Five Star, Jun 2003, 25.95, 250 pp.
In Edgewater, Maryland, Mary Kate Flaherty has problems with her husband Chuck and her two children over the time she spends on writing and selling her trashy erotica vampire tales. Known as the Queen of Vampires with the alias Theodora Zed, her family members also resent her attending conventions though that is what sells the books and buys their luxuries like designer sneakers.
Currently, in her Theodora persona, she attends Bloodcon in Atlanta where wannabe writer Randall Valentine disparages her work as trash in a public panel. Not long afterward, her shoe is found near the corpse of Randall, who has two small puncture wounds in his neck. The police question Theodora with only fellow writer Connor Drake, who has loved her forever, on her side. When a second murder similar to the first “Vampire Killer” slaying occurs in New York while Theodora is in town, the author knows she must risk her life to uncover the identity of a murderer even as her marriage is collapsing.
Though the identity of the “Vampire Killer' seems unreasonable and Mary Kate's husband is an idiot, WORSE THAN DEATH is a pleasant amateur sleuth tale. The story line allows the audience to see behind the scenes at a convention and the impact on a family when a member attends a lot of these. The two bites are cleverly explained and the heroine's willingness to risk her life to solve the case makes for a fine reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner