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Strange Practice

(Dr. Greta Helsing #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  11,572 ratings  ·  1,759 reviews
Greta Helsing inherited the family's highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills - vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta's been groomed for since childhood ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Orbit
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David While there may be a slight bit of looking going on this is not in any way a "romance" book. It belongs in Fantasy or paranormal genre.…moreWhile there may be a slight bit of looking going on this is not in any way a "romance" book. It belongs in Fantasy or paranormal genre.(less)
Janell It didn't feel like horror to me ... more like a mystery / adventure where there happen to be vampires and ghouls, but they're friends and allies, not…moreIt didn't feel like horror to me ... more like a mystery / adventure where there happen to be vampires and ghouls, but they're friends and allies, not things jumping out at you.(less)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  11,572 ratings  ·  1,759 reviews

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Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Gail Carriger
Thanks to my friends at Goodreads, I've been slowly resuming my relationship with urban fantasy. (As Alex recently pointed out, occasionally my statements that appear to be compliments may not be actual admiration. You people could just be enablers, you know). So, my fellow enablers, thanks! I tried this out on the strength of a fellow reader to compared it to Aaronovitch, and then on the largely positive reviews of a couple of friends. There's good and bad to be found here, but intriguing enoug ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paranormal
This London based UF turned out to be a bit of a disappointment which is a real pity as the premise was good.

Greta Helsing might only be human but she runs an exclusive medical practice for London's supernatural creatures. She treats everything from vampires and ghouls to demons! Things get complicated for Greta when she is called to the home of an old friend, Lord Ruthven, to attend to one of his friends who has been attacked by a group of crazy cultists. It is the beginning of many such attack
Sep 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
From the blurb, you might be forgiven for thinking this is the story of a plucky heroine stepping out of her unusual day job to solve crime. It's not. Greta is very much a reactive sort of character and she doesn't change or learn much over the course of the story. Her day job is visited precisely once, and briefly, after which we only hear of it in passing. She spends most of the novel playing nursemaid to various ailing gentlemen. (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book it is a new take on monster stories it’s not just vampires but vampyers and gouls and mummies, demons , and angels. Greta Helsing is a doctor for the paranormal beings . She helps solve some murders and save London in the process. It was a very enjoyable book .
Michelle F
I tend to associate “beach read” with suspense/thriller novels, and I feel as though I need an equivalent term for the Urban Fantasy genre. I'm taking suggestions! For me they are those books that are exciting and gripping but ultimately ubiquitous. Not bad at all, just utterly forgettable.

With all that preamble, the good news about Strange Practice is that a few things elevated it just out of that category of entertainment for me:

-Greta Helsing is a doctor to the undead. This is a variation of
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This new Urban Fantasy was a rather slow starter for me. I was like... Oh, okay, a doctor for the monsters. What could go wrong? A little humor, a little less-well-known vamp, some old friendships with unknown monstrous types, and a serial murderer/s on the loose taking out all the good monsters who just want to get along.

The strength would have to rely on the writing rather than the concept for me.

Fortunately, I didn't mind the slow bits so much and after the action picked up I hopped along wit
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Admittedly, I was both excited and a little nervous about starting Strange Practice because of the mixed reviews, but as it turned out, I ended up really enjoying it. Swiftly paced at times, but also slow-moving at others, I can see how some readers would be put off by the story’s hodgepodge construction and eccentric writing style. Fortunately though, the book’s mix of humor, mystery, urban fantasy, and gothic horror ulti
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, paranormal, fr, ng
Even vampires get the blues.

The story is based on a human doctor, Greta Helsing whose medical practice caters solely to the supernatural inhabitants of London. It features an ensemble cast of character, which makes for interesting reading as you uncover her various patients' species and their strengths and weaknesses. It's all another day of humdrum illnesses and ordinary treatments until a murderous cult starts killing Londoners--and no one's safe.

Not the supernatural and not the humans.

With t
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dr Greta Helsing has a very special medical practice where she looks after London's "monster" population. When the vampyre Sir Francis Varney (of Varney the Vampire; or, The Feast of Blood fame) turns up badly injured after an encounter by an unknown supernatural assailant, Greta and her friends Lord Ruthven (of The Vampyre; A Tale) and Fastitocalon (from the Tolkien poem, although very different here) are faced with foes that threaten all of London, both supernatural and human alike.

This remind
K.J. Charles
A highly enjoyable urban fantasy, in which Greta Helsing (descendant of Abraham van) is a doctor for London's supernatural community. Lots of fun with monsters (Lord Ruthven and Sir Francis Varney) and a nice spooky plot. Plenty of horror elements but nevertheless very much a light read, with a not particularly complex plot, where the real fun is had in Greta's medical practice and her interactions with her monstrous crew. I read this in two sittings after DNFing two books in the same day and wa ...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
This is the first book in an urban fantasy series that upon looking at the cover, you just want to scream Halloween and perform witchcraft because of its aesthetic. Ahem, let’s continue.

This story begins with Greta, who’s a doctor for the undead (so she treats vampires, werewolves, banshees, ghouls) answering a house call for a vampire who had an expected visitor (also a vampyre, yes the “y” is necessary for this one) with a stab wound who needs help. It becomes very clear to Greta that the stab
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
3.5 stars

I quite enjoyed this one. The writing was often clever and the characters were quirky. The weakest character was probably Dr. Helsing, but I'm hoping that changes in the next book. The various other monster characters were all really interesting.

The story felt a bit muddled in parts but what made this enjoyable for me were the interactions between the characters -- Ruthven, Varney, and Fastitocalon in particular. I would happily read another book featuring those three, with the hope tha
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though kind of slow to get going, I enjoyed this story of strange murders, monks and vampires, and a doctor, Greta Helsing, who treats monsters for a living. Like Theodora Goss' The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, this book uses characters from gothic lit, the vampires, in the story. (This story lacks the humour and lightness of Goss' work.) Greta is already friends with Lord Ruthven, who calls her in to treat Sir Francis Varney, after he's attacked by strange monks. Greta and the vamp ...more
After a reread: the "black and white" version is just as nice as the audiobook, and in some ways better. The language, characters, and settings came across more vividly this time, and there were a decent number of minor passages that I must have spaced out through in audio, because I had no recollection of them. I'll stick with the paperbacks or ebooks from here on for the superior experience. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series!


Over the last year or so, I've been getting in
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Without meaning to, he said out loud, “Why do you do this?” Greta looked up. “Do what?” she asked, with her mouth full. Varney was more than a little mortified, but made himself continue. “Why do you … help people like that creature upstairs? He would have killed you if he could.” She put down the piece of toast. “It’s my job,” she said. “Why do you do it, though?” “Because somebody needs to.” Greta shrugged. “There really are not that many supernatural physicians in the area—in fact, there are ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I DNFed at page 229 - so a little more than 2/3 of the way through.

The details of where the characters lived, from their furnishings to their cars, were spot on and gave great flavor. I also enjoyed various secondary characters a great deal, each had interestingly different physicality, emotions, backstories and viewpoints. I could see how this would be an interesting group of people I'd like to follow from book to book.

Except, two things.

Firstly, each member of the group is detailed enough,
Jacob Proffitt
If you've ever wondered what would happen if you took monsters like ghouls, vampires, vampyres, and demons and stuff and married it to British middle-class secular humanism, then wonder no more. Greta runs a health clinic for monsters and treats ear infections in ghouls, bronchitis in demons, and bone degeneration on mummies and has established her practice on a moralistic push because "these people need her". And they certainly do need her. All the monsters are just regular blokes trying to get ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Greta Helsing follows in her family's footsteps by inheriting an extremely specialized, and sometimes just plain freaky, medical practice. She's one of very few doctors to supernatural creatures and everything that goes bump in the night. Greta doesn't have magical powers herself, unless you count treating banshees for vocal strain, mummies from coming completely unraveled, and the like. It's fairly quiet and doesn't pay a lot
Book Riot Community
Dr. Greta Helsing has a family reputation to uphold. She spends her time administering care to the undead, a lucrative yet quiet life. Quiet, that is, until she uncovers a a group of murderous monks in London’s midst. Now Greta must use her unusual knowledge and profession to put an end to their deadly tirade, before she becomes the next victim. I always love a good twist on a classic character!

