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Bloodlist (Vampire Files #1) by P.N. Elrod

The Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod

Genres and Sub-Genres[]

Urban Fantasy / Noir Urban Fantasy / Mystery UF / Vampire Fiction / Vampire P.I.

Series Description or Overview[]

✥ The Vampire Files is a series of books by P.N. Elrod. It is the memoirs of one Jack Fleming, vampire, private investigator and later club owner, set in 1930's Chicago, starting in 1936. The core cast consists of Jack Fleming, former reporter and current undead, Charles Escott, a British private agent and former theatrical actor, and Bobbi Smythe, Jack's girlfriend and former night club singer. ~ The Vampire Files (Literature) - TV Tropes

✥ Jack Fleming, ace reporter, always had a weak spot for strange ladies. And he certainly should have listened to the one who said she was a vampire! Because when a thug blasts several bullets through Jack's back, he does not die—and discovers that he is a vampire as well! First in an exciting new vampire adventure series. Original 

Lead's Species[]

  • Vampire, Vampire PI

Primary Supe[]

  • Vampires

What Sets it Apart[]

  • This series was one of the first, if not the first to feature a vampire in the lead as a detective.

Narrative Type and Narrators[]

  • First Person narrative told by Jack Fleming.

Books in Series[]

Vampire Files series:

  1. Bloodlist (1990)
  2. Lifeblood (1990)
  3. Bloodcircle (1990)
  4. Art in the Blood (1991)
  5. Fire in the Blood (1991)
  6. Blood on the Water (1992)
  7. A Chill in the Blood (1998)
  8. The Dark Sleep (1999)
  9. Lady Crymsyn (2000)
  10. Cold Streets (2003)
  11. A Song in the Dark (2005)
  12. Dark Road Rising (2009)

~ ranked #83 on Goodreads | Best Urban Fantasy SERIES (181 books)

Shorts, Anthologies and Guides[]

Companion Series, Spinoffs, Sequels or Prequels[]

Co-writing with Nigel Bennett:

World Building[]

Primary Setting[]

1930's Chicago, starting in 1936


  • New York
  • Hollywood
  • Bronze Belt
  • Hudson

Supernatural Elements[]

Vampires, vampire-hunters, ghosts, cursed diamond, Mobsters,  


  • Vampires: super strong, super fast, have super senses, can turn invisible, have eternal youth, and can bend puny mortals' minds to your will—adn have the usual limitations. 


✥ In this world, Vampires are super strong, super fast, have super senses, can turn invisible, have eternal youth, and can bend puny mortals' minds to your will, but you have to lie utterly helpless on a pile of dirt during the day, you can't use mirrors (an obvious sign of what you are, plus it makes shaving and clothes shopping really hard), even a tiny bit of sunlight can make you blind, just smelling food makes you nauseous (which makes socializing over food awkward and a pain), when you're invisible you're also blind, if anyone knew you from when you were alive you have to explain why you look so young, and you can accidentally drive someone insane. Jack himself angsts briefly on most of these issues (particularly the accidental Mind Rape), but is generally happy with his existence. For the most part, he finds the detriments annoying, not depressing. ~ The Vampire Files (Literature) - TV Tropes

✥ Jack has a lot of the same kind of vampiric conditions that Bram Stoker first invented with Dracula. These conditions include needing to rest in the earth of his home, casting no reflection, being able to turn into mist and issues with crossing open or running water. Jack doesn’t have all of Dracula’s vampiric limitations though; he doesn’t need to ask to cross a threshold (which is a good thing because as an investigator he crosses a lot of thresholds uninvited to look for clues) and he doesn’t have any problems with garlic, dismissing it as an Eastern European myth. “What good is something that smells bad against someone who doesn’t have to breathe?” he asks pragmatically. ~ I Love Vampires


Jack Flemming: JACK FLEMING, a former newspaper reporter, now working as assistant to private detective Charles Escott in 1930's Chicago, Jack is the hero of a very popular series by P. N. Elrod. But what Jack really wants to be is a novelist. And oh yeah, he's a vampire. Fortunately, he's a good guy vampire. He was originally killed, shot down in a hail of bullets, courtesy of the mob, in the first novel, but was rescued by a lovely female vampire. rounding out the ast are jack's long-suffering, and wvery understanding girlfriend, nightclub singer Bobbi Smythe. ~ Jack Fleming

✥ At the start of the novel, Jack wakes up dead and whilst he can’t remember how he came to be dead he isn’t surprised to find himself a vampire. He exchanged blood with his long-lost vampire lover Maureen several years ago and she told him what he would need to do to survive as a vampire in the event that he died. So Bloodlist isn’t about unexpectedly becoming a vampire and having to cope with being undead nor is it about vampire angst because Jack has a practical outlook on life (or death in this case) and just views it as another change in life.

