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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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on 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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on November 4, 2017
great series of books - I also enjoyed the tv series, short lived as it was
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on June 10, 2017
Very good read
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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 April 16, 2014
It is lots of fun to see a cranky ex cop, scary doings and a tired old vampire who lives in an apartment in downtown Toronto. People love to read books set in their home town and this is loads of fun. I know they made a tv series out of this but I just enjoyed the book. The part of this that reads like a cop series with the supernatural works and kudos to veteran writer, Tanya Huff. Her characters feel real enough for the beginnings of empathy from the reader and world weary enough to add some charm to their attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.
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on 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 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 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 August 8, 2001
Tanya Huff has been turning out fine fantasy work for some time now. "Blood Price," an early effort from 1991, is the first volume of a vampire series that focuses on three main characters. The first of these is Victoria Nelson, once a homicide inspector with the Toronto police, she has been forced to retire by the start of retinitis pigmentosa. Tough and intelligent, Vicki refuses to be beaten by the disease and has set up as a private detective. Mike Celluci was Vicki's partner on the force and her lover as well. Anger over Vicki's decision to leave the police force has separated the two lovers, but sparks still fly when they are together. Their bickering disguised a deeply held mutual affection.
A sudden rash of hideous killings, throats torn out and blood drained, brings Vicki and Mike back together. As the body count mounts Vicki begins to suspect that the killer is not quite human. The newspapers warn of a vampire, but Mike refuses to believe that any such creature can exist. Vicki is not so sure. When she manages to be present at the next killing she discovers Henry Fitzroy at the death scene. Henry, a handsome, intelligent writer of romantic novels, manages to convince Vicki that he is not the killer. But to do so he must reveal that he is a 450 year old vampire, the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, no less.
Henry realizes what Vicki does not. The killer is not a rogue vampire, but a demon, called into service by someone in the city. But the creature serves two masters, the human who called him and one of the greater demons of hell. By using the killings to spell the name of the greater demon across the Toronto landscape, this evil force intends to open the way for a reign of terror on the earth. All Vicki and Henry have to do is identify which of the greater demons is trying to cross over, catch the lesser demon, and stop the human mage who is casting the summonings. Piece of cake.
The three investigators, separately and together are challenged to a race against time. Hampered by Vicki's night blindness, Henry's vampire hours, and Mike's refusal to consider an inhuman killer, it will take all of their energy and a fair amount of luck to track down the elusive magic user. There are lots of plot twists, some hair-raising brushes with death, and very satisfying conclusion. This is a fine start to what will develop into an exciting series.
Inevitably, the reader will make comparisons between Vicki Nelson and Hamilton's Anita Blake. They have much in common. Their personalities are similar, but Vicki doesn't quite have the attitude that Blake does. Of course, Anita has far more powers than Vicky does. And Henry, while attractive, is no Jean-Claude. All of Huff's characters, even while they are squabbling, have far better manners. Hamilton is a stronger author, but saying so is unfair to Huff, who is hardly lacking in writing skills. If readers are willing to judge this fine series on its own merits I think no one will be disappointed. If you are looking for a new Anita Blake, seek elsewhere.
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