"The Vampire Shift"
This is my fifth story featuring Texas PI Helmut Erhard. (The first one, "The Yellow Rose of Texas," appeared in Michael Bracken's anthology, The Eyes of Texas, the second, "The Stopwatch of Death," was in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, the third, "The Great Filling Station Holdup," was in my same-titled Jimmy Buffet anthology, and the fourth, "KLDI," was in Bracken's Mickey Finn: Volume 2.)
Where did the idea for this one come from? Actually, it's been kicking around for a while. I originally thought of "The Vampire Shift" as a short-story case for Bavo Dhooge's Rafael Styx and suggested we write it together, to be set in the Belgian hospital where Styx's wife is employed, but Bavo wasn't interested. Then I proposed it to my old pal Les Roberts as something we could work on together, to be set in the Cleveland Clinic, and we talked about that possibility, but nothing ever came of it. Finally I decided to write it myself, as the V story for my alphabetical bibliography. (And I suppose I should acknowledge that Josephine Tey covered similar territory in her classic novel, The Daughter of Time.)
Like all four of the previous Erhard stories, this one features a truly massive Easter egg. It also carries the story arc of a possible romantic relationship for Helmut and the town of Hearne's florist, Bonnie Ulrich, a step further.
Return to Bibliography.