Backlist bump: The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all th
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
3.25 stars.
an amusing story with some clever humour and tense suspense, yet maybe i had too high expectations but it didn't stick the landing for me.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Greta Helsing is a descendant of The Van Helsing line, of famous vampire-slaying fame. For reasons that probably don't require a lot of thought, the family opted to drop the Van portion from their surname. Greta is also a doctor with a peculiar specialty. She treats any and all members of the supernatural community in London, a medical practice she inherited from her father. Something else she inherited from her father is the friendship and protection of Lord Edmund Ruthven, a vampire, and Fasti ...more
Greta Helsing was thirty-four, unmarried, and had taken over her late father's medical practice...treating a patient base that to the majority of the population did not, technically, when you got right down to it, exist. It was a family thing.

Sometimes a book just hits every button - lucky me, that this did exactly that! Greta begins the novel responding to a medical emergency for a member of the "differently living", and we jump right into the action as it's discovered that there may be a group
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lena by: Castle Dracula
“Keeping her patients safe meant keeping them secret, and Greta was good with secrets.”

Satisfying reread!

Binge-worthy! Imagine a non Goth, modern, funny Penny Dreadful and you'll be close to understanding why this was page turning fun!

“One thing I have found to hold true across the centuries,” said Varney, “is that people are willing to overlook all kinds of eccentricities if you present them with enough money.”
Allison Hurd
It was very cute. I think the beginning and end were the best parts. I loved how it started--it was an adorable mash up with funny Easter eggs for people who like vampiric lore and a lot of wit. I expected it to be a cozy mystery, with the hapless yet reasonably skilled person saving the day with affection and chutzpah. It got a little wacky on that front, but the end tucked it back nicely into bed.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a list of topics) (view spoiler)
This urban fantasy has a vampire and a vampyre (I can’t remember the difference), an undefined demon-like creature, a couple of humans, and a clan of ghouls. Every mention of the vampyre brought up this image in my mind:

I found the writing style enjoyable despite a few run-on sentences and sentence fragments. I appreciated all the little references to Monty Python and Hitchhiker’s Guide and others.

The plot is quite simple with no competing subplots. There’s some danger, some investigation that i
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
(With apologies to Adam Schiff)

I'm going to turn to Strange Practice, as the subject of the review today, but before I do, as you may choose -- instead of addressing the content-- to simply attack me, consistent with virulent fans of this brand of urban fantasy, I do want to respond in this way.

You might think it’s okay that the protagonist chose to serve those hidden members of London society labelled as the undead, the unclean, the monstrous, at the expense of her own career potential.

You migh
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gah!!!! I love this book! I love this book so much it has turned me into a blathering, incoherent mess. (Someone send help.) This book was SO much fun that I immediately bought the second one as soon as I finished it, saying ‘to hell with my reading schedule! Weeee!’


Strange Practice is very much urban fantasy, but also it’s kind of side-stepping a lot of the usual tropes of that subgenre (which, let’s face it, has become pretty trope-y–which is totally fine! But this felt so fresh and new i
Liz Barnsley
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve been hoping for some decent urban fantasy to come along, there are a few series out there that I love and follow but not nearly enough – so here we have Greta Helsing and her unconventional medical practice and yay, its all the good stuff.

Strange Practice is a fun and often very dark read, peppered with ghouls and vampires and anything else you could hope for all hanging out in our world, living under the radar, when they are unwell it is Greta they turn to. So that’s the basis, then of cou
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is probably more like 3.5 stars, but I very much enjoyed Greta’s band of monsters and look forward to reading more.
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Strange Practice tells the story of Greta Helsing (yes, of the same name as Van Helsing), a doctor but not a doctor to us mere mortals. Oh no, Greta is a doctor for the supernatural looking after an assortment of creatures and their ailments. After all, creatures get sick, depressed and ne
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