________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 18 . . . . April 27, 2007


The Book of Vampire. (The Salt & Pepper Chronicles, #4).

David A. Poulsen.
Toronto, ON: Key Porter, 2007.
165 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-55263-805-7.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Marina Cohen.

*** /4


“What sort of adventure?” Hal asked.

“We don’t care,” I said.

“Well, we might, if—”

“No, Hal, we don’t. So don’t get any ideas. There is nothing in the world that could make me want to get involved in another vampire mystery. Not gonna happen.”

“The Book of Vampire,” Simon said.

“Pardon?” I said.

“We are missing The Book of Vampire.”

“What’s The Book—?”  Pepper started to ask, but I cut her off.
“I’m sure that’s a terrible thing for the whole vampire community, but my library card has, like, expired and I really don’t—”

“It was stolen,” Leonard Livermore told us.

“A mystery,” Pepper breathed.

Vampires, Simon Chelling and Leonard Livermore, resurface to drag Christine Bellamy, otherwise known as Salt, and her best friend, Pepper Mackenzie, into the vampire underworld to solve a mystery. 

     Their mission? They must locate a missing book—one that is sacred to the vampire community. The book contains the code of conduct to which all vampires are bound. Simon claims that, if the book is destroyed, the rogue vampires responsible for stealing it will be free to perpetrate the vilest crimes both in the vampire and human worlds.

     Reluctantly, Pepper, Christine and her obnoxious younger brother, Hal, agree to help, only to discover that they must search for the book in Alaska—Land of the Midnight Sun—where it is protected by perpetual sunlight. There, they quickly learn that they must once again face the wicked Count Jaglers, most terrifying of all vampires, as he and his vampire-henchmen are behind the theft.

     With The Book of Vampire, David Poulsen adds yet another fun title to his mystery-adventure series. In this fourth book, Poulsen alternates between the witty first person accounts of Christine (Salt), to the more mysterious third person chapters told through the eyes of Count Jaglers. Though the switch in point of view from first person to third can often be awkward, this reviewer found that Poulsen manages the transitions quite smoothly.

     The characters and dialogue are, for the most part, credible—though there seemed to be too many references to Starbucks and caramel macchiatos for characters of this age. 

     Once again, Poulsen’s plot is very predictable, yet, his colourful characters, witty dialogue and wonderful writing style are sure to attract readers looking for a fun read.


Marina Cohen has a Master’s Degree in French Literature from the University of Toronto and has been teaching in the York Region District School Board for 11 years.  Her first novel, Shadow of the Moon, and its sequel, Trick of the Light, are scheduled to be released in the spring and fall of 2007.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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