Night of the Living Dandelion
Obsidian, Apr 5 2011, $6.99
In New Chapel, Abby Knight, owner of the Bloomers flower shop, is startled when Romanian expatriate Vlad Serban enters. He dresses all in black like a vampire, has an extremely pale complexion and flashes elongated incisors. She is further stunned when he asks for Bloodwort, Dracula’s orchard and other plants connected to the vampire mythos. Abby's fiancé Marco arrives and tells her Vlad is a friend of his. For the most part men detest Vlad becausemany women seem drawn to him though and the males want him kicked out of town.
When nursing director Lori Willis is found dead drained of blood, most people who met the Romanian expatriate assumes he killed the woman as he must be a vampire. More evidence surfaces that make the Eastern European the prime suspect. Abby does not believe he is a vampire, but has suspicions he may be a killer. Her cousin Jillian insists Vlad is an Undead hunting females at night. Trusting her beloved who believes his buddy is innocent and distrusting the law will look beyond the foreigner, Abby and Marco investigate until the latter is sent overseas on a mission; leaving it up to the florist who stakes her life on uncovering the identity of the “vampire” killer.
Vlad is a delightful refreshing character who plays up the vampire connection to his homeland, but seems a decent sort who has Abby’s back (hopefully not her neck). The story line is a heartwarming cozy with a moral message not to judge a book by its cover as people quickly jump to conclusions. Fans of the series will feel mesmerized by the plot (not by the Romanian) as the residents of New Chapel have bodily proof that a vampire lives amongst them.