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“Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw

Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw is Book Two in a three-part series by Vivian Shaw. (Book One: Strange Practice, Book Two: Dreadful Company, Book Three: Grave Importance) I started reading Strange Practice at the recommendation of a colleague and just love the main character, Greta Helsing, who is a doctor to the undead living in London, England. Greta is a practical and decisive person who, by virtue of her clientele, runs into unusual and dangerous situations. She needs help from her friends and colleagues to solve the problems she encounters.

This book takes place in Paris and Greta encounters a problem while she is attending a conference. The author does a great job setting the book in Paris with lots of detail about the city. Many characters that the reader meets in the first book are further developed in this book and some backstory is included which I found interesting. I also enjoyed the new supernatural creatures that the author includes.

I logged into Novelist (you can access this Electronic Resource from home for free from our Electronic Resources page on the HPL website – you just need to enter your library card number!) to see what it had to say about the series. I found this!

Genre: Supernatural mysteries; Urban fantasy  Character: Quirky  Tone: Amusing; Offbeat  Writing Style: Engaging

“Wow, what does that all mean?” you might ask. Great question! These are what we, in library land, refer to as Appeal Terms. In other words, these are the main things about the book that people who read it like.

What can you do with this information? Well, I know that I really love reading about Quirky Characters. You can start to figure out the things that you like about what you read.

Another thing you can find in Novelist is suggestions about other books or series that you might like. Here are their top three recommendations for a series which are similar to the Dr. Greta Helsing series:


  1. Charley Davidson novels by Jones, Darynda    Reason:  These series are offbeat, and they have the genre “urban fantasy”; the subjects “supernatural,” “vampires,” and “paranormal phenomena”; and have characters that are quirky.
  2. InCryptid by McGuire, Seanan    Reason:  These series have the genre “urban fantasy”; and the subjects “supernatural,” “imaginary creatures,” and “vampires.”
  3. Lizzie Grace novels by Arthur, Keri    Reason:  These series have the genre “urban fantasy”; and the subjects “supernatural,” “undead,” and “vampires.”

I won’t tell you how the book ends, but I will leave you with this — I will be posting a review of the series once I finish reading book three so check back soon!

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