Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La Vida Vampire (Oldest City Vampire, #1)” as Want to Read:
La Vida Vampire (Oldest City Vampire, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La Vida Vampire

(Oldest City Vampire #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,408 ratings  ·  140 reviews
First in a delightfully irreverent new series-and second to none when it comes to beautiful 227-year-old career women.

Being dead isn't all it's cracked up to be. Take it from Francesca Marinelli, trapped underground for over 200 years and rediscovered during the renovation of a Victorian mansion in historic St. Augustine. A tourist attraction herself, she's well suited for
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Berkley Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La Vida Vampire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about La Vida Vampire

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jacob Proffitt
Despite a rocky start and some questionable elements, I ended up rather liking this book. It's kind of like your best friend's kid sister who has a crush on you—cute, eager to please, doesn't quite embarrass herself irreparably and isn't so annoying that you want her to actually go away.

Francesca Marinelli is not your typical vampire—both in the Urban Fantasy arena as well as in her own milieu. She's perky, frugal, patient, and willing to be pleased with even half-hearted efforts to get along. I
Nov 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Oh my stupid, stupid vampire candy. Trashy, funny, dumb. Vampires are sort of a protected species, and they drink blood substitute from cans, and the protagonist is a psychic who gives historical tours in costume, and there's a protector who doesn't like vampires except he likes her. Also, she's been buried underground for 200 years so she has to learn about dating.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I dug Saber and found him a hot hero of the story, but then sexual scenes did little for me. Still, the book was fun. Heroine is almost too pure but she's also amusing and I enjoy her outlook on things. The Ghost tours are a hoot and there were genuinely laugh-out-loud moments in this story. Very cute paranormal romance that doesn't focus too much on the relationship, but actually has depth, a good mystery story, and various layers. All sidekicks and friends were well designed, interesting, and ...more
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vampires
2.5 stars. This feels like the author has added vampires to a standard mystery romance and I just don't really understand why. The role of vampirism in this novel is complete weak-sauce and the story could easily be edited to exclude it without losing much. While it's clear Cesca is intended to be unique, what actually occurs is she is watered down and uninteresting.

I actually decided to read this to discover how the author handled Cesca's transition to the modern world. This would have been fas
Jun 09, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this, but it was obviously a "first" book. The romance was incredibly trite, but the main character was likable and the vampire element was tweaked just enough to make it enjoyably different. It would have been a much better book without the standard romance blarney. I'm hoping that the next books (of course there will be more) are less awkward.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
The debut novel from Nancy Haddock is a nice light read, with a dash of history, a dollop of crime, lashings of fun and a few nice bursts of steam to heat things up.

Fancesca Marinelli: vampire, tour guide, and really really normal. In fact, she’s so decidedly normal that she’s almost boring. Think Queen Betsy, but with more brains and less snark. However, Nancy Haddock uses her job as a tour guide through a haunted ghost town as an excuse to share with us a few choice titbits of St Augustine his
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like to read about vampire murder mystery
Francesca "Cesca" Marinelli was recently rescued from her underground prison where she spent the last two hundred years locked up by her vampire sire King Normand. As a human she had psychic abilites and that was the reason Normand made her a vampire because he wanted to control her powers and use them for his own advantage. But Cesca wasnt your average vampire and one day an enraged vampire King trapped her in her prison before he and his "court" was burned and every vampire was killed.
Free ag
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first in Haddock's Oldest City Vampire urban fantasy romance series set in St. Augustine, FL featuring vampires, a wizard, shape sifters, a vampire hating society, a former vampire hunter turned paranormal expert/consultant for law enforcement, an unknown evil on its way, a murder mystery and a unlikely romance.

I was unfamiliar with this series until I won the third book in the series, Always the Vampire , from a contest Coffee Time Romance was holding for the author. I decided to w
Lynda Warnock
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal
Cesca Marinelli is not your usual vampire. She worries about her manners; takes night classes and never drinks in pubic. She doesn’t use her vampire powers (at least that’s what she tells herself) and just wants to live a normal “afterlife.”

Deke Saber is a very sexy special investigator. He is assigned to check out all vampire, were, and other-worldly incidents. When Saber first meets Cesca he’s sure she’s just like all the other vampires he’s met and sure she’s guilty of the murder he was calle
Jun 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
I got to chapter 3 and just couldn't take it anymore - this is a poorly written book. It's a contemporary/urban fantasy set in Florida with a vampire heroine and a few assorted other creatures that eventually make appearances in the story. I'm sad I didn't like it more because I found the premise so interesting: the heroine was locked up in a coffin as a punishment by her head vamp, but then he was killed and she was stuck for 200 years until a renovation unearths her. Both the back story (immig ...more
I liked this, it was a light and easy read. A tad cheesy but a good break from the dark and intense. Cesca is not your typical vampire. She's trying to live a normal human life, the smell of blood grosses her out, and she works as a haunted tour guide. She has vamp power potential but doesn't really use it. There's a murder she inadvertently gets caught up in and the who done it is the primary plot of this. Saber is a paranormal cop who's called into the investigation. When Cesca is obviously
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I believe I may be the first male ever to read this book.

It's a fun read by a local author who isn't afraid to break all the rules of the genre. Our hero is a vampire who doesn't bite people, goes out in the daylight, hates the smell of blood, avoids using her vampire powers, and is a virgin for most of the story. She also hates her hair. The other vampires in town are more traditional, and we never find out why Cesca is so different.

A dead body is found in the surf, and Cesca is both a suspect
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
The beginning of this book was so boring to me. It moved really slow to the point that I was about to just toss it and put it on my abandoned shelf, but I kept plugging along and it became better as it went. Especially when Saber showed up, I became more interested.

I might read the next in the series just because I felt sort of cheated with this book. Throughout the whole thing it kept building up to one event, and then nothing came of it. I'm thinking that the next book will address this unfulf
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually like vampire books - never tried Anne Rice, stopped after one Sookie Stackhouse book (although I love Charlaine Harris's Harper Connolly series...), and never made it through all of Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake series - but I'm really enjoying this so far. The setting - Saint Augustine, the oldest town in the US - doesn't exactly hurt, either, and Nancy Haddock nails it. I'm visiting vicariously, and having a ball!
Mar 11, 2009 rated it liked it
I didn't dislike this book. I didn't love it either. I wasn't drawn into the story like I wanted to be. I am curious enough about things that I will probably read the 2nd book - but I'm in no rush.
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Overall a very good book. Lighthearted humor. A vampire who likes to surf! Looking forward to book 2,
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, romance
Fun, entertaining story that was a quick light read. A lot more mystery than romance which is fine by me!
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, vampires
Synopsis: Being dead isn't all it's cracked up to be. Take it from Francesca Marinelli, trapped underground for over 200 years and rediscovered during the renovation of a Victorian mansion in historic St. Augustine. A tourist attraction herself, she's well suited for a job as an Old Ghost Town Tour guide. Francesca's due for a new lease on afterlife-and with enough sunblock, she can finally live it.

Unfortunately, everything she learned about men is a little dated. And when someone in her tour g
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x-read-in-2011
I Liked this book!

I had read 3 books before this one that I just couldn't get into and ended up putting them down. So I was really looking for a book that I could just get through.

The back of the book states that Francesca was trapped underground for more then 200 years - and was dug up by her now best friend who had bought the land to renovation of a Victorian mansion she was burried under.

Ok so in this book - supernaturalals are public known , and Vampires are actually protected by law :) Ke
Francesca Marinelli - call her Cesca, which rhymes with Fresca - is a vampire, online student, surfer chick, and historic city tour guide aficionado in a city that is near and dear to my heart, St. Augustine. She's a feisty, quirky, independent-minded but socially-conscious vampire who doesn't drink in front of people. She holds her nose when she has to drink blood at all, in fact. Her greatest ambition after spending 200 or so years chained and imprisoned underground is to chisel out a normal l ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melanie Marsh
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.
I liked that the author put her own spin on the coexistence of humans and vampires, and created a world that is not too far out of the realm of possibilities. The vampires are “out”, and under control by the Vampire Protection League. It keeps them from getting to aggressive, as well as protects them from “the Covenant” which is basically a vampire hate group. To me, it makes it all seem a little more real. In this world Vampires have jobs and run businesses. Some are
Sandy M
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In this first book we meet Cesca, our heroine, of course. She’s a psychic vampire princess who has just recently been discovered chained in a coffin buried under a Victorian house for the past couple of centuries. Maggie, who is now her sponsor, is in the process of renovating the mansion and she’s the one who finds Cesca and liberates her from her hellhole of a home. Being behind in life from fashion to pop culture, Cesca devours anything and everything she can by taking online classes, watchin ...more
Khalia Hades
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Vampire Francesca Marinelli was locked into the ground over 200 years ago, and was accidentally unearthed during renovations on a Victorian-period house. She's been tagged with a GPS chip, has a `sponsor', and gives ghost-walk tours in St. Augustine, Florida. Life is peachy keen for this surfing, bridge-playing, Wal-Mart loving vampire, until one of her tour guide clients is found floating in the ocean with a broken neck and bite mark. Preternatural investigator Deke Saber suspects Cesca and sti ...more
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires-read
This is my first book review and I am trying not to add any spoilers into bare with me please...

I bought this book at a discount book warehouse while on a road trip - it appears to be the author's first book (though it is possible that she has written other books prior to this one under a different name - I haven't been able to verify)- as a first book I was not expecting too much from it in terms of good writing. I was pleasantly SURPRISED to say the least. This book is very well writte
Ich weiß nicht ... ich hätte wahrscheinlich sofort bewerten sollen, nachdem ich das Buch beiseite gelegt hatte. Jetzt sind meine Erinnerungen bereits etwas verwischt. Aber das zeigt auch, wie wenig mich die Handlung und die Protagonistin beeindruckt haben. Das Setting ist originell (deswegen habe ich mich auch so sehr auf das Buch gefreut): Es ist bekannt, dass es paranormale Wesen gibt, doch die Bevölkerung ist eher halbwissend, hin- und hergerissen zwischen Furcht und Neugier. Francsca, italo- ...more
Wanted so much to like this book..after all it has mystery, vampires, romance and the compusively readable chick lit format that allowed me to breeze right through it but it wasnt memorable, witty or funny and I cant say I enjoyed it all..Okay so the story is about a two hundred year old vampire that was buried and then discovered in modern times by a lady renovating a house..The woman becomes Francesca the vampire's sponsor and best friend and the story moves along with tellings of Cesca's life ...more
Apr 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's a vampire story! Set in St Augustine! I HAD to try this one!


The big problem I have with a lot of Florida fiction (and I guess the same is true for other specific geographically-based genres) is the level of detail. We don't need to know the names of the streets and the directions a character walks along (*especially* if directions are incorrect). It's not really integral to the plot, and, really, just takes away from the spirit of the story.

The plot's okay. It's not Sookie Stack
Barbara ★
Francesca Marinelli, reluctant vampire (turned in 1802) was buried for 204 years and is learning to "live" and survive in current times. The Vampire Protection Agency insists on vampire sponsors and implanted tracking devices. It is a very vampire enlightened time. Since Francesca's unveiling she has become the toast of St. Augustine and she has just started a job as a tour guide for a local ghost tour company. She has repeat customers - Shalimar, Gomer Pyle, Stony and a French couple. Not their ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Night Rising (Vampire Babylon, #1)
  • Don't Kill The Messenger (Messenger, #1)
  • Beg For Mercy (Mercy Hollings #1)
  • Staked (Void City, #1)
  • Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten
  • Night Child (OSI, #1)
  • Blood Law (Alexandra Sabian, #1)
  • Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, #1)
  • Just One Bite (Dead End Dating #4)
  • Bled Dry (Vegas Vampires, #3)
  • Romancing the Dead (Garnet Lacey, #3)
  • Darkness Descending (Vampire Armageddon, #1)
  • The Wages of Sin (Cin Craven, #1)
  • Beyond the Pale (Darkwing Chronicles, #1)
  • Ascension (Dark Breed, #1)
  • Dancing With Werewolves (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #1)
  • Lady & the Vamp (Immortality Bites, #3)
  • Fangs for the Memories (Young Brothers, #1)
Nancy writes cozy mystery and mystery romance, and is published by Berkley (Penguin Random House).

The Silver Six Crafting Mysteries published with Berkley Prime Crime are BASKET CASE, PAINT THE TOWN DEAD, and A CRIME OF POISON.

Her previous Berkley titles are LA VIDA VAMPIRE, LAST VAMPIRE STANDING, and ALWAYS THE VAMPIRE. All are light mystery romances set in St. Augustine, FL featuring a heroine

Other books in the series

Oldest City Vampire (5 books)
  • Last Vampire Standing (Oldest City Vampire, #2)
  • Always the Vampire (Oldest City Vampire, #3)
  • Entangled
  • Entranced: A Halloween Box Set