cover image A Matter of Taste

A Matter of Taste

Fred Saberhagen. Tor Books, $16.95 (284pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85046-3

Taking a break from his successful Berserker and Book of Lost Swords series, Saberhagen returns to his modern-day Count Dracula tales in this fast-paced sequel to An Old Friend of the Family . After more than a decade, the Chicago-based Southerland family again finds itself involved with the 500-year-old fiend who loved their great-great-grandmother in Bram Stoker's original story (and in The Dracula Tape , Saberhagen's first vampire tome). Finding the Count (now known as Uncle Matthew) poisoned and comatose in his upscale condo, John Southerland and his fiancee try to nurse him to health while defending the apartment against various living and ``undead'' foes. They also discover a tape-recorded autobiography telling of the Count's early bloodsucking days and his encounters with 15th-century legends Cesare and Lucretia Borgia, who may be masterminding the current attack. The Chicago characters become less interesting once the historical intrigue begins, but overall this thriller/romance will please fans thirsting for more adventures of a gentlemanly ghoul. (July)