Being the niece of the famous Dr. Frankenstein and playmate of Frederick (aka the Monster) is troublesome, but Claire's real problem is her determinat-ion to win the coveted "Discovery of the Decade" science award. She has a plan to beat out Dr. Jekyll and that Holmes detective; she's going to prove that vampires walk among the ton, just as soon as she finds the dirt-filled coffin of Baron Huntley.

Instead of a sarcophagus, Claire finds a very much alive and sexy Huntley. Since he's not a vampire, Claire goes to plan B: find a werewolf. For some reason Huntley desires to protect Claire and save her from a real vampire before she gets caught in his teeth. But can he keep Claire from uncovering his secret?

It's a merry chase for this 19th-century Buffy and her protector as they find themselves in the company of Edgar Allan Poe (who says "Nevermore" when he meets Huntley), the Van Helsings and a slew of eccentric Frankenstein relatives and friends.

The characters adds humorous literary references and more than a good share of wit to this clever, laugh-out-loud, madness-and-mayhem romp through vampire-, werewolf- and ghost-ridden London. Webber does for vampires what Sandra Hill did for Vikings. SENSUAL (Jul., 303 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin