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A Taste of the Nightlife (Vampire Chef #1)

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  637 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Charlotte Caine isn't called "the Vampire Chef" because she's a member of New York's undead community-she just cooks for them. Her restaurant, Nightlife, is poised to take the top slot in the world of "haute noir" cuisine.

But when a drunk customer causes a scene, a glowing review from the city's top food critic doesn't seem likely-especially when that customer winds up d
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Paperback, 297 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by NAL
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marlyn
Jul 06, 2011 Marlyn rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, paranormal
The concept of vampires moving openly in society (though of course, not in broad daylight) is a popular one in recent times. The idea that they might want to dine on something besides blood, whether real or synthetic, is not. In Sarah Zettel's world, vampires also find nourishment in broth, eggs and milk, and "haute noir" dining is starting to become popular. Menu items for the undead in our heroine Chef Charlotte Caine's restaurant include chicken-miso broth, pumpkin soup with a foamed raw veal ...more
Nikki
Apr 01, 2012 Nikki rated it it was ok
I liked Sarah Zettel's Camelot quartet a lot on first reading, but it didn't stand up very well to me writing an essay on it. This... I felt the whole way through how she was manipulating the readers' thoughts and feelings. I could feel it, and it annoyed the heck out of me... but I still couldn't put it down. So I'm wavering between two and three stars here. I don't know if I can explain how ambivalent I feel about it. (I've changed the star rating three times so far in typing this paragraph.)

I
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Ariel
Oct 27, 2011 Ariel rated it really liked it
Chef Charlotte is co-owner of Nightlife Restaurant with her vampire brother Chet. When a drunk customer who made a scene (in the presence of influential restaurant critic Anatole) is found dead the next morning, Charlotte's brother Chet comes under suspicion. The victim was a member of a powerful Maddox Witch family known for their Vampire hunting. Brenden Maddox, brother to the victim comes to the restaurant to ask questions at the same time as Anatole the critic (and a vampire) is there ...more
Cathy
3.5 stars. So what happens when a really great author decides to write a formula genre novel? You get A Taste of the Nightlife, a cute but uninspiring mystery/paranormal romance. I really adored Sarah Zettel's Fool's War, I gave it one of my very few five star reviews, so I was hoping for more from this book, despite having my doubts when I read the description. I'm a fan of this genre, so I hoped she'd write something a bit more special than the typical book, but it was really checklist cozy my ...more
Bree
Jul 06, 2011 Bree rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, 2011
I read a lot of urban fantasy and expected to find this book to be right up my alley. Sadly, I found it lacking in something.

Charlotte and her vampire brother, Chet, own Nightlife, a restaurant that caters to both humans and paranormals. After a disturbance from a guest shuts them down for the night, that same guest is found dead the next day in the restaurant foyer. Because Charlotte and Chet are both potential suspects, Charlotte sets out with some unexpected help to solve the murder.

I think i
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Mari
Sep 21, 2011 Mari rated it did not like it
Starts out as interesting, but too soon trades from mystery to a very very very bad romance. First you have Charlotte; Foodie supreme and a rather pronounced hater of all thin women.
The biggest mystery, really is exactly why in all paranormal romances( which apparently is what all paranormal stories are) do all sexy male supernaturals ALL fall in love with the rather unappealing, unattractive and bad tempered heroine of the story.
Charlotte is convinced that everyone except her is an idiot. She
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CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
It's somewhere between a 3.6 and a 3.8.

This book has potential and I find that I like the main character's Type A personality. This is a New York book and the main character "lives" a few blocks away from me. If that block actually existed. Someone should've checked their Google Map.

The mystery is interesting but the characters could use a little more developing. The mystery surrounding the Midnight Moon thing? anti-climactic in my opinion.

The love interests? Well, one wasn't described all that
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Nora-adrienne
Jan 20, 2012 Nora-adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal-cozy
This is a cozy with real bite!
Kristen
Aug 26, 2011 Kristen rated it really liked it
What a great start to a mystery series. It's no secret that I love all things paranormal, and this book and author definitely made a place for itself on my must read list when the next installment comes out.

We have Chef Caine, aka Charlotte Caine, the chef and part owner of a NYC restaurant called Nightlife. She's got a brother who is a vampire and he apparently has gotten himself into some trouble. Which has resulted in a dead body being found in the restaurant. Chef Caine finds herself needing
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Katharine Kimbriel
Oct 09, 2011 Katharine Kimbriel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of paranormal mysteries with a touch of humor
Recommended to Katharine by: Saw promoted on Book View Cafe
This was a fun little mystery, sort of a cross between a cozy and an amateur detective story. Chef Charlotte Caine is the co-owner and head chef of Nightlife, a high-end NYC restaurant that caters to the, well, late night life – werewolves, vampires, and their ilk. This was a natural progression for her, since the co-owner, her younger brother Chet, became a vampire under circumstances Charlotte tries hard not to remember.

This is a story of cause and effect, or possibly chain of events – Charlot
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Lucinda
Sep 03, 2011 Lucinda rated it really liked it
A Taste of the Nightlife (Obsidian 2011) introduces Charlotte Caine, head chef in the new restaurant Nightlight, serving the undead in New York City. It’s been 10 years since the Equal Humanity Acts recognized vampires, werewolves, and other paranormals as equal citizens, and Nightlight is just beginning to make its mark in the world of "haute noir" cuisine when restaurant critic Anatole Sevarin appears late one night. Flustered by the famous food reviewer, Charlotte is horrified when a ...more
MAP
Jul 12, 2011 MAP rated it liked it
I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway.

First, a word of warning about the legitimacy of my review: The last time I read a book about vampires was some time in the mid-90s when I read Interview with the Vampire. I have not remotely hopped on the new vampire craze train, and just the thought of the Twilight novels make me queasy. Therefore, if there are cliches or trite elements to this book that have been endlessly recycled in this newest slew of vampire novels, I know nothing about them and cannot s
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Susan
Jul 09, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to receive A Taste of the Nightlife through Goodreads, and I am definitely glad that I did. This is the first book in the new Vampire Chef series, and it does a great job at setting up Zettel's world and introducing the reader to Charlotte. Told in first person narrative by Charlotte, the reader enters a world where vampires live amongst us although not everyone likes the idea of nightbloods. Charlotte finds herself caught between the two worlds in that while she is human ...more
Krisnow18
Sep 24, 2014 Krisnow18 rated it really liked it
The start of an interesting new series. Charlotte is a chef and beginning a new restaurant, Nightlife. Her brother Chet is a vampire so she has an "in" with that life. The city's top food critic shows up to do a review but a drunk customer causes a scene with one of the other patrons. A body is found, Chet becomes a suspect, so Charlotte sets out to prove him innocent, becoming a suspect herself.

Along the way she meets Brendan Maddox, a rich security expert, who's family is anti-vampires, and th
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Thain
Sep 07, 2011 Thain rated it it was amazing
A well done urban fantasy that manages to combine cooking, vampires, magic, and crime without coming off as ridiculous with a strong, female main character who isn't some amped up Xena warrior princess with a personality that could have easily been a guy's but then someone told the author that a girl as a main character would sell better.
Dakota
Jul 28, 2016 Dakota rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed that. I haven't read a cozy in a while and the style of writing made me want to find out what happens. On to book two
Sobia
Aug 24, 2012 Sobia rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-person, squeaky

I think I just read my first cozy

I probably would've liked it more, had I known it was a cozy.

Plot wise....

So the h, owns a restaurant with her famously irresponsible, and somewhat newly vampired brother. Then they find a body, at their place of business....so the rest of the book is the h, trying to figure out how badly her brother screwed up as to lead to a dead body....all the while knowing she's going to have to sav him, since it's her fault he's all campy, and at the same time fighting off
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Rhianna
Jul 02, 2011 Rhianna rated it it was amazing
Scrumptious Paranormal Palate Pleaser for the Epicurian Mystery Reader

Until a warlock from a prominent family was found slain in the restaurant's foyer, "Haute noir" chef Charlotte Caine's biggest concern was impressing NYC's top vampire food critic and keeping Nightlife's crew paid. Now she's dodging murder accusations, trying to get her restaurant reopened and somehow prove that she and her vampire brother, Chet, aren't using the place to "blood launder".

With NYC's Paranormal Squadron follow
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P. Kirby
Dec 09, 2011 P. Kirby rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, vampires
I'm not a big fan of the premise of vampires and other paranormals living out in the open among humankind. Me of little faith, I just don't buy that we would ever tolerate human-like predators among us.

That said, A Taste of the Nightlife is a promising start to a new mystery series. By and large, it doesn't bring anything particularly original to the paranormal (urban fantasy) or mystery genres. I say that, in the event you're a stickler for "original." I'm not;I like tropes. A Taste of the Nigh
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Dlora
Mar 02, 2014 Dlora rated it liked it
I picked this book up at a library sale. It's a cross between a vampire world like the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris and the gourmet chef world like the Gourmet Girl Mystery series by Jessica Conant-Park or the White House Mystery series by Julie Hyzy. If you like restaurant cooking or if you like the world of vampires and other paranormal creatures, you will probably enjoy this murder mystery. Both of those areas of interest drew me to purchase the book, and hey, it only cost me ...more
Cheryl Landmark
Mar 11, 2013 Cheryl Landmark rated it liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was a fun, light cozy mystery with all the predicatable but enjoyable elements of the genre.

