Vivian Shaw’s debut fantasy novel was Strange Practice (2017). It introduced the world to Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, and SFFWorld labeled it “a triumph.” The sequel, Dreadful Company, in which Dr. Helsing uncovers a coven of vampires underneath Paris, was released last year. Liz Bourke at Tor.com raved, saying “Dreadful Company is fast, fun, and immensely readable… [and] laugh-out-loud funny… it’s delightful.”
I’ve been looking forward to the third volume of this witty fantasy adventure series, and it finally arrived last month. Here’s the description.
Oasis Natrun: a private, exclusive, highly secret luxury health spa for mummies, high in the hills above Marseille, equipped with the very latest in therapeutic innovations both magical and medical. To Dr. Greta Helsing, London’s de facto mummy specialist, it sounds like paradise. But when Greta is invited to spend four months there as the interim clinical director, it isn’t long before she finds herself faced with a medical mystery that will take all her diagnostic skill to solve.
A peculiar complaint is spreading among her mummy patients, one she’s never seen before. With help from her friends and colleagues — including Dr. Faust (yes, that Dr. Faust), a sleepy scribe-god, witches, demons, a British Museum curator, and the inimitable vampyre Sir Francis Varney — Greta must put a stop to this mysterious illness before anybody else crumbles to irreparable dust…
…and before the fabric of reality itself can undergo any more structural damage.
You can read the first four chapters of Strange Practice at the Orbit website, and get more details on the series here. Grave Importance was published by Orbit on September 24, 2019. It is 448 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Will Staehle. See all our recent coverage of the best Series Fantasy here.