Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Re-visiting The Sweet Scent of Blood

<---my version of Book #1

new cover of sequel ---->

Last summer I read The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod. I knew it was going to eventually come out in the States, (America States) but I was very, very impatient (well, I read the excerpt, and got all excited about it in a very book geeky way) and couldn't wait until the USA release. So I ordered it from the Book Depository (free shipping! most places) - ordered both The Sweet Scent of Blood and the sequel, The Cold Kiss of Death. Never regretted it.

I did write about the book before. I should say review, but I still feel like I'm pretending to be a reviewer, since I don't do this professionally. I don't even look at a book the same way a lot of other reviewers do. Mostly I care if the book interests me, or if it drove me crazy. This book interested me very much. So since I did re-read it again, I'll write about it again.

The Sweet Scent of Blood was just as good the second time around as the first. Only this time, there were sections where I knew "aaahhhh, this is why he/she is doing this" Or "oh yes, I know why things changed for her..." etc. This is a fun part of re-reading a book that I've enjoyed. I'm not going to list these sections - I'm going for vague here, because I don't want to put out spoilers.

Genevieve Taylor is a sidhe fae (complete with cat-shaped, or oblong pupils- not literally cat shaped!) living in London, working for a group of witches in a company called Spellcrackers. The witches have had a long-standing uneasy truce with the vampires. The vampires have recently "come out" of hiding into the public eye with the help of a public relations firm. The vamps even have a calender. Mr October has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend and this is where Genny becomes involved. She's asked to see if check out the body, to see if there were any spells used on her. Suddenly, there is all kinds of resistance to Genny even seeing the body, much less visiting Mr October.

The whole novel, from the first page to the last was a wonderful read. There were so many interesting characters within the book, from Genny's immediate supervisor at Spellcrackers (Finn) to the goblins (frequently hired on as bodyguards), to brownies to pixies - even the trees have a part in this world as nyads. There is also a twist to the vampire bite - rather than the typical bites, here you can be bitten with the regular fangs, or bitten with an extra set of small fangs which inject a chemical that causes an addiction - ensuring that vamps have a steady food supply. The addicted literally actively seek out the vamps for more.

Ms McLeod rounds out the mystery of the main plot with various scenes of Genny working at her job or taking part in her mysterious night wanderings (you have to read the book to find out why Genny wanders around at night) and visits with all the beings that do not want Genny to find out what really happened to Mr October's girlfriend.

The narrative was well written, the dialogue between characters very good, and the descriptions of London, the fae and the glimpses of the vamp nightlife very interesting. The whole novel, from the beginning to end is just pure reading joy. If I were younger, (about 30 years younger, maybe more, maybe 35 years younger) I would totally do something like this: SQUEEEEE! But I'm a stately, dignified (ahem!) 49 year old, so you'll have to settle for me using my words like an adult should. :)

If you haven't bought The Sweet Scent of Blood yet, you should. It's a great mix of genre characters with vamps, witches, and a variety of fae {pixies, goblins, nyads, brownies, etc.}

As soon as the sequel, The Cold Kiss of Death becomes available here in the U.S., you should get that also. These are two books that are worth buying, keeping AND re-reading. Besides - if any of you are taking part in the Typically British Reading Challenge (Book Chick City), here is a prime author and book to use.


  1. I am going to have to put that on my TBR list! I review the same way but it is why I don't want to be professional reviewer. I just review what I thought of the book, I don't even try to be objective. I either liked it or not :)

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