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Cynthia Ward’s The Adventure of the Dux Bellorum continues the exploits of Lucy Harker, not exactly human daughter of Mina Harker by the vampire Dracula, adventuress and spy in the employ of the WWI era British secret service, where she works for the consummate spymaster known as M, short for Mycroft Holmes - who is also her stepfather.

Her mission, to protect Winston Churchill, who, currently out of favour and out of cabinet, has decided to join the army and fight the Germans at the front if he cannot fight them in the halls of power. But some things not even a dhampir can fight. When a squad of 20 German created and controlled wolfmen attack, kidnapping Churchill and leaving Lucy for dead, then the only choice is for Lucy and her lover Clarimal - the 300 year old upior, or vampire, Carmilla von Karstein - to go behind enemy lines in search of him. But there is much worse waiting for them than wolfmen.

I’m really enjoying this series, not the least because of all the material from texts that form the basis of science fiction and fantasy, and other genres from the adventure fiction of the Victorian era to the classic mystery. References to characters, milieus and events from authors as diverse as H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Agatha Christie are found here, intermixed with historical characters such as Sophia and Catherine Duleep Singh.

Definitely a series that I hope will continue.


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