Lucinda Elliot’s That Scoundrel Émile Dubois: Or The Light of Other Days, published 2012, is a gothic vampire novel with romance, humour and time travel.
I started reading this book back in February 2013, and was enchanted right from the start. This, I felt, was absolutely a five-star read, a self-published vampire book that deserved to be in the bookshops, on one of those tables with piles of the same book waiting to be snapped up by hungry readers. It should have a catchy tag-line:
If Jane Austen had written a vampire novel…
For all I know, she did, though if so I doubt it had time travel in the mix. I am generally not a fan of time travel, Dr Who excepted, but every so often it’s done well (I adored Liz Jensen’s My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time, for instance) and Lucinda Elliot has used it very effectively in That Scoundrel Émile Dubois.
Set in Wales and Paris during the last two decades of the Eighteenth Century, it’s good (if a little confusing to non-natives) to see Welsh words and place names given prominence. Lucinda’s familiarity with and love of Eighteenth Century literature also shines through, along with her Literary Humour.
I loved the first half of the novel with its romance and humour, despite a general frustration with grammatical clumsiness (although much of this has been fixed in the current version on Amazon), and then ground to a halt. It has taken me a year and a half of half-hearted attempts to progress from 50%-ish through to 70%-ish… but then had no difficulty finishing.
In conclusion: Often delightful, but feels like a book of two halves.