Today’s book birthday is (joy of joys!) The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig. This is the eleventh book in Lauren’s Pink Carnation series, and I could not be more excited for it. Lauren is one of those authors that I trust to tell me a good story regardless of the subject, but I have to admit, I raised a skeptical eyebrow when I saw that this book would involve vampires. I am so WEARY of vampires. I am tired of the books and the tv shows, and I am still astounded that the “Teen Paranormal Romance” section in Barnes & Noble is a thing. Whether they are sparkly or covered in blood and mud, I have had my fill of vampires for the time being. So my first thought when I saw the blurb for this book was, truthfully, something along the lines of “Oh dear.”
BUT. But. As I said before, I trust Lauren. Her heroine in this book is the younger sister of one of my favorite Pink characters of all time, which guarantees a few fun cameo appearances. Miss Eliza of Strange and Random Happenstance has already read this book (the lucky dog) and promises that Lauren is still bringing her A game. According to her review, Lauren isn’t so much writing a vampire novel as she is lovingly skewering vampire fiction, its authors, and its fan base.
Here is what New American Library has to say about Pink XI:
In the latest Pink Carnation novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig, rumors spreading among the ton turn deadly as a young couple unites to solve a mystery….
In October of 1806, the Little Season is in full swing, and Sally Fitzhugh has had enough of the endless parties and balls. With a rampant vampire craze sparked by the novel The Convent of Orsino, it seems no one can speak of anything else. But when Sally hears a rumor that the reclusive Duke of Belliston is an actual vampire, she cannot resist the challenge of proving such nonsense false. At a ball in Belliston Square, she ventures across the gardens and encounters the mysterious Duke.
Lucien, Duke of Belliston, is well versed in the trouble gossip can bring. He’s returned home to dispel the rumors of scandal surrounding his parents’ deaths, which hint at everything from treason to dark sorcery. While he searches for the truth, he welcomes his fearsome reputation—until a woman is found dead in Richmond. Her blood drained from her throat.
Lucien and Sally join forces to stop the so-called vampire from killing again. Someone managed to get away with killing the last Duke of Belliston. But they won’t kill this duke—not if Sally has anything to say about it.
I know where I’m headed after work today!