Strange Practice

Strange Practice : A Dr Greta Helsing Novel

3.85 (11,307 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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'This book is a joy to read, unlocking every bit of delicious promise in the premise' B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

Meet Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead.

After inheriting a highly specialised, and highly peculiar, medical practice, Dr Helsing spends her days treating London's 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 dreamed of since childhood.

But when a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human undead and alike, Greta must use all her unusual skills to keep her supernatural clients - and the rest of London - safe.

'A darkly delicious adventure featuring a quirky new heroine. Strange Practice breathes new life into the undead' - James Bennett, author of Chasing Embers
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 131 x 199 x 25mm | 273g
  • Orbit
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0356508870
  • 9780356508870
  • 66,565

Review quote

This book is a joy to read, unlocking every bit of delicious promise in the premise -- B&N SCI-FI & FANTASY BLOG A darkly delicious adventure featuring a quirky new heroine. Strange Practice breathes new life into the undead -- James Bennett, author of CHASING EMBERS Strange Practice surprises and delights. It's completely different from anything I've read before. It ticks so many boxes: action, mystery, suspense, an exciting and different world adjacent to our own to name but a few. But the greatest elements of the book are the characters. They shine -- BOOKBAG Strange Practice is a book that really enchanted me from the very first page . . . impossible to put down . . . I can't imagine much that would please my bookwormish self more than reading more about Greta Helsing, and her life as a doctor to the supernatural and their various unexpected ailments . . . Strange Practice is a homerun in every aspect -- BOOKWORM BLUES A remarkably well-realised world and cast of characters . . . this was an absolute delight to read. I look forward to more time spent with Greta -- FORBIDDEN PLANET a warm quilt of a thing that's made for curling up with . . . I miss this newest Helsing already -- NPR BOOKS What a splendid adventure this is - Dr Greta Helsing is a brilliant character . . . The underlying mystery is nicely twisty, and Dr Helsing has a quirky coterie of undead friends to aid her on her quest . . . promises to be a splendid new urban fantasy series -- ESPRESSO COCO Readers will look forward to more of Greta's adventures. An imaginative, delightfully droll debut -- KIRKUS An exceptional and delightful debut, in the tradition of Good Omens -- Elizabeth Bear Shaw balances an agile mystery with a pitch-perfect, droll narrative and cast of loveable misfit characters -- SHELF AWARENESS Vampires, demons, ghouls, supernatural cults and all manner of inexplicable jiggery-pokery. What's not to love? The characterisation is bang on and I was left wanting to learn more about each one of the creatures, human or otherwise, that Greta meets . . . The story is unique enough to remain consistently intriguing and contains plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I can only hope Vivian Shaw writes many more Greta Helsing novels. There is tons of potential for this to become a series that will just run and run. I can tell you now that if she does write more I'll be first in line to read them -- THE ELOQUENT PAGE An appropriately dark breath of fresh air . . . Greta is a refreshing urban fantasy heroine, strong and smart and utterly normal, despite her chosen profession. Readers who enjoy urban fantasy and are getting tired of cookie-cutter female protagonists will find this a pleasant surprise -- BOOKLIST A satisfying and surprising read, with rich imagery, nuance, and real compassion for its characters - give Strange Practice a shot! -- Elliott James, author of CHARMING Written with elegance, wit, and compassion. The prose is gorgeous, the wit is mordant, and the ideas are provocative. Also, there are ghouls -- Laura Amy Schlitz, author of FIRE SPELL This story was delightful in so many ways! -- BOOKS, BONES & BUFFY In Vivian Shaw's Strange Practice, a charmingly unusual doctor and her charges keep the city of London from grave danger. In the process, they peel back the covers of familiar (and according to them, somewhat 'libelous') stories to find that reality - especially with the undead - is more poignant and complex than it seems at first glance. An excellent adventure' -- Fran Wilde, author of UPDRAFT Shaw's lively debut introduces a great cast of characters who should sustain this new series for many volumes to come -- LIBRARY JOURNAL A rollicking adventure with real substance, rooted enough in the traditions of the genre to have real weight, while also firmly located in the modern world. Combine this with sharp writing and great characters and - since this is described as the first Greta Helsing novel - you have what promises to be a great series. -- BLUE BOOK BALLOON Vivian Shaw has written an astoundingly accomplished debut novel . . . a compelling, well-characterised novel with tight pacing and a great sense of humour. You should run, not walk, to get your copy now. (Seriously. I'm not joking. It's so good.) -- Liz Bourke The author has packed her book with characters who are a pleasure to spend time with -- SCIFINOW The book's mix of humor, mystery, urban fantasy, and gothic horror ultimately struck all the right chords with me . . . I'm already looking forward to the next one -- BIBLIOSANCTUM
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About Vivian Shaw

Vivian Shaw was born in Kenya and spent her early childhood at home in England before relocating to the US at the age of seven. She has a BA in art history and an MFA in creative writing, and has worked in academic publishing and development while researching everything from the history of spaceflight to supernatural physiology. In her spare time, she writes fan fiction under the name of Coldhope.
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Rating details

11,307 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2,804)
4 43% (4,847)
3 26% (2,912)
2 5% (616)
1 1% (128)
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