cover image Shadows in Their Blood

Shadows in Their Blood

Marian Babson / Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (189p) ISBN 9

In this humdrum mystery, Babson ( Encore Murder ) unsuccessfully attempts to evoke a creepy, B-movie ambience by casting her series regulars in a second-rate Dracula remake. Trixie Dolan, the somewhat scatterbrained narrator, and Evangeline Sinclair, her peevish cohort, were once stars of the silver screen; now they're forced to share a suite in a drafty, gloomy English castle that doubles as the vampire flick's set. The accommodations are most unpleasant: bats fly through the halls, the director intentionally serves only red wine and other blood-colored fare at mealtimes and his mistress has the obligatory unusual wound on her throat. Finally, after a pompous actor is stabbed to death, Trixie and Evangeline themselves are suspected of being immortal bloodsuckers. For all Trixie's breathless complaints about the unbearable tension, this mystery remains sluggish. Thin characterization dulls the interest, and such conspicuously odd players as a wax-museum curator and a disfigured former screen idol seem more benign than threatening. Even with the stock pieces in place, Babson creates neither foreboding mood nor hair-raising drama. (May)