I'd pretty much given up on there ever being anymore James Asher vampire books by Barbara Hambly. It's 15 years since Traveling With the Dead was published. In recent years much of her output has been dominated with her Benjamin January books. Blood Maidens picks up the story in 1911. War is waiting for a spark to start the firestorm. Former secret service agent James Asher is manipulated/recruited again by the ancient Spanish vampire Don Simon Ysidro. Asher and Ysidro travel across Europe tracking down a missing female vampire and follow rumours of experimentation on vampires and unexplained spontaneous combustion. Drawn into the mystery and danger is Asher's studious wife Lydia. The combination of Hambly's meticulous historical research, intricate plotting, three vibrant characters and Hambly's talent for making the night seem perilous makes for a great vampire story. Along the way she explores the psychology of vampires in depth which underpins the richness of the characters and the choices they make. This is a true vampire novel, full of darkness, and peril which is refreshing considering how neutered by the whole teen romance brigade the vampire has become today. The vampires here are as they should be; inhuman, hypnotic seducers, lethal, merciless, manipulative and contemptuous of humanity. I hope Hambly writes some more.