This practical outlook about his newly dead state doesn’t extend to shrugging off his murder and the novel concentrates on his efforts to find his murderer and find out what he knew that was so dangerous that he was murdered because of it. In life Jack was a good investigative reporter so it doesn’t take him long to find a trail and follow it. Along the way he makes the acquaintance of an eccentric British private investigator, Charles Escott, who proves to be a good sidekick for Jack, helping him investigate his murder. ~ I Love Vampires


  • Name: Charles Escott / What: British PI / Sidekick-to: Jack Flemming / About: Helps Jack solve his murder / Book First Seen: Bloodlist #1

Characters Chart[]

More Characters: The Vampire Files - TV Tropes

Characters What About
Jack Flemming Vampire, PI, club owner former NYC reporter; fought in The Great War;
Charles Escott British private agent, human works with Jack; skeptic about the supernatural despite working with Jack; former theatrical actor; prepared for the worst at all times, carries dynamite;
Bobbi Smythe singer Jack's girlfriend; former night club singer
Maureen vampire, Jack's V-child made by Jack; Jack was in love with Maureen. He felt betrayed and hurt when she left, but never hated her.
Emily vampire, Jack's V-child
Gordy mobster nighclub owner;
Gabriel Kroun partial vampire undead transformation having been impaired by the bullet that remains lodged in his skull. Sharing Jack's limitations and hypnotic gaze, but lacking the power to vanish, he casts a ghostly reflection in mirrors.
Shoe Coldfield gang leader leader of a small but successful gang in the Bronze Belt, who is one of Escott's old theater buddies
Jonathan Barrett Gentleman Vampire introduced in Bloodcircle, spinoff series about him;
Gabriel Kroun vampire gets nightmare flashbacks from sleeping without his earth; seeks them out as a source of info about his past as Whitey;
Gaylen vampiress forces Jack to drink her blood and then drink his, acts which replace sex for vampires in Lifeblood;
Nevis and Upshaw gansters? Jack pretends to put their feet in cement, really animal waste;
Doreen Grey human Jack nearly drains her dry;
Alex Adrian twists his wedding band around his finger
Paco and Slick ? tortured Jack for days before killing him;
Opal Literal-Minded; seems to walk through life with a permanent "Kick Me"; good with numbers;
Norma Ax-crazy
Marian Pierce a bit crazy; claims she's in a Gilded Cage;
Myrna friendly ghost
Madison Does Not Understand Sarcasm; only person who can stand Marza
Marza Madison is the only one who stand Mazra;
Lucky Lebredo.
Celia Adrian

To expand the table, in Edit–Visual mode, right-press on a Row of the table (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add Row or Column. Or, in Source Mode: copy-paste rows.

P.N. Elrod

Author: P.N. Elrod[]

P.N. Elrod

Patricia Nead Elrod is an American fantasy writer specializing in novels about vampires. Her work falls into areas of fantasy and (in some cases) mystery or historical fiction, but normally not horror, since her vampires are the heroes. -Wikipedia

Cover Artists[]


Research: Vampire Files - Series Bibliography, ISFdb

Publishing Information[]

Publishers: Ace Science Fiction, DAW, Benbella Books, and St. Martin's Griffin. She self-published a signed, limited edition novel under her own imprint, Vampwriter Books.

Book Data: 

  1. Bloodlist: Paperback, 160 pages, Pub: April 1998—ISBN 0441067956 / Orig: Paperback, 200 pages, Pub: Mar 1990—ISBN 0441067956
  2. Lifeblood: Paperback, 160 pages, Pub: May 1998—ISBN 0441847765 / Orig: Paperback, Published June 1st 1990 by Ace
  3. Bloodcircle: Paperback, 208 pages, Pub: Jun 1998—ISBN 0441067174 / Orig: Paperback, 208 pages, Pub: Oct 1st 1990
  4. Art in the Blood: Paperback, 208 pages, Pub: Jul 1998—ISBN 0441859453 / Orig: Paperback, 208 pages, Pub: February 1st 1991
  5. Fire in the Blood: Paperback, 198 pages, Pub: —ISBN 0441859461 / Orig: Paperback, 208 pages, Pub: June 1st 1991
  6. Blood on the Water: Paperback, 199 pages, Pub: Sep 1998—ISBN 044185947X / Orig: Paperback, 199 pages, Pub: Jan 1st 1992
  7. A Chill in the Blood: Paperback, 327 pages, Pub: June 1st 1999—ISBN 0441006272
  8. The Dark Sleep: HC, 359 pages, Pub: June 1st 1999 by Ace Hardcover—ISBN 0441005918
  9. Lady Crymsyn: Paperback, 416 pages, Pub: October 1st 2001—ISBN 0441008739
  10. Cold Streets: Paperback, 384 pages, Pub: Dec 30th 2003—ISBN 0441011039
  11. A Song in the Dark: HC, 384 pages, Pub: Sept 6th 2005 by Ace Hardcover—ISBN 0441013236
  12. Dark Road Rising: Paperback, 400 pages, Pub: September 1st 2009—ISBN 044101755X

Full details: Vampire Files - Series Bibliography

Book Cover Blurbs[]

BOOK ONE BLURB—Bloodlist (1990): Jack Fleming's thirst for beautiful women turns him into one of the undead and this vampire-newsman spends the rest of his days hunting down the person who tried to kill him. Bloodlist (Vampire Files, book 1) ~ FF / Jack Fleming, ace reporter, always had a weak spot for strange ladies. And he certainly should have listened to the one who said she was a vampire! Because when a thug blasts several bullets through Jack's back, he does not die--and discovers that he is a vampire as well! First in an exciting new vampire adventure series. Original. ~ Bloodlist 1 ~ Shelfari and Goodreads | Bloodlist (Vampire Files, #1)

BOOK TWO BLURB—Lifeblood (1990): Jack Fleming was an investigative journalist in Prohibition-era Chicago until he got shot by an unknown assassin, bitten by his vampire girlfriend, and became one of the undead. Now, this nice-guy nosferatu has a bunch of crazy vampire hunters on his trail armed with crosses, silver bullets, and sharp wooden stakes. He doesn't know how they found out about him or why they are "out for his blood," but it's not a problem for this street-wise gumshoe, until someone starts shooting. Jack himself may be bulletproof, but his friends are not. And Jack is determined to get some answers, even if it kills him-again. It's a case of the living versus the undead. But who's hunting whom? ~ Goodreads | Lifeblood #2 / As nosferatu go, Jack Fleming, journalist-turned-vampire, is basically a nice guy. Besides the desire for blood every now and then, he doesn't mean to hurt anyone. Now he's got a bunch of vampire-hunters after him, and Jack wants to know why. ~ Lifeblood 2 ~ Shelfari

BOOK THREE BLURB—Bloodcircle (1990): WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN, MY DAY BEGINS... As a vampire, I have a number of handy skills - I can hypnotize mortals, walk through walls, and shrug off bullets like insults. The one thing I haven't been able to manage, so far, is to find the woman who made me what I am. Until now. Maybe. Her trail has led me to the palatial estate of a wealthy widow - and a two-hundred-year-old gigolo with a taste for young blood. He claims not to know where my long-lost lady is - or who is trying to kill me - but then again, you can never trust a vampire. I should know. ~ Goodreads | Bloodcircle #3

BOOK FOUR BLURB—Art in the Blood (1991): I'm a vampire, not an artist, but I know what I like. And I don't like murder: So when the career of a talented young artist is fatally cut short, I know I won't sleep easy in my coffin until I find the killer: But the world of high art--with its big money, bigger egos, and expensive forgeries--makes even bloodsucking seem simple. And safer. Dead artists can live forever: An undead detective may not be so lucky.. ~ Goodreads | Art in the Blood #4

BOOK FIVE BLURB—Fire in the Blood (1991): When vampire detective Jack Fleming is hired by the wealthy Sebastian Pierce to recover a priceless heirloom bracelet, he eyes his reward in Pierce's daughter, an enticing girl with a hot-headed boyfriend. ~ Goodreads | Fire in the Blood #5

BOOK SIX BLURB—Blood on the Water (1992): As a journalist in Capone-controlled Chicago, Jack Fleming is used to blood--even though it's from a vampire's perspective. When the new mob boss decides to rid the city of its friendly vampire, Fleming's thirst for the red stuff gets in the way of his safety. ~ Goodreads | Blood on the Water #6

BOOK SEVEN BLURB—A Chill in the Blood (1998): A delicious new novel of the The Vampire Files -- in which our undead detective finds himself caught in the middle of a Chicago gangland war! ~ Goodreads | A Chill in the Blood #7

BOOK EIGHT BLURB—The Dark Sleep (1999): Death hasn't ended Jack Fleming's problems. His girlfriend Bobbi has caught the attention of a famous radio star, who promises to open doors for the lovely singer -- including the one to his bedroom. His current case -- retrieving incriminating letters from the ex-lover of a rich, foolish young socialite, looks simple until bullets start flying. Now Jack's mortal partner is in the hospital. Who's behind the gun? The ex-lover? The radio star's goons? An old enemy? Jack has to find out the truth -- before the lives of those he loves are put at risk..  ~ Goodreads | The Dark Sleep #8)

BOOK NINE BLURB—The Dark Sleep (1999): ampire detective Jack Fleming made a good bit of money cleaning up the streets of post-prohibition Chicago--enough to realize his dream of owning a nightclub. During renovations, workmen discover the remains of a woman, clad in a distinctive red dress. Vampire or not, Jack won't rest until he finds out who killed the lady in red--even if it means resurrecting secrets the mob would kill to keep buried. ~ Goodreads | Lady Crymsyn #9)

BOOK TEN BLURB—Cold Streets (2003): Vampire detective Jack Fleming's latest venture-the Lady Crymsyn nightclub-has become the favorite haunt for Chicago's elite. But amongst his patrons lurk a smarmy blackmailer and a dangerous up-and-coming mobster from New York-both unaware how deadly Jack can be when blood is spilled... ~ Goodreads | Cold Streets #10)

BOOK ELEVEN BLURB—Cold Streets (2003): P. N. Elrod's novels of The Vampire Files blend the seductive shadows of classic noir into a sanctuary for a most unusual private investigator-vampire Jack Fleming. In Elrod's newest novel, Jack is under the gun when the New York mafia wants his hide, and the love of his life is wanted for murder. ~ Goodreads | Song in the Dark #11

BOOK TWELVE BLURB—Dark Road Rising (2009): Vampire P.I. Jack Fleming is playing babysitter to Gabriel “Whitey” Kroun, a dangerously unstable mobster—and newly-created vampire—with deadly secrets to hide. As Jack tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Kroun’s undead state, he gets caught between his charge’s violent outbursts and some syndicate torpedoes looking to rub them both out, leaving him vulnerable to an even deadlier threat— the return of an old enemy desperate to unlock the secrets of Jack’s vampire immortality. ~ Goodreads | Dark Road Rising #12

First Sentence[]

  1. Bloodlist (1990) — The car was doing at least forty when the right front fender smashed against my left hip and sent me spinning off the road to flop bonelessly into a mass of thick, windblown grass. ~ Bloodlist (The Vampire Files 1) by P. N. Elrod
  2. Lifeblood (1990) — "Be a sport," I said to the bartender, not quite meeting his eye, "I'm nursin' a broken heart."
  3. Bloodcircle (1990) — "...Then the door opened and there was this crazy-looking blond guy with a shotgun just standing there, grinning at us. Before we could do anything he swung it up and fired right at Braxton."
  4. Art in the Blood (1991) — Hungry and careless, I'd opened the vein more than necessary and the blood slipped past my mouth and dribbled down the animal's leg.
  5. Fire in the Blood (1991) — I was in the process of tearing away the top half of Olivia Vandemore's silver-spangled evening gown when Escott abruptly opened the basement door and called my name.
  6. Blood on the Water (1992) — It was war, then.
  7. A Chill in the Blood (1998) — Tired to the bone, I slumped in the front seat of Shoe Coldfield’s big Nash, wedged between him and my partner, Charles Escott.
  8. The Dark Sleep (1999) — NORMALLY I wouldn't be caught dead-or even undead-in this kind of eatery anymore, but my partner Charles Escott needed my help with a case.
  9. Lady Crymsyn (2000) — I WOKE up in my basement sanctuary to the sound of a man's shoe heel cracking hollow against linoleum three yards over my head.
  10. Cold Streets (2003) — I REMAINED invisible during the ride to the ransom drop, with no idea where we were beyond the few verbal cues passed to my partner, who was playing chauffeur.
  11. A Song in the Dark (2005) — I SLOUCHED in the backseat of Gordy's Cadillac, the one that had just slightly less armor than a German tank, keeping clear of the rearview mirror out of habit, not because I cared one way or the other.
  12. Dark Road Rising (2009) — Chicago, February 1938... when I set the brake and cut the motor, the dead man in the backseat of my Nash shifted, groaned, and straightened up to look around.



Read Alikes (similar elements)[]

See Category links at bottom of page



  • Escott: His father's best friend is a doctor and 'Escott' is a name Sherlock Holmes used in the United States. ~ TV Tropes

See Also[]

Category links at bottom of page

External References[]



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