Chef Charlotte Caine, who was not a vampire herself, catered to the unusual culinary tastes of the nightbloods--vampires, werewolves, etc. But, her strange occupation was not without some background as her younger brother, Chet, had been turned into a vampire and she had taken it upon herself to protect and support him in his new undead life.

I liked the character of Charlotte-
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Dianne
Jul 08, 2012 Dianne rated it it was amazing


If you are a fan of the Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse World and love good food based mystery like the older Diane Mott Davidson’s books and you like learning about the running of a successful restaurant. Now add in a possible love triangle and I think we may have the perfect, or almost perfect new mystery series. I loved this series opener and I am hoping that the next book “Let Them Eat Stake “will be just as good.

What you will find in this debut novel is, murder, a dead body on the pr
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Bookmom
Jul 15, 2012 Bookmom rated it really liked it
My friend called me and told me I just had to read this book. She said it was similar to the Sookie Stackhouse series. Well I wouldn't quite describe it like that, but I'm really glad she made the recommendation.

Chef Charlotte Caine and her vampire brother, Chet, co-own the restaurant, Nightlife, which caters to vampires and their friends and family. While vampires can't eat, they can drink and the concoctions the restaurant serves are becoming popular, as is the food served to those who can eat
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Jami Zehr
Feb 05, 2015 Jami Zehr rated it really liked it
After reading Little Red Reviewer‘s interview with author Sarah Zettel and seeing that a paranormal series existed about vamprires and cooking, I decided to check out the Vampire Chef Mystery series. I picked up A Taste of the Night Life from the library this week and immediately started reading it, setting aside the other book I was plowing through. Plowing as in with a horse and plow. Which frankly had more to do with my ever dwindling attention span than the book itself.

Sarah Zettel, besides
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Diane
Oct 12, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it
I picked up this book and its sequel, Let Them Eat Stake, on a whim, and am very happy I did. A Taste... is a fun, fast-paced paranormal mystery set in the restaurant world of NYC, a world in which vampires, or nightbloods, are officially out and legal citizens, with their own culture of clubs, restaurants and entertainment venues, and various types of relationships with humans, or daybloods.

Series protagonist chef Charlotte Caine is human, with no special powers except exceptional cooking skil
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bella
Jun 24, 2013 bella rated it really liked it
In the first book in the Vampire Chef Mysteries, Charlotte Caine is the co-owner of the restaurant Nightlife. She wants no more in life than the make sure her restaurant is a success and keep her vampire brother out of trouble. However when a drunk customer causes a stir, right in front of a popular food critic, Charlotte doesn't think life can go downhill. However things go from bad to worse when the customer turns up dead and her vampire brother is under suspicion for murder.

I haven't read the
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Gabrielle
Dec 26, 2013 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Janet, Jacqui, Jill (or anyone with a J in their name)
I was one of the lucky few who won the book through Goodreads. It is a pretty cool thing. If you haven’t signed up for any giveaways, you really should…
To be honest, I thought the idea had been done before, but Zettel definitely put her own spin on things. If I could, I would give it 3.5 stars.
There are several series in which vampires and other creatures that go bump in the night, are “accepted” into society. I thought it was interesting that Zettel gave us glimpse of what it would be like doin
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D R
Jun 30, 2011 D R rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hicks
Aug 26, 2016 Tim Hicks rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
It's a four and it's a two. Average: three.

Interesting overall setup, good initial what-just-happened.

Too bad about the oh-no-not-again two immensely charming, rich, powerful men suavely seducing our heroine. Too bad about about the endlessly-repeated "I know I should call the cops but I just have to do one more thing." Haven't I read that somewhere before?

Caine is a satisfactory character and has some good lines.

The plot develops interestingly, but starts to get a little too complicated. An
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Amelia-Irene
May 05, 2012 Amelia-Irene rated it really liked it
This is the start of a new series, so there is some filling in as to things that have happened before the book starts. The undead, the paranormal beings, the magical and humans are trying to learn to live together as humans are learning that there are more than just them on this planet.

The heroine of the book, Charlotte, is fully human, but her brother Chet, has been made a vampire, and they run a restaurant that caters to all extremes. Their parents are not accepting of Chet's new life status,
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Sarah Zettel is the critically acclaimed author of more than twenty novels, spanning the full range of genre fiction. Her debut novel, Reclamation, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second release, Fool’s War, was a 1997 New York Times Notable Book, and the American Library Association named Playing God one of the Best Books for Young Adults of 1999. Her novel Bitter Angels won the ...more
More about Sarah Zettel...

Other Books in the Series

Vampire Chef (2 books)
  • Let Them Eat Stake (Vampire Chef, #2)

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“Sevarin had been dismissive about the chance of finding out anything useful from the cops, but when it came to getting information, I had an edge he didn't.
Sevarin did not make a killer lasagne.”
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