Book Review: The Dracula Dossier

The Dracula Dossier

James Reese

Harper Paperbacks

368 pages

The Dracula Dossier is a bunch of evidence compiled by Bram Stoker.  Stoker is living in Victorian England and working as a manager at The Lyceum.  He has a very social life and is constantly immersed in the people and places around the city.  One of the people he crosses pathes with is Dr Francis Tumblety.  Tumblety is a strange fellow.  In fact, he’s downright irritating as well.  He has two hounds that go everywhere with him and he is constantly barging into places with them.  He seems to have an air of entitlement.  Stoker is annoyed with him from the start, but then begins to feel that Tumblety’s strangeness goes deeper than just plain rudeness.
As things get stranger and stranger with the atmosphere surrounding Tumblety, Jack the Ripper appears.  The lowliest women of Whitechapel are being brutally murdered and, in some cases, their innards removed.  The police and the residents of London are clueless as to who is committing these atrocious murders, but Stoker begins to suspect that Tumblety may be much more sadistic than he believed at first.
It was interesting to follow up The Historian with this book, as the main character is Bram Stoker, who penned Dracula.  One of the main differences is that the inspiration for Dracula in The Historian was Vlad the Impaler, whereas in The Dracula Dossier, it was Jack the Ripper.
This book was a slow read.  That’s not a bad thing, but given the page count, I was surprised at how long it took me to read this book.  The issue was the author’s liberal use of footnotes.  It seemed like there was at least one footnote

Francis Tumblety and his serious 'stache

per page, which just added details to the story that may not otherwise have fit in.  It was actually really fun–I like footnotes when they are involved in a context like this, and they kept my attention throughout the book.
I loved that The Dracula Dossier was such a different type of story but was based on real people.  Francis Tumblety apparently is still considered a viable suspect in the Ripper killings, although whether he knew Stoker remains a mystery, at least to me.  And I don’t think there is any speculation that Jack the Ripper really is the inspiration behind Dracula. Still, it was a fun book and perfect for RIP!
Other Reviews:

At Home with Books

Devourer of Books
I borrowed this book from my local library.

This book counts towards the RIP challenge.

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6 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed this book when I read it a couple of years ago, I thought the footnotes were perfect.

  2. That serious ‘stache looks like it was glued on!

  3. Um, okay, so I *swear* I commented earlier. Maybe even before Jill? I have no idea what I said then, but great review! I really enjoyed this one too.

  4. I’ve been wanting to read this one. I wouldn’t have expected it to be slow, but now that you’ve mentioned it has footnotes, I can understand why. Thanks for your great review!

  5. […] may remember a few weeks ago when I read and reviewed The Dracula Dossier.  Both books are about Jack the Ripper, although the narrator of The Dracula Dossier is Bram […]

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