Murder in Vein
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Murder in Vein

4.5 4
by Sue Ann Jaffarian

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The sight of the blood covered fangs exploded from her deep memory like a ball through a plate glass window. The man had bitten Bobby, torn into him like a barbequed rib on the Fourth of July.

Vampires. Vam-pires. Real live—er, dead (undead?)—bloodsucking vampires, living in the City of Angels. Madison Rose, a street-smart twenty-something


The sight of the blood covered fangs exploded from her deep memory like a ball through a plate glass window. The man had bitten Bobby, torn into him like a barbequed rib on the Fourth of July.

Vampires. Vam-pires. Real live—er, dead (undead?)—bloodsucking vampires, living in the City of Angels. Madison Rose, a street-smart twenty-something waitress would never have believed it—until a vampire thwarts a vicious attack against her by appearing in the nick of time and finishing off her assailant in one tasty bite.


"Like Stuart Kaminsky, Jaffarian juggles her franchises deftly, giving each a unique voice and appeal. Her latest series kickoff may be her best yet, blending supernatural sexy with down-to-earth sassy."—Kirkus Reviews

"Though Madison is no Sookie Stackhouse, she's definitely a keeper."—Publishers Weekly

"It will no doubt appeal to many paranormal mystery fans. . .[Murder in Vein] is recommended for its likable characters and intriguing plot."—Library Journal

"Sue Ann Jaffarian never fails to make me chuckle with her three mystery series starring paralegal Odelia Grey, ghost Granny Apples, and now Murder in Vein, starring friendly, and not-so-friendly, neighborhood vampires."—Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries

"Thrilling, suspenseful, and darkly funny, Murder in Vein will leave you thirsting for more in this fabulous new series."—Kelli Stanley, author of City of Dragons

"Sue Ann Jaffarian has added her own inimitable style to the urban fantasy genre. Murder in Vein is fast, fun and, as the cover notes, deliciously fang-in-cheek!"—Jeanne C. Stein, bestselling author of the Anna Strong Chronicles

"Luminescent in the night fog, Murder in Vein calls to the reader to come along with its determined protagonist Madison Rose down a road fraught with murder, chills, humor and downright sexy undead suspects. This tale of dangerous things that go bump in the night by Sue Ann Jaffarian makes for a pleasurable and exciting read."—Gary Phillips, author of The Underbelly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This promising first in a new vampire cozy series from Jaffarian (Ghost à la Mode) opens with a bang. One moonlit night, serial killer Bobby Piper has waitress Madison Rose at his mercy in an isolated wooded area of L.A. Then an older man suddenly appears and sinks his fangs into Bobby's neck. The next thing Madison knows, she's at the Topanga Canyon home of her silver-haired savior, Doug Dedham, and his wife, Dodie, a retired nurse who's also a vampire. At the request of LAPD Det. Michael Notchey, who's clued into the covert L.A. vampire scene, Madison agrees to help nail the force behind Bobby's string of blood-draining murders. Most of Bobby's victims bore "bloodlines" marking them as potential vampires. Madison, who doesn't bear the mark, may have been attacked because she was mistaken for someone else. Though Madison is no Sookie Stackhouse, she's a definite keeper. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In this vampire series debut by the author of the popular "Odelia Grey Mysteries," L.A. waitress Madison Rose is abducted one night after work and trussed up like a turkey to be handed over to a mad serial killer who is draining the blood of young women. Rescued by a strange vampire couple who kill her captor, Madison helps the vampires search for the real killer. While Jaffarian introduces an interesting cast of characters and an appealing heroine, several unexpected flashback scenes somewhat jar the story line's otherwise smooth delivery. This reviewer also felt somewhat misled by the jokey subtitle—the book features neither a dry humorous slant akin to Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series nor the quirky humor of Kimberly Raye's "Dead End Dating" mysteries. As a straight vampire mystery, however, it will no doubt appeal to many paranormal mystery fans. VERDICT Despite its flaws, this is recommended for its likable characters and intriguing plot. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 4/1/10.]—Crystal Renfro, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta
Kirkus Reviews

Odelia Gray (Corpse on the Cob, 2010, etc.) and Granny Apples (Ghost à la Mode, 2009) have a new cousin: Madison Rose, a human living in Los Angeles's twilight world of vampires.

Waitress Madison Rose can hardly believe it. First she's snatched from outside Auntie Em's Diner by a thug named Bobby. Just as quickly, Bobby is dispatched by two senior citizens who gnaw him to death. That's because Doug and Dodie Deadham are vampires who've been living in quiet luxury in Topanga Canyon. The Deadhams are dead set on finding out who's been killing people whose palms are marked with faint red bloodlines (the only humans who can be turned into vampires), in part to protect their secret and in part to protect future vamps. For reasons not clear even to Madison, she agrees to help them. Under the direction of centuries-old Samuel La Croix, head of the California Vampire Council, she lets sexy Colin Reddy squire her to clubs where vamp wannabes test their dentist-implanted fangs on willing young flesh, blissfully unaware that the real item is under their stylish noses. Because when real vampires bite, they don't play, as posers like Lord Wilhelm and Lady Harriet of Dark Tidings soon find out.

Like Stuart Kaminsky, Jaffarian juggles her franchises deftly, giving each a unique voice and appeal. Her latest series kickoff may be her best yet, blending supernatural sexy with down-to-earth sassy.

Product Details

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
Fang-in-Cheek Mystery Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Murder in Vein

By Sue Ann Jaffarian

Midnight Ink

Copyright © 2010 Sue Ann Jaffarian
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7387-2311-2

Chapter One

Madison had been in Los Angeles just over two years when she found herself facedown on the ground in a wooded area. Her clothes were in tatters. Duct tape held her hands. A filthy rag muffled her screams. Fear coursed through her battered body, scraping and tearing with jagged edges as she fought to maintain control of her slippery mind. It was the only weapon she had left.

When she turned her head slowly to the side, pine needles and gravel ground into the cuts and bruises on her face, the pain bringing clarity to her mind for a fleeting moment. Bobby Piper had smacked Madison around pretty good while dragging her from the car. After roughing her up and ripping at her clothes, he'd stopped, then moved away, seeming to have second thoughts. He certainly hadn't had any second thoughts an hour ago when he had grabbed her in the parking lot outside the diner where she worked.

The moonlight penetrating the canopy of overhead branches allowed her to see Bobby as he sat with his back against a nearby tree. He was guzzling from a can of generic beer torn from the six-pack resting at his side. He glanced at the cheap watch strapped to his wrist. He seemed to be waiting for something or someone.

There had been several news reports over the past year about missing women. Three had been found dead and mutilated. The others were never found. And even though the police claimed to have the killer in custody, Madison's panic and terror gathered anew as she worried about being the guest of honor at something evil and terrifying. She wiggled, but the tape around her hands and feet stayed put. Bobby noticed and glanced her way, causing her to freeze.

Getting down on his knees, Bobby scooted over and knelt next to Madison. "Steady now," he warned. He bent close and tongued her ear as he spoke. When she squirmed in disgust, he laughed. "Don't go making things worse for yourself."

Worse? Madison thought. Worse than this? Her fear splintered, invading every cell of her body.

Bobby glanced again at his watch, then looked off in the direction of Madison's car, which he'd driven with her stuffed in the trunk. "Damn it. Where is he?" he said to the empty night.

These were the last words he ever uttered.

Something came out of the dark. Something large and silent. It struck Bobby hard and fast, sending him into the tree where he'd been leaning just a moment before. Beer, malty and lukewarm, rained on Madison's face. From the corner of her eye, she caught sight of her attacker splayed against the thick trunk of the tree, busted and askew, a rag doll in a disturbing pose. He moaned.

Whatever it was that had attacked Bobby now hovered over his broken body, totally ignoring her. It tore at Bobby's shirt, the fabric rasping loud and foreign against the natural sounds of the night. It looked to Madison like a man, dark and looming in appearance. When it raised its head and looked up at the moon, she saw that it was a man—an older man, his face strong but weathered, his jaw line slack with age. Then he looked back down at Bobby. Bobby screamed. It was a short scream, winding quickly down into a whimper, until Madison could hear it no more.

The man raised his head again toward the moon. Even with the rag in her mouth, Madison's breath caught in her throat. He heard it and turned toward her, leaning down until she could smell his metallic breath. He grimaced, displaying fangs dark and thick with fresh blood—Bobby's blood.

Madison passed out.

When she regained consciousness, Madison found Bobby Piper trussed like a Thanksgiving turkey. He was just as white as raw poultry and just as dead.

My name is Madison Rose, she reminded herself in silence while she studied Bobby's body. She hoped that remembering the small details of her life would keep her focused and not allow her mind to drift back into unconsciousness. What she'd seen—the man with the fangs—couldn't have been real. Bobby's killer was just another psychopath like himself. She tried desperately to convince herself that her mind was playing tricks on her.

Madison heard footsteps. The sound brought her focus back to the problem at hand. It sounded like there was more than one set. They moved with stealth over the dead leaves until they were nearby. She didn't close her eyes, but neither did she turn her head to look.

"What should we do with her?" she heard a woman ask in a soft, cultured voice.

"She saw me," a man answered. "We'll have to kill her." His voice was low, rounded out in unexpected civility, and almost apologetic.

Madison. Rose. She repeated it to herself like a mantra. It was her first and last name. She had no middle name like regular people—just a last name for her first name and a first name for her last. People always screwed it up. No matter how clearly she explained it, there was always some jackass who insisted on filing her under the Ms instead of the Rs. On more than one occasion, she'd thought about changing her name to Rose Madison just to make things easier for everyone. But she'd never been known for making things easy on the folks around her—or on herself. After being raised in a string of foster homes, Madison Rose wasn't used to things being easy on any level.

Remembering the details of her twenty-three years of life didn't change the fact that she was still on the ground, still bound and gagged—a sitting duck for whatever hell would come next. Looking again at Bobby's body, she had only one regret: that she hadn't killed him herself.

It also crossed her mind that moving to LA had been a bad call.


Excerpted from Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian Copyright © 2010 by Sue Ann Jaffarian. Excerpted by permission of Midnight Ink. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Sue Ann Jaffarian is a full-time paralegal who lives and works in Los Angeles. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters In Crime, Sue Ann is the author of three mystery series—Odelia Grey, Ghost of Granny Apples, and Madison Rose—and also writes general fiction and short stories. She is widely sought after as a motivational and humorous speaker.

For the most up-to-date list of all Sue Ann's activities, visit the calendar page at


Murder in Vein, starring friendly, and not-so-friendly, neighborhood vampires."
Joanne Fluke, New York Times bestselling author of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries

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Murder in Vein 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this author earlier this year. I've loved Sue Ann's two other series so I thought I would see how she did with a paranormal story. Madison moves to LA after living in several foster homes. She's learned to take care of herself. Madison gets grabbed after work at the diner by Bobby, a regular. She thinks she's going to die after he takes her to the woods. Something, Someone... a man appears and bites Bobby. Madison then wakes up to find herself in a strange bed in a strange house. Was she dreaming, was she saved by a vampire last night? Madison is a tough gal with street smarts. She works with the vampires to try to figure out who is really doing the killing of young women in the area. Its not your usual vampire story. I will gladly read more of Madison Rose and friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HolmGirl More than 1 year ago
I love the Twilight Saga (probably a little too much), so I was a little worried I wasn't going to like this story as much. Boy was I wrong! Jaffarian's vampires are a totally different breed and I like that. They have their own rules. The story itself is great. A suggestion at romance to come, a little suspense and of course mystery! I'm very much looking forward to the second installment in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago