Dr. Greta Helsing has inherited her father’s practice and its paranormal patients. Amidst treating ghouls, mummies, werefolk and other creatures that remain hidden from the average eye, Greta finds herself caught up investigating a string of strange murders after a friend of a vampire friend is attacked.

Review by Milliebot Reads
2017, ORBIT
ISBN: 9780316434607

I read this book with a friend and finished it in four days – I could have easily finished it in one if life hadn’t demanded I act like an adult.

I first saw this gem somewhere on Instagram. I was drooling over the cover and read that it was about a doctor who cares for paranormal creatures and rushed off to purchase it.

I had two (rather large) misconceptions going into this book: I thought it was set in Victorian times and I thought it was middle grade. Okay, the latter is totally because I didn’t read the blurb and was solely judging by the cover art. The girl on the front looks like…well…a young girl! Why did I think a child would be a doctor? I don’t know! I clearly wasn’t thinking.

That I was wrong on both counts was not the least bit disappointing! I absolutely loved this book!

Bringing the paranormal into the modern world can be tricky and come off as cheesy if not done just right, but I could tell from the first few pages that Shaw nailed it! I loved how dedicated Greta is to her practice and her patients. One unique touch this story has is how Greta is always viewing the fantastical creatures around her with a doctor’s eye – as readers we get an added layer of detail and perspective. Her passion for her patients and her friends makes her a loveable hero.

The rest of the cast is no less fabulous. There’s a bit of everything here: the ancient vampire, with a bad case of ennui and shame, who is unsure of his place in the world; the classy, modern vampire who loves shopping and cooking for his human friends and is ready to fiercely defend his city from the unknown threat; a family friend with a wealth of powers and a chronic case of COPD; and a male sidekick whose smart and dorky and refreshingly avoids the trope of trying to hook up with our heroine.

The story was compelling and easy to read. I felt the characters were familiar in that they’re relatable like a lot of the characters we know and love from shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It also made me think of Christopher Moore’s series about vampires in San Francisco that starts with Bloodsucking Fiends.

The pace flowed nicely too. There’s action, mystery, a very low key romance, religious cults, redemption arcs, feels, and an ending that pleased me immensely.

And of course, the cover! Naturally, it’s the first thing that caught my eye. The first three pages have adorable illustrations as well. I would have loved to see those carried throughout, at least on the chapter headers or something. The artist Will Staehle (Warren the 13th illustrator), so I’m not surprised I admire the cover so much.

I can’t wait for more of Greta and Co! Rest assured, I’ll be buying the second book as soon as it’s available.


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