books

Drew Hayes

Books

Fred, the Vampire Accountant: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (2014), Undeath & Taxes (2015), Bloody Acquisitions (2016), The Fangs of Freelance (2017), Deadly Assessments (2018)


Fred the Vampire Accountant


The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (2014)

Often after finishing a book that I really enjoy, I am at a loss as to what I want to read next. Something completely and totally different typically works best.

This was perfect for that.

I recorded my journeys in the hopes that, should another being find themselves utterly depressed at the humdrum personality still saddling their supernatural frame, they might find solace in knowing they are not the only one to have felt that way.

Frederick the accountant was as surprised as anyone else to discover himself a vampire. He had none of the qualities one expects from pop culture as a vampire, and was, in fact quite happy being an accountant. So that’s what he kept doing after being turned.

Even if he did enjoy some of the perks of being a vampire.

I was more than a minor klutz in my human days, so it was an enjoyable change to walk around without injuring myself.

(Contrary to popular mythology, I neither sleep in a coffin, nor am I rendered powerless during the daytime. The difference between the two is that in the daytime I can sleep, which is an ability I lack under starlight. I don’t have to, and in fact spent three weeks without any rest during last year’s tax season;

This is a series of five novellas, woven into a single book.

It’s also silly and utterly delightful.

“If they’re so good, then why does anyone ever gamble with them?” I asked.

“Because they share their ancestor’s weakness as well as their strength.”

“They eat virgins?” Albert asked uncertainly.

“What? No. They can’t resist a bet.”

Fred ends up becoming friends with a number of other preternatural creatures, and they show the secret world to be just as varied as the real world.

I wondered if Bubba would need the number of a good mechanic to buff out the dents in his roof, then realized Bubba was the kind of person who was perfectly capable of fixing that himself.

Because friend dislikes violence and confrontation, and because he is honest and truly likes being an accountant, he is the exact opposite of every other vampire hero you’ve come across. Which is what makes the book so silly and fun.

If you’re looking for something silly and fun, I highly recommend Fred, the Vampire Accountant.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8/10

Re-Read: November 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

Undeath & Taxes (2015)

This is really five novellas making a single book, which is absolutely perfect IMO. Each of the stories within the book are a complete package all wrapped up, although with bit that carry from tale to tale.

Fred is a vampire. But before even that, he is an accountant. One who loves his job and is proud of his work.

Learning about the parahuman world, through virtue of my own death, hadn’t been nearly as disturbing to me as learning there were whole sections of laws, tax codes, and deduction options for my kind.

He’s also extremely honest.

I glanced at the clock and wrote down the time. It would be unethical to bill for accounting work when I was merely playing with Sally, so I had to chart when I went on and off the clock.

One of the strengths of these stories is that the secondary characters are just as developed as Fred–and they’re also just as complicated as normal people.

“Fred,” Richard called, greeting me from down the hall. He was in Sally’s room, where he’d been almost exclusively since the kidnapping. The giant of a man was squatting down beside a plastic table, fake teacup clutched daintily in his hand and a gleaming plastic tiara perched atop his golden mane of hair.

Bubba spoke with the sort of twang one would expect from someone sporting such a moniker. His frame (massive, with ample muscle), wardrobe (Baseball caps, jeans, and flannel), and occupation (truck driver) also fit well within the bounds of appropriate stereotypes. These small conformities only highlighted the unexpected bits: his wisdom, gentleness, and unashamed homosexuality being a few examples.

I also like that although Fred is honest and steady and fond of sweater vests and proper behavior, he isn’t (too) bothered by those around him who are not.

“What rule are you invoking for that one?” Arch asked.

“Section fifteen, paragraph twelve. It’s the one titled ‘fuck you; it’s happening because I say so.’ Surprised you didn’t know that one, Arch. Most agents invoke it all the time.”

OK, he is embarrassed by public displays of affection, when they involve him. But that’s a personality quirk as opposed to a judgment on someone else.

As I said about this first book, it’s fun and silly, and was totally enjoyable to read.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8/10

Re-Read: November 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

Bloody Acquisitions (2016)

This is the third Fred the Vampire Accountant book.

This is such a fun and silly series.

(I)n life my reaction speed was always somewhere between “abysmal” and “for the love of heaven don’t let Fred hold anything too valuable.”

The walk to the inn took around ten minutes, but it would have been five if Neil’s slower gait hadn’t caused everyone else to match his pace. Part of the comparative slowness was that he was one of the few humans in the group, magic-slinging skills notwithstanding, but it was also due to the fact that studying tomes of ancient magic wasn’t an activity that did much for cardio.

