More New Books Rising from the Ground

Friday, October 26, 2007

* Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire. By Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. Illustrated by Mike Mignola (Bantam, 285 pp., $25). A novel about four friends who must kill a vampire awakened on the battlefields of World War I.

* Calligraphy of the Witch. By Alicia Gaspar de Alba (St. Martin's, 373 pp., $24.95). A Mexican woman is sold into slavery in this historical novel and ends up in Salem when all hell breaks loose.

* The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism. By David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna (HarperOne, 398 pp., $25.95). The authors, husband and wife, interview Protestant and Catholic exorcists and present their investigation into 10 "true-life accounts" of malignant paranormal activity in Ireland; includes prayers you can use to defend yourself.

* The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula. By Eric Nuzum (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, 242 pp., $23.95). To write this cultural reflection on all things vampiric, the author drank his own blood, traveled to Transylvania with the actor who played Eddie Munster and watched every vampire movie ever made.

* The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft & Conflict in Early New England. By Emerson W. Baker (Palgrave, 244 pp., $24.95). In 1682, the little town of Great Island, N.H., became hysterical about a "stone-throwing devil" in their midst - a telling prelude to the infamous witchcraft crisis in Salem 10 years later.

* Encounters with the Strange and Unexplained. By Matt Hoyle (Andrews McMeel, 140 pp., $24.95). Rolling Stone photographer Matt Hoyle drove across the country taking pictures of people who claim to have seen ghosts, monsters and UFOs. Some of these portraits could scare a werewolf back into the woods.

* Frankenstein's Bride. By Hilary Bailey (Sourcebooks, 253 pp., $16.95). Here she comes, all dressed in gore: The famous doctor has turned his attention to helping an opera singer, but it's not over till the fat lady swings. Includes Mary Shelley's original tale.

* Many Bloody Returns: Tales of Birthdays with Bite. By Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, et al (Ace, 355 pp., $24.95). Depressed about turning 40? These 13 stories explore what birthdays mean to the undead.

* The Monster Hunter's Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Saving Mankind from Vampires, Zombies, Hellhounds, and Other Mythical Beasts. By Ibrahim S. Amin (Bloomsbury, 212 pp., $15.95). A droll encyclopedia of creatures you don't want to meet -- and instructions on how to kill them if you do.

* Monster Spotter's Guide to North America. By Scott Francis (How Books, 248 pp., $14.99). With this useful guide in hand, you'll feel better informed when being devoured by a Wampus Cat, an Amikuk or an Abominable Swamp Slob.

* Salem Witch Judge: The Life and Repentance of Samuel Sewall. By Eve LaPlante (HarperOne, 352 pp., $25.95). A biography of the only Salem judge who ever publicly apologized after sending 20 convicted witches to their deaths.

* Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. By Jeff Meldrum (Forge, 297 pp., $15.95) A professor of anthropology at Idaho State University stomps through the hype to examine the evidence that a giant ape-man creature may actually exist.

* Sundays with Vlad: From Pennsylvania to Transylvania, One Man's Quest to Live in the World of the Undead. By Paul Bibeau (Three Rivers, 292 pp., $13.95). A former editor of Maxim follows the legend of Dracula from 15th-century Romania to present-day Sesame Street and interviews a lot of batty people along the way.

* When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits. By Mary Ann Winkowski (Grand Central, 238 pp., $24.99). Advice about communicating with the dead from a woman who's been working as a "paranormal consultant" since she was a little girl.

* The Witch's Trinity. By Erika Mailman (Crown, 278 pp., $23.95). A novel about a friar who promises to find and kill the witch tormenting a 16th-century village in Germany.

* The Zen of Zombie: Better Living Through the Undead. By Scott Kenemore (Skyhorse, 263 pp., $12.95). This witty parody begins with an illustrated discussion of "the 24 habits of highly effective zombies."

-- Ron Charles

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