Hunter, Elizabeth: A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries I) (2011)

A Hidden Fire
Cover design: Flash in the Can Productions
According to herself Elizabeth Hunter writes contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance. The Elemental Mysteries series is a four book paranormal romance/mystery series. The mystery part of A Hidden Fire is pretty good while I found the paranormal romance bit kind of “romance novellish”. Why the series is supposed to be for adults is beyond me. A Hidden Fire didn’t have any bits I would hesitate to let a young adult read. It wasn’t overly violent nor was it especially sexual. Perhaps it has to do with a more adult style of writing and because it is about adults.

In A Hidden Fire we meet a 500-year old vampire who happens to be a rare book dealer. Giovanni Vecchio is copying down a manuscript in the library where Beatrice de Novo works.

Gio’s one great failing in life is technology. Anything he touches with his bare hands gets zapped. This means that he and computers are not compatible which kind of makes modern life a pain. But Gio has a butler to help him with all of that – Caspar (not the ghost).

Caspar is human. It seems vampires in the Elemental Mysteries world need humans to deal with daylight affairs. Like a lot of vampires in literature these vampires tend to get severe sunburns during the day. They also have to sleep during the day and be active at night.

Vampires are strange creatures. Basically, they are semi-dead or wholly dead people who wander around usually looking pretty good. Giovanni looks good for any age. I wonder if this has something to do with a predator/prey sort of constellation. If a vampire looked its age, it is highly unlikely they would attract prey. At 500 he ought to be a walking skeleton. I still like vampires. They are sometimes really cool creatures. The ones in A Hidden Fire are fairly OK if a bit stereotypical.

Caspar, Giovanni’s human butler, is fun. He is fond of his boss and his family has been in Giovanni’s service for ages. I guess it would be kind of hard to advertise for a human caretaker on Craigslist. Caspar keeps Giovanni grounded. If he didn’t Giovanni would get too full of himself.

When Beatrice de Novo turns up as the librarian where Giovanni is copying down his manuscript Caspar has her checked out. There is something about her name that tickles Giovanni’s memory. When Gio learns that Beatrice’s father died in Italy ten years previously his warning lamps go off. But Beatrice is innocent of any wrongdoing having to do with vampires. In fact, she does not believe in them, something she and I share.

Beatrice seems to be dramatic looking, intelligent and of Mexican/Spanish heritage. Her grandmother, Isadora, is a hoot. Matriarch seems to be a fitting description of her. The two of them make a good pair for their daily lives looking out for the well-being of the other.



  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475049196
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: E. Hunter; 2 edition (October 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005VTVE0U

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