[REVIEW] The Bride of Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, Book 3)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)
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A cosy mystery spliced with blood-play and back-handed compliments makes for a strange but good read in Marta Acosta’s third novel, The Bride of Casa Dracula.

Affable Milagro De Los Santos is engaged to Dr Oswald Grant, and is well acquainted with his family. But Milagro doesn’t agree to abide by the rituals of Oz’s extended family – the Vampire Council. Self-appointed wedding planner Nancy can placate the family, but Milagro’s nemesis Cornelia Ducharme will be planning the vampiric ceremony, and believes Milagro is marrying the wrong man. But is she the one sabotaging Milagro’s car, hotel reservations and whatnot?

A comedy of manners, there are of course bitchy rich girls, none so more than dear friend Nancy. She’s a real piece of work, who says unintentionally hilarious things such as “Luckily, I saw Gigi Barton at a gala for needy hermaphrodites or something, so naturally your name came up…” Burn! And I love the way Ilena speaks…

Milagro has a literary agent, even though Jason’s not convinced he can sell her work: “There’s no market for political horror novels. There will never, ever be a market for them.” You’re wrong, Jason – I’d love to read political horror! Of course, one person doesn’t make a market, but still…

At least Milagro has work to throw herself into as a distraction from her personal life. She’s writing a “fauxoir” (faux memoir) of the extravagant Don Pedro Nascimento, a self-proclaimed shape-shifter and chronic hallucinogen abuser. Though it’s all made up, Milagro’s actually having quite fun with it. (The joys of fiction…)

And make sure to remember Grant matriarch Edna’s pearl of wisdom: “Who can we trust if we can’t trust eccentrics who seek ghost-writers for their shape-shifting memoirs?”

Highly quotable, this third book is the best in the series, and a suitable prelude to Nancy’s Theory of Style, to be released in 2009. My word, Nancy’s annoying, but she does make for interesting reading…

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