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on October 4, 2002
"Blood Price" by Tanya Huff is the first book in a five book series revolving around Vicki Nelson, an ex-policewoman turned Private Investigator because of a degenerative condition that is slowly causing her to go blind. Add in Henry Fitzroy, a 450-year-old vampire romance writer and bastard son of Henry VIII and Mike Celluci, Vicki's ex-partner on the force and sometime lover, and you have the recipe for a compelling, exciting, and fun story. Huff has created an intriguing group of main characters and set them in the midst of a suspenseful and well-written mystery. Sure to please readers of fantasy, mystery, and even romance genres, "Blood Price" is one great read.
Something is stalking the streets of Toronto at night, tearing out throats and draining bodies of blood. After Vicki discovers the first body in a subway station, she is reunited with Mike Celluci, the primary homicide detective on the case, who she hasn't seen in the eight months since she resigned from the force. These two can't seem to talk to each other for long without yelling, but underneath all the anger, they still hold a deep affection for one another.
Vicki quickly begins to believe that the killer is far from human, but Mike stubbornly refuses to believe in a supernatural possibility. The media has started crying vampire, which is where Henry Fitzroy comes in. He has long since learned to survive without killing, and happily co-exists with the 3 million citizens of Toronto. However, the vampire frenzy the media has created is exactly what Henry doesn't want, for it is more than likely to bring about his demise.
Vicki and Henry meet under less than ideal circumstances when Vicki comes across Henry leaning over the newest mutilated body. In order to convince her he's not the killer, Henry reveals his secret to Vicki, who he immediately feels drawn to. It's not long before these two team up, and start hunting the killer together. Henry knows just what it is, a demon, being called into service by an unknown human. And what's worse is that this lesser demon is the minion of a greater demon, and the killings are writing the name of that greater demon on the city of Toronto. Once the name is complete, it will open the doorway to Hell on Earth, and the start of Armageddon.
And the world's only chance lies in the hands of one vampire, who can't work days, and a night-blind ex-cop. But Henry and Vicki make a great team, and they aren't about to give up without a fight. The chemistry Huff develops between Vicki and Henry is electric, and I can't wait to see what develops between them in later books. Vicki is a wonderful heroine, she's got plenty of vulnerabilities but she's still very tough and very determined. I adore Henry; he is a refreshingly different kind of vampire, and a fascinating character. The flashes of his past are expertly handled and really help the reader understand him better. Mike Celluci is also well drawn, and his interactions with Vicki are often humorous and always interesting. The story effectively builds to a thrilling climax and Huff provides readers with a satisfying conclusion.
"Blood Price" is a hugely entertaining and tightly plotted book. The story is filled with suspenseful brushes with death and chilling scenes of undiluted evil, but Huff skilfully blends these with some very funny moments to keep the tone from getting too dark. "Blood Price" is just an all-around excellent read, sure to amuse, intrigue, and entertain readers everywhere. It's a book you don't want to miss and I most definitely recommend it!
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on February 16, 2004
Vicki Nelson had been a cop on the Toronto police force until she was forced to retire 8 months ago due to a degenerative eye disease. She decided to become a PI but business had been slow until a murder took place right before her. The investigation brought her back into contact with her former police partner, Mike Cellini and also with a world she had only known as fiction. Vicki met Hugh Fitzroy, a vampire. The three pursue their separate paths to stop the wave of murders that is sweeping Toronto. Paths that lead from the university scene into the realm of demons.
The characters are interesting and promise to become more so as the series continues. The plot is well thought out and exciting.
This is a thriller, not a mystery as the culprit is known from the beginning. The interest comes from how the problem is solved and in the development of the characters. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
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on November 4, 2012
BLOOD PRICE

Victoria "Vicki" Nelson had recently been diagnosed with Retintis Pigmentosa. She is slowly going blind. She already has no vision at night. Unable to settle for a desk job, Vicki turned in her badge at the Criminal Investigations Bureau of Toronto. Though Vicki no longer works in Homicide, she cannot give up investigating; therefore, Vicki is now a private investigator.

Bodies drained of blood are beginning to show up around the area. Coreen Fergus is the girlfriend of one of the victims. The newspapers have been claiming that a vampire is the cause of the recent murders and Coreen agrees. Vicki is hired to investigate the death of her boyfriend, find proof that a vampire killed him, and to eliminate the threat. Vicki takes the case. The facts do point to a vampire, but the creatures are only a myth. Vicki figures that Coreen simply needs closure, so she would find out who killed the boyfriend of her client. But Vicki's world tilts when she finds a vampire standing over the latest body.

Henry Fitzroy was born in the sixteenth century and raised a good Catholic. He is the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. When Vicki finds him with the killer's latest victim, he has two choices: Kill Vicki or talk to her. Surprisingly, it does not take Vicki long to accept that the impossible is actually possible. Henry is a vampire. Vampires do not want mortals to know they exist. This means Henry wants the killer stopped. Permanently. Working together, Henry and Vicki discover that the killer is a demon feeding. To stop the demon, they must find the mortal summoning it.

Homicide Detective Michael "Mike" Celluci had not wanted Vicki to leave the police force, but he also understood why she did. They had four years of friendship and occasionally slept together. Vicki had acted as Mike's safety valve and he had done the same for her. The situation has changed; however, being there for each other does not need to. And even though Vicki is now a civilian, she is still a valuable resource and highly respected by most in the force. If Mike cannot keep Vicki from snooping around, then he can at least help her and keep her safe. As for the new man in her life, Henry, Mike does not like him at all.

**** FOUR STARS! An excellent beginning to the Blood Series. I would have given the story five stars had there not been to many typos. (At least in the Kindle version I purchased the typos are everywhere.) The three main characters are Vicki, Henry, and Mike. The villain in this first story is a demon. It will be interesting to see whether each story has a different paranormal creature or not. According to the book cover, this series has been made into a television show called Blood Ties. (I do not know if it is still aired though.) From what I can gather, the Blood Series is six books long. The first five titles are available in print and electronic formats; however, the sixth title is paperback only. (At the time of this review.) That last book is simply a collection of short stories. The only short story not in the sixth book is in the anthology titled A Girl's Guide to Guns and Monsters.

Tanya Huff has a creative writing style that is also easy to read. All character backgrounds are well developed. Each of the three main characters has unique personalities and their own set of quirks and pet peeves. I can only hope that the rest of the series is this fantastic! ****

BLOOD TRAIL

Victoria "Vicki" Nelson became a private investigator after her eye disease (Retintis Pigmentosa) forced her off the Metro Police. Her best friend of over four years is Detective-Sergeant Michael "Mike" Celluci. Though Vicki is no longer with the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department, she and Mike still help each other blow off steam. Doing so often leads them to the bedroom. Their relationship is loose. They each see other people. Recently Vicki met Henry Fitzroy. Mike has no idea that Henry is a vampire or that the creatures even exist. Mike only knows that he does not like the man.

When Henry asks Vicki to help some of his friends with a problem, she knows that the problem may not be what most would call normal. Vicki and Henry travel to a sheep farm just north of London, Ontario. The sheep farm belongs to a family of werewolves. Vicki's job is to find the person, or people, involved in trying to kill them.

Between Vicki investigating during the day time and Henry during the night, good headway is being made. But then Mike shows up unexpectedly. Mike has been doing some background checking on Vicki's new boyfriend and he is convinced that Henry is involved in organized crime. Vicki is furious of course, but before she can get him to leave Mike learns what her clients are. Mike world not have believed it, except that he had seen a demon trying to kill Vicki only a month or so prior.

**** FOUR STARS! This is the second title in the Blood Series. Last story had a demon in it. This time it has werewolves. The love triangle finally finishes forming during this case. Mike and Henry realize that they both want an exclusive relationship with Vicki, and that neither are willing to give her up. As for Vicki, she is learning not to judge her clients by human standards, no matter how human they seem most of the time.

Huff has another winning story in this book. There are many typos (in the Kindle version that I purchased), but not as many as in the first story. Well done! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on May 13, 2010
I first saw a reference to Tanya Huff in a review of the latest Kelly Armstong book. Since I am a big fan of Armstrong I thought I would at least try her fellow Canadian.

I am so glad I did. Like Armstrong, Huff spends much of her time creating rich, intriguing characters and then letting them play. The demons, werewolves etc. are really secondary to the fun of meeting the bastard son of Henry V111, a virtually blind PI, and her alpha male cop lover. Nonetheless, even the demon lords are fleshed out and interesting, albeit being mainly incorporeal vapor.

Her werewolf family reminded me very much of a family I once knew who had a large farm in Ontario. Delightful people and so are the werewolves. And I enjoyed that, at least in the first two stories (books really,) the actual villains were human.

Nowhere does she rely on cliches or hackneyed "cute meets." Just at the time you think you have the jealous, hardnosed Italian cop figured out she turns him sideways and he becomes deeper, more appealing, with interesting edges. Henry Fitzroy, vampire prince of the night, writes romance novels under the nom de plume of his half sister,Elizabeth (lovely aside,) likes dogs, is a devout Catholic and can be very, very scary.