A vampire clan has come to town, hoping to move into the area, which means Fred is probably in trouble, since he’ll be seen as either a nuisance or a threat, so his friends do what they can to keep him safe.

Of course, they also get him into trouble, even if it’s not on purpose.

“Lawyer said you might feel that way, so she got the Clover children to authorize an extra fee on top of what you usually charge, for the short notice,” Bubba said.

“I can’t imagine there’s a number that would justify me tossing my entire schedule out the window for one unexpected client.”

That sentiment lasted exactly as long as it took for Bubba to tell me the number.

“Then again, I suppose it couldn’t hurt to at least take a look at the books,” I said, backpedaling quickly.

As I said, this is a fun series and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8/10

The Fangs of Freelance (2017)

The fourth Fred the Vampire Accountant book.

My name is Fredrick Frankford Fletcher, and I am an accountant by trade. Also, I’m a vampire. Yes, I probably should have led with that second bit, but to be honest, the accountant part factors far more frequently into my daily life than does my status as an Undead American.

Fred now has a clan, and is holding off the vampires who are displeased with him, but with that security comes more responsibility, and Fred has to live up to some of the promises he made. Namely, becoming a freelance accountant for the agency.

(I)t seemed all those with claim to the estate were either deceased or under arrest for, and again I’ll quote the document, “crimes against the commonly agreed upon reality.”

We do get to spend a little but of time with Richard and Gideon, and I particularly like Richard.

Richard Alderson, head of Winslow’s therian tribe, host to the King of the West, and all-around imposing figure, pulled his minivan to a stop only a few feet away from Bubba’s truck. When he popped the door and stood up, it made a little more sense. This minivan had been modified to accommodate his incredible size, as Richard towered over pretty much everyone and had so much muscle he’d have made every other participant in a bodybuilding competition immediately admit defeat. Then he yanked the sliding side door open, and the vehicle choice became a perfect fit. Because, above all the other things I listed already, Richard was a father, and minivans tended to have exceptional safety features.

That story is set in a defunct carnival, much of which I found extremely amusing.

Sure enough, there was the spinning ride Richard had mentioned. A surprisingly intact sign above the platform labeled it the “Lunch Thief,” which was a name that both conveyed what it would do to those who rode and made me wonder who on earth would ever get on such a thing.

Actually, that story was one of my favorites, since it went in a completely unexpected direction.

This is a very fun series, and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8.5/10

Deadly Assessments (2018)

I thought this might have been the last book in the series, but apparently he’s writing another.

That’s cool on multiple accounts. 1) I’m enjoying this series and wouldn’t mind another book and 2) this book ended cleanly and I’ve have been content if there wasn’t another book (AKA, no cliffhangers).

Fred has changed a lot since he became a vampire. And recent events have changed him even more, namely he has become head of his own house and has started working for the Agency.

Unfortunately, the house of Turva is really unhappy about Fred’s choices, and has complained to the Blood Council, who have sent a vampire to judge Fred’s fitness.

“Did the vampire give you a name?”

“She called herself Deborah,” I said.

“So she can’t be too old, at least. That seems like a fairly modern name.”

“It’s not. There were Deborahs in the Bible, Fredrick.”

There are multiple great things about this book. First, we’ve seen Fred go and change over the series. He’s still easily scared, and avoids confrontation if at all possible, but he also values his friends and his clan more than his own safety.

But this is also a problem.

“That, in my view, is your fundamental problem,” Deborah continued. “You are kinder than you have the strength to be.”

I like that Deborah helps Fred address those issues, and come to terms with learning how to use strength.

Plus there are just fun things.

Back before humans figured out it was toxic to them, they found ways to weave asbestos into all sort of things, clothing included. It’s rudimentary protection, but we kept working on it even after they shied away. I don’t think I own a single ensemble that doesn’t have asbestos as a component.

THAT is genius. Of course vampires were wear asbestos clothing!

But we also get to see the other characters in the series growing and changing as well, and that’s also lovely!

“We called for a ride while on our way here,” Lillian told me. “Thought that after a night like this, nobody would want to sprint all the way home.”

“Lillian, remind me of this at the next performance evaluation. You are clearly in need of a raise.”

It’s a fun series, and I’m glad there is going to be another book, but I am also glad that the books end cleanly so that if there wasn’t another book, I wouldn’t be angry.

Publisher: REUTS Publications
Rating: 8.5/10