Although set in the world of vampires, Stein's Anna Strong novels are at heart detective stories with a paranormal punch. Anna's first-person adventures chronicle a smart and savvy woman's journey into the physical and the emotional unknown. Stein is really coming into her own as a vibrant storyteller.
So far she's managed to keep her boyfriend, Max, and her partner, David, in the dark, but that gets tougher when they both come under attack. Not only has Max been captured by a drug kingpin, her friend and blood supplier, Culebra, has also disappeared. Anna's about to learn a new lesson -- about black magic. (ACE, Dec., 304 pp., $7.99)