Strange Practice

Strange Practice

by Vivian Shaw


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In this delightfully witty fantasy adventure, Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, must defend London from both supernatural ailments and a bloodthirsty cult.

Greta Helsing inherited her family's highly specialized and highly peculiar medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although she barely makes ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

Strange Practice is the first novel in Shaw's debut series, the Dr. Greta Helsing Novels - perfect for fans of Neverwhere and V. E. Schwab.

Dr. Greta Helsing Novels
Strange Practice
Dreadful Company

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316434607
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Series: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel Series , #1
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 51,436
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Vivian Shaw was born in Kenya and spent her early childhood at home in England before relocating to the US at the age of seven. She has a BA in art history and an MFA in creative writing, and has worked in academic publishing and development while researching everything from the history of spaceflight to supernatural physiology. In her spare time, she writes fan fiction under the name of Coldhope.

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Strange Practice 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was not cutsie supernatural more like matter of fact supernatural. I can't wait for the next book to see how the 3D printer works for the mummy toes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really quite liked this one, even if some of the language was overly pretentious (I almost never look up vocabulary but I decided to a few times in this book and the dictionary function had no definitions for them!). Very interesting way to introduce the characters and nice descriptions of supernaturals that rarely play more than bit parts as the scary monsters to be rid of as soon as possible. Loved the humanization of the ghouls. Looking forward to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mary Jane heroine everyone loves does almost nothing in the second half of the bok while menfolk and money solve the problems.
I_am_what_i_read More than 1 year ago
Astounding! And I do not say that lightly as an extreme bibliophile. One of the very best series I have read in a long while. Dr. Greta Helsing and her group of undead/supernatural companions are a luminous addition to the fantasy genre. This is a very smart and intellectually intriguing series. Vivian Shaw demands the reader to THINK!! I cannot speak highly enough of this series or adequately recommend its reading. You'll come away a richer person for having crossed paths with this witty and intelligent metaphysical bunch!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very neat take on Van Helsing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great writing. I could not put it down... .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Greta Helsing is a doctor, but not just any kind of doctor - her patients are those who are supernatural, or technically dead. (Although please use the term ‘differently alive,’ thank you very much.) A descendant of Abraham van Helsing, Greta lives in London and has a healthy practice of patients, and everything is going relatively okay, although she’s feeling a little overwhelmed. And with good reason - there’s a serial killer or killers about London, and when they start threatening Greta’s friends and client base, she works to find the culprit and keeps those she cares about safe, although this enemy will push Greta to the brink. I honestly can’t say enough good things to say about this book, there’s so much I love about it. Overall it was just an amazingly fun read, one that I was instantly engrossed in and could barely put down. I was so emotional when I was reading it - not upset, but at turns excited and anxious, amused and impossibly fond. As soon as I finished the book, I reached out to one of my friends that had already read it and told her that I’d just about lost my mind reading this because I loved it so much. Shaw has crafted an incredible world here, not just in terms of making the reader interested in it, but also making it believable. Greta talks about vampires as sanguivores, is trying to learn Egyptian and also ghoul to better communicate with some of her patients, she wants to write a paper on tissue growth and regeneration on the differently alive, she talks about replacing bones in a mummy as a routine surgery, and other characters discuss Heaven and Hell as well as magic in such ordinary terms I half expect all of this to be true. The cast of characters was delightful. We have Greta of course, an exiled demon named Fastitocalon, Lord Ruthven of The Vampyre: A Tale, Sir Varney of Varney the Vampire (The Feast of Blood), and a British Museum curator/conservationist named Cranswell who serves as family friend to Ruthven, and also assistant researcher. Greta was capable and smart, and I found her a really compelling narrator. The horror setting was interesting but not particularly scary, although it certainly allowed for some grimness at times. These characters were all so wonderful, with their own desires and flaws and dynamics, and honestly one of the best parts of the book to me was reading the interactions they had with each other, seeing how they all got on and helped each other and looked after each other. And as fun as the mystery is, I’d really just like to see more of these characters, which makes me really excited to read the second book! I find it really hard to even pick a favourite moment or character, although Ruthven was so wonderful, I loved him at the end in his floppy hat, and I really liked the relationship Greta had with Fass, as well as the one developing with Varney. Shaw has really done wonders here, I tip my hat to her and also thank her profusely for bringing these characters and their lives into my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pleasant read, with intriguing ideas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was amusing. I would buy it.
Millie_Hennessy More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent take on paranormal creatures living in modern London. Greta is a doctor who took over her father's practice caring for non-human patients like ghouls, vamps and mummies. This gives Greta a unique perspective on life and even in moments of crisis she can't control herself from studying things medically. That was very interesting to read. The characters are likable - two endearing old vampires who live very different lifestyles, a troup of ghouls and an old family friend that no one quite knows where to place until later in the story when he reveals his powers. There's even a human sidekick who, refreshingly, isn't trying to get in Greta's pants the whole time! There's action, drama, the barest hint of romance and plenty of classic creatures. I highly recommend this and can't wait for the next book in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fresh, interesting , and witty take on an old theme. Really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
I throughly loved the first book in this series and have already marked my calendar for the next release! It was fast paced and a fun read. It has been a long time since I picked up a book that I enjoyed this much! There was a lot of humor and I love the world that Vivian Shaw has created. There are a lot of different creatures and I can't wait to see if there are more in the next two books. You can feel the dampness of a winter London and appreciate the care that Dr Greta has for her patients. All in all a book I did not put down until I finished.