normal reading patterns; another reason why I chose this novel over one of Tara's many crime novels. However I was relieved to find that the writing wasn't dripping in fashion lingo, nor would I categorise this novel as 'chic lit' (which I detest). The Blood Countess by Tara Moss is a light and enjoyable read with a likeable main character in Pandora English and a supernatural undercurrent.
My rating = ***