Vampire books with bite

Our choice of some of the best vampire books to invite on to your bookshelves.

