Darkness on His Bones: A James Asher vampire mystery (A James Asher Vampire Novel) is the sixth book in Barbara Hambly’s James Asher Vampire series. The book begins just after James Asher is found lying in a Paris churchyard injured and with severe blood loss. Lydia, his wife, does not know why he went to Paris, but she does know that it was vampires who injured him, and that she will need a vampire to help keep James—and herself—safe from them. As she has done before, she calls on Don Simon Ysidro for help, and he comes to help her unravel the mystery. The rest of the book is told in a mix of flashbacks and present-day work as Asher tries to remember what happens to him, and Lydia and Ysidro try to figure out what happened. All the while the Germans are set to invade France.
Darkness on His Bones is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it is by Barbara Hambly. That means it is well-written. It is also one of the Ysidro/Asher books, which means it is full of intrigue, action, and odd bits of folklore, real and invented. I raced through it. On the other, as much as I enjoyed the book, there are aspects of it that feel a bit tired. I have never been a big fan of the Lydia-Asher-Ysidro triangle, and it is continuing onward here. There also appear to be too many people finding out about vampires these days and wanting to manipulate them. On the other, other hand, there is quite a lot of Ysidro’s past in here, more than Hambly has released before. In many ways, Darkness on His Bones is more Ysidro’s story than anyone else’s, and past mysteries are as relevant as present.
While readers will recognize elements that are growing a little too familiar in the Asher/Ysidro books, Darkness on His Bones is still a highly readable spy-and-mystery story with more than a dash of vampire danger.
Darkness on His Bones comes out October 1 from Severn House—just in time for Halloween reading. Look for it on Amazon/a>
The rest of the The James Asher Vampire Series can also be found there.