I have already ordered the other two in this series and expect I will enjoy them just as much. These are keepers. Unlike Armstrong, but much like JD Robb and her Eve Dallas stories, the city (in this case Toronto) becomes another character and the writing is richer for it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 16, 2009
BLOOD BOOKS Volume 1 contains the first two books in Tanya Huff's 5 part Blood series. These stories became the first few episodes in the Blood Ties TV show which luckily I discovered before the books because now I have the added bonus of visual references for all the characters. The books aren't as cheesy as the TV series sometimes became in fact the writing here is well above average, fast paced and contains several POV's and tons of witty dialogue. The three main characters diverse personalities play well off each other and ooze sexual tension even though all the love scenes are fade-to-black. They also take place in the real (Canadian) world which I loved because I like to think that vampires and werewolves may indeed walk among us.

The first story BLOOD PRICE is identical to the Blood Ties series pilot and was my favourite of the two. We are introduced to Vicki Nelson a tough, sarcastic PI who because of degenerative eye disease has had to leave her job with the Toronto Police Dept. One night Vicki stumbles upon a suspicious murder victim and immediately becomes wrapped up in a case involving black magic and demons. As the victims pile up Vicki is forced to call upon ex-partner (and sometimes lover) Mike Celluci as well as befriending the 450 year old illegitimate son of Henry VIII, romance author and vampire. Together all three will try to stop the demon before it destroys humanity.

The second story BLOOD TRAIL takes Vicki and Henry into rural Ontario as they attempt to catch a sniper taking out members of a family of sheep farmers that also just happen to be werewolves. With Henry and Vicki growing closer the love triangle comes full circle as Cop Mike Celluci shows up to warn Vicki that he thinks Henry might be involved with organized crime. However that's the least of their problems as together the trio must fight off a mad gunman, angry werewolves and ultimately each other.

First written in 1991, this excellent series has been reissued with the 2006 omnibus edition. Except for the absence of cell phones and computers you'll never notice the age off the writing. Both stories are also complete and a great deal together which I would highly recommend to paranormal junkies. Cheers.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 11, 2009
Written in 1991 BLOOD PRICE was the basis for the television series Blood Ties. After becoming a fan of the TV show I discovered author Tanya Huff and was instantly blown away by her awesome writing. Now this 5 part series also has the added bonus of visual character references (in particular Henry the yummy Vampire). I will definitely be continuing on with this series and would highly recommend it to other fans of the paranormal genre. Despite the noticeable absence of cell phones and computers it holds up perfectly well by today's standards.

Vicki Nelson is going blind and because of her degenerative eye disease has had to leave her job with the Toronto police department. Now a private investigator the headstrong and intelligent P.I tackles most of her cases during daylight hours when she has some amount of reliable vision. One night however while waiting at the subway station she stumbles upon a murder victim and is immediately wrapped up in case beyond her wildest expectations. The case forces Vicki to call upon ex partner (and sometimes lover) Mike Celluci as well as befriending the 450 year old illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, a gorgeous vampire who makes a living writing historic romance novels.

The three main characters diverse personalities play well off each other and ooze sexual tension throughout. And even though all the love scenes are fade-to-black I surprisingly enjoyed having to use my imagination in a time when all books get down and dirty in vivid detail. Huff has also given us the advantage of multiple POV's within this story and I especially enjoyed Henry's numerous flashbacks, taking us back to when he was turned and his many adventures and lost loves after. I also liked the fact that this takes place in the real (Canadian!) world because we don't believe in the paranormal here and at first neither does Vicki.

