By Rose Titus
When Muriel Aubrey inherits an old house in a small town, she imagines that moving into the rural community will be deathly dull. But the old house once belonged to her eccentric granduncle, a professor who was said to be researching something very mysterious and unusual before his untimely death. While exploring the slightly rundown Victorian age home, she finds the research notes that had been hidden away, and discovers that the professor was researching vampires.
It isn’t long before Muriel meets residents of the small town who knew the professor almost a century ago, and that everything he wrote in the notes he kept is true… And she suddenly finds herself stalked by a vampire hunter.
About the Author
Rose Titus works two jobs to support her writing habit. She exists somewhere in cold, dreary New England, with two manipulative cats and a very out of date Macintosh with which she creates horror and fantasy fiction. She also has a restored classic car to ride around while in search of adventure.
For travel she has stayed for the night in an allegedly haunted castle, has taken a boat ride on Loch Ness, and has visited the fabled Bermuda Triangle, without getting lost.
Her work has previously appeared in Lost Worlds, Lynx Eye, Bog Gob, Mausoleum, Midnight Times, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, The Bugle, Weird Terrain, Descend, Wicked Wheels, Carnival of Aces, The Dead River Review, Fortean Times, and other literary magazines.
When she’s not writing or working or messing around with her old Buick, she waits by her mailbox for the next issue of Fortean Times to arrive.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRoseTitus
On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IpkRed
The middle aged man pulled out a chair and sat. “I was hoping that we could have met somewhere more quiet?”
“This place will do just fine. And I don’t think I caught your name, since you signed your letter with your phone number?” Finally she got a better look at him. He was putting weight on a once trim frame and his graying hair seemed slightly unwashed. His clothes were clean, almost new, but not expensive. But the first thing she noticed was that he carried a worn out briefcase.
“Yes, of course. Sorry about that. Michelson. Darren Michelson. My grandfather was a colleague of Professor Aubrey.”
“Huh? Oh. That’s what you wanna talk about?”
“Partially, but that’s not all. I apologize for the mysterious letter I left for you. You see, lately I had been surfing the internet for information on vampires, and saw mention of your story. After reading it, I then began asking around for you, and no one seemed to know much, which is unusual since it’s a small town — ”
“Well, I guess they don’t mess in other people’s business. But what about my uncle? He’s been dead a long time. I have no idea what this is about.”
“You are of course aware of what your uncle was researching?”
“So? Just a crazy eccentric relative of mine. That’s all.”
“But how do you feel about it? Do you believe that such things could exist?”
“Naw. That would be ridiculous. Just an old story told about the Professor.”
Josephine came quietly by with Muriel’s coffee. Darren ordered a black coffee for himself, “What if there was evidence?”
“What evidence? There is no evidence. Evidence of what?”
“Of the existence of actual vampires,” he lowered his voice, “Which is exactly what your uncle was studying when he was killed — ”
“Yeah? And was he by the way killed by your grandfather, Darren?”
“Yes,” he hesitated, “and for that… I really am sorry. But that happened so very long ago, it’s way beyond anyone’s control. I’m sure you understand that, Miss Aubrey. People in my family all whispered about it. But there was evidence. And it was kept hidden, all these years. I used to continually wonder about it as a kid. Then I continued to wonder about it all for the rest of my adult life. I have a boring life, actually. I’m an accountant. Have two kids forever in college who keep changing their majors. House in the suburbs. Wife left me for someone else five years ago. Got laid off, re-hired, then laid off again. But none of that is unusual. That’s all just life. But all my life, I’ve had this,” he reached into his briefcase. “And kept on wondering about it.”
There it was. The Sixth Notebook that everyone had been looking for since 1936. She suppressed her excitement and pretended to be annoyed. “So?”
“It’s your granduncle’s handwritten notes on the subject. I’m afraid to say it may have been stolen from him at the university, or obtained some other way by less than ethical means. Would you like to read some of it? He writes of actual nocturnal blood drinking beings, capable of living centuries. It’s intriguing, almost frightening. Thinking of it kept me awake many nights. He was living in this very town, Muriel. Did he ever feel his life to be in danger? Do you?”
“Darren. His life was in danger. From his esteemed colleague.”
“And once again, I am sorry. But do you believe it to be possible? I mean, think of the implications in this. Have you perhaps noticed anything unusual in this town?”
“Like what?” she sipped her coffee, trying to play disinterested.
“I don’t know. Anything?”
“Maybe you just need a hobby, Darren? How about watching Star Trek reruns?”
Darren glared coldly at her, irritated by her comment. For a brief moment, she was afraid of him. Muriel felt the fleeting urge to apologize, but quickly decided against it, and kept silent.
“You really ought to take this situation seriously. I realize you may be angry that my grandfather caused the death of your granduncle, but you never really knew Professor Aubrey.”
“But still he was family,” she whispered, glaring back at him.
Josephine arrived with Darren’s coffee.
“Miss Aubrey,” he cleared his throat, “if any of this is true, it could be a dangerous situation for you. If these creatures are real, they could be still here, especially since they live so long — ”
Why is this series of books different?
In the past most vampire books were basically horror novels in which the plot was driven by an evil creature, and the evil creature is defeated by the hero, who in the end rescues the girl. And today many vampire novels are romance driven plots: girl meets vampire, girl falls in love with vampire, and then happily ever after forever…
This trilogy of books, which I like to call the Vampire Next Door series, and in which Night Home is the first in the series, involves neither romance nor “hero defeating an evil creature and recuing the girl.”
In my work I use stories about vampires to discuss problems in our society: bigotry against those who are considered different, against those who live at the fringes of society, and also to bring awareness of poverty, homelessness, violence, and other social problems we still endure today.
In Night Home, the main character, Muriel Aubrey, discovers that her neighbors are vampires. When she gets to know them, she realizes they have been wrongly persecuted for centuries. She suddenly finds herself needing to protect them from a vampire hunter who shows up unexpectedly.
In the second book, After Dark, another community of vampires on the west coast realizes that a serial killer is terrorizing the city in which they inhabit, and they must work to stop this serial killer before they are blamed for his atrocities.
In the third book, All the Way to the Moon, the two communities of vampires decide to communicate with each other, but while doing so, they also become involved with defeating an evil billionaire and his hired hit man. Fortunately they have help from an environmentally concerned werewolf.
Rating: 3.5 stars
*I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review*
When Muriel Aubrey inherits an old house, she finds herself being drawn into her granduncle’s mysterious research. Research that ultimately cost him his life. After discovering his old notebooks, Muriel gradually uncovers the secrets surrounding his murder but by doing so also puts herself in danger.
I enjoyed reading this intriguing mystery and supernatural novella. The author’s take on vampire lore is refreshing and it is incorporated into the research in such a way that it is completely plausible that they actually exist. The pacing and unveiling of the mystery is unrushed. There could have been a bit more room for further character development however as this is a trilogy I am looking forward to seeing the characters develop further over the course of the series.
This is fresh take and very welcome addition to the genre which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.