I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Vampire's Priceless Treasure by Kristen Painter
Genres: Mystery, Magical Realism
Published by Sugar Skull Books on October 7, 2019
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, All Fired Up, "Prologue to The Vampire's Mail Order Bride", The Vampire's Mail Order Bride, The Werewolf Meets His Match, The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Vampire's Fake Fiancée, The Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Werewolf Dates the Deputy, "When Birdie Babysat Spider", Miss Frost Ices the Imp, Miss Frost Saves the Sandman, Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish", The Vampire's Cursed Kiss, Her First Taste of Fire
Eleventh in the Nocturne Falls fantasy magical realism mystery series and revolving around a safe haven for supernaturals, a small town in Georgia where Halloween is celebrated 365 days a year. The couple focus is on Greyson Garrett and Kora Dupree.
An intriguing start with Greyson needing to shut down Kora’s little theft.
“I’m done pulling you out of the fires you start. You want to walk around dousing everything in lighter fluid, by my guest, but deal with the consequences on your own.”
A start that leads into a quest to find a treasure to learn the truth.
Painter uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Greyson’s and Kora’s perspectives, so we know what they’re thinking and experiencing. Kora really does seem to be “on the mend”. She’s sure making a lot of reflections about her past.
Greyson has a more convoluted path. He has his history with Kora and with Catherine to consider
Ooh, a nasty reason why the Romanovs “really” died. We also discover the reason for Greyson’s actions at the end of Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, 4 (NFU 8.1). Hmm, Greyson has a more complex character arc than Kora, as he reflects on Catherine’s approach to him versus Kora’s as well as his break-up with Jayne.
Hey, Desdemona (The Vampire’s Accidental Wife, 8) got her playhouse!
Oh, brother. Gotta put in the stupid doubting meme. I understand doubting; I realize it can increase the drama, but this one felt shoved in at the last minute.
The story is mostly about character, exploring Kora’s and what she discovers about herself and a little less about Greyson.
As for the action, there’s something to be said for routine.
It’s an art opening at the town library: “Touched by Magic: Gems and Jewelry with Mythical Connections” that opens security guard Greyson Garrett’s eyes to Kora’s questionable actions.
It’s the Fox who has set Kora on her path, if Kora wants to know the truth of what happened to her mother.
Kora Dupree, the half-vampire/half-reaper daughter of Lucien, is turning over a new leaf from her past life as a major PITA — she’s managing Insomnia for her dad, Lucien. Waffles is her cat; Chicken will become her second cat. Lucien Dupree, a retired reaper who recently married Imari Zephara, a retired jinn (The Reaper Rescues the Genie, 9), owns Insomnia, a supernaturals-only hotspot. Pavlina, the vampire, had been her selfish mother. The former ghost, Hattie Dupree, Lucien’s grandmother and Kora’s great-grandmother, lives with Lucien and Imari.
Greyson Garrett, a daywalking vampire thanks to his Roma great-aunt Lavinia, is wealthy enough not to work, but does enjoy taking on independent jobs. He has a thing for clothes and his ’69 Camaro. Catherine had been Greyson’s sire and beloved who came to a bad end.
Nocturne Falls, Georgia, is . . .
. . . a small town mostly owned by a family of vampires headed by Elenora Ellingham, who does adore her jewelry, including the newly acquired Heart of Dawn (Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, 4), and her three grandsons: Sebastian, Hugh, and Julian. Hugh is married to Delaney, also a vampire, who runs the sweet shop, Delaney’s Delectables (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, 1). They have a son, George. Alice Bishop is a powerful witch Elenora rescued from the Salem witch trials. Thanks to her the Ellinghams walk in daylight and Nocturne Falls is a safe haven. Wentworth is Elenora’s part-time butler. The Basement is a secret underground labyrinth that connects a good part of town.
“Touched by Magic: Gems and Jewelry with Mythical Connections” was curated by Randolph Dillinger.
Sheriff Hank Merrow, a werewolf, is married to Ivy, and they have two children: Charlie and Hannah Rose (The Werewolf Meets His Match, 2). Deputies include Jenna Blythe and Alex Cruz (engaged to Roxy St James in The Shifter Romances the Writer, 6). Birdie Caruthers, a werewolf and a primary character, is Hank’s aunt and the police receptionist.
Jayne Frost, a winter elf who is heir to Winter, Santa’s niece, and Jack Frost’s daughter, manages Santa’s Workshop. She’s also a recent ex of Greyson’s. Spider is her cat who just loves Chicken Party. We know this because Spider can talk. And, Jayne has just moved back to the North Pole. The brothers, Chet and Bret, bear shifters, are some of Insomnia’s doormen. Will is one of the servers. Ivan “Van” Tsetkov is a retired MMA fighter and a dragon shifter married to Monalisa, a Will-o’-the-Wisp (The Dragon Finds Forever, 7). Grom is Van’s protective dog. Mae Ellen is a new friend of Hattie’s. Undrea Seely is a mermaid who runs an aquarium business, Tanks a Lot. Undrea’s friends include Mattie Sharpe, a green witch who keeps honey, and Caroline Linzer is a feline shifter whose family runs the pet store. Mummy’s Diner is one of the best; Zombie Donuts are crazy good; and, the Poisoned Apple is a great pub. Brent Tillis, a secondary wizard who is a vet tech, works with the animal shelter.
Niall works at The White Lady, a D&B B&B in Dublin, Ireland, where they visited the Dragon’s Hoard, a pub. In Paris, Greyson reconnects with Margot, the butcher’s daughter. In Spain, they visit the Castillo del Toro where the duplicitous Catalina is a ghost. Alejandro is the little boy to whom she eventually gave birth.
The Brotherhood are . . .
. . . an ancient order of werewolves and the protectors of all werewolf kind. Vittoria Ricci is the captain of the Rome Brotherhood. Daniel is her second.
The Vampire Council
Mitsuki and Nobis are emissaries from the council.
The Prosvita are . . .
. . . the Enlightened Ones, elite vampire children of Rasputin. The Fox is with them. Aldo is another of them. Grand Duchess Olga Romanov used to own the locket. Rasputin was a vampire who could see the future. Alexei Romanov is the youngest and only son. Tsarina Alexander was his mother. There was a witchy maid who turned into a vampire. Yezmani is a Egyptian witch and a grand master of Bedouin magic.
The Cover and Title
The cover is primarily a gradation of a light royal blue to a dark royal blue with white sparkling stars around the edges forming an oval blank for the black-haired Greyson in his all-black coat and pants while he’s holding a scroll in his right hand. Next to him, holding up a fiery pendant, the long-haired, white-blonde Kora is wearing a burgundy tank with a sweetheart neckline and black pants. Piled up on both sides of the couple are skulls with the brown signboard announcing the series info above the skulls on the right. Above the sign and covering Kora’s right elbow is the series jack-o-lantern. Behind the white title with its thick black outline is an amorphous black formed of bats. At the bottom is a black border forming the background for an info blurb and the author’s name, both in white.
The title is all about the The Vampire’s Priceless Treasure, an unexpected “gift” from Lucien to Greyson.