As I mentioned before the writing is top notch although I found the story lagged a bit in the middle when we entered the demon caller antagonist Norman's head. The ending however more than makes up for it with page-turning excitement. This promises to be a great series and fans of Blood Ties or Vampires and the paranormal in general couldn't ask for more. Cheers
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on March 8, 2004
Like many others drawn to sci-fi/horror novels. I picked up this book after the recommendation of many on this site who compared it to the Anita Blake series. This series is definitely up there. It is a total of 5 books, and this is the first in the series.
Vicki is an ex cop turned private investigator who had to leave the police force because she is losing her night vision. One night at the subway station Vicki finds a murdered body, and even though she has left the force, she feels compelled to investigate this crime (and it helps that she is finally hired to investigate the crime). While investigating she meets Henry, a romance writer who is also a vampire. Henry has his own reasons to investigate the crime. Vicki is unable to see at night. Henry is unable to go out during the day. They both have to work together to discover the murderer.
I do not want to give too much away, but if you are looking for a good vampire series, give this one a try. You will not be disappointed. If you would like the exact order of the series, it is Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact and Blood Debt. This book and the entire series gets five stars!
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on December 19, 2002
I originally submitted this review in 1997 (before Amazon.com created the About You Page) and am resubmitting it under my public account as directed by Amazon.com's Customer Service. The original review will be deleted via Amazon.com.
Victory Nelson, a former homicide officer turned private investigator, stumbles upon a grisly ... scene where the victim appears to have been ravaged by a vampire. She quickly finds herself deeply entangled in the case when the victim's girlfriend hires her to investigate the vampire lead after the Police refuse to believe vampires exist.
Vampire Henry Fitzroy has his own personal agenda for finding this apparent vampire killer. Sure, he drinks blood but he certainly is not a killer. He's just trying to eke out a living as a romance writer and maintain a low profile in order to avoid having his head cut off and stuffed with garlic by superstitious, hysteria driven fanatics.
Norman Birdwell, a .. High School geek (complete with pocket protector), has been raising demons to seek revenge on all of those who have laughed at him. As Norman becomes obsessed with his newfound power he gets a little arrogant and unleashes a force he can't control.
Vicki and Henry join forces and find themselves confronting an evil more terrifying than they first assumed. If they can't track down the man behind the murders all hell is going to break loose.
Blood Price is a fast paced, tension filled read that shows us the dangers of the media and confronts us with the madness that is concealed just under the surface of many. The darkness is balanced with just the right amount of subtle humor like the following gem:
"Anything much happen today?" Greg asked sliding into the recently vacated chair. He should've waited a little longer. It was still warm. He hated sitting in a chair warmed by someone else.... Great stuff!
As I'm always fascinated with age old vampires I was enthralled with the glimpses into Henry's past. The spark that was ignited between Vicki and Henry leaves the reader dying to know where these captivating characters are headed. I can't wait to start the next book
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on July 22, 2002
Blood Price is the first book in Tanya Huff's Vicki Nelson series. Vicki is an ex-cop turned private investigator who is having a hard time cutting her ties to the police department. She loved her job, and she was good at, but she has a rare disorder where she is slowly losing her vision. She doesn't let this slow her down, however. When she hears a strange scream in the subway, she immediately runs to help and finds a young man with his throat torn out. He is the latest victim in a series of similar crimes and the newspapers start screaming about a killer vampire on the loose. While she is investigating, she finds a vampire - the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, romance writer Henry Fitzroy. Together they track down the killer...
I was expecting this book to be better than it was because of all of the great reviews. I am a big fan of Laurell Hamilton's earlier books and this book just didn't come close. The characters were likeable enough: I enjoyed a female heroine who had definite weaknesses, but went for it all the same; a 450-year old vampire who writes bodice rippers for a living and still hates his father for not accepting him; a dweeby nerd who is a great villain, etc. Still, the world just didn't come to life and I kept waiting for something to happen.
Bottom line, worth your while to read, but maybe you would like to find a library copy...
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on December 9, 2001
"Blood Price" is an intriguing start to a new vampire series, it has been unfavourably compared to a similar set of books namely the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. For everyone's piece of mind lets get the comparisons out of the way yes there are three strong main characters Vicky the private detective, Michael Celluci the homocide detective and sometime lover of Vicky, and Henry Fitzroy 450 year old vampire the bastard son of King Henry the 8th. Yes these three look as though they have the potential to become embroiled in a love affair. Yes these three characters are Toronto's only hope against the bloody destruction a demon and its handler are wreaking across the city.
Right now for the refreshing differences Vicky has a degenerative eye disease so she has had to give up her first love police work. She is a much more vulnerable character than even the early Anita Blake was, and so is much more sympathetic. Like the rest of us she avoids her mother's phonecalls, worries about paying her rent with her struggling detective agency, and avoids her ex lover Michael Celluci like the plague after they argue about her decision to leave policework. Enter debonair Henry Fitzroy a writer of bodice rippers and incidentally a vampire. We can sympathise easily with each of them henry's growing isolation and lonliness, Vicky's frustration at her physical weaknesses and poor night vision, and Michael's inability to accept the supernatural until it is almost too late.
If these books should remind you of anything think of the tv show Forever Knight the flashbacks to Henry's life through the ages are handled skillfully, as is the depiction of the demon and the unpopular young man who summons it for his own gains. You know a writer is good when you can feel pity for the villain of the piece, Huff is very good and it is not an insult to say that these novels read as a YA companion piece to the Anita verse, but it is unfair to trash these wonderful books because they aren't Anity enough! The plot is well structured and moves logically from A to B without the distraction of mysticism and magic that can foul up Anita Blake plots. Vicky, Henry, and Michael are the only hope of destroying the demon but they must work together against Vicky's inability to see at night, Michael's stubborness to refuse to see what's in front of him, and Henry's inability to work in daylight. The book is chilling in its depiction of the monster but funny too, and the reactions of characters and dialogue are very realistic you can almost hear Vicky and Michael argue. If your expecting Anita Blake you will be disappointed but judge it on its own merits and I think you'll find you quite like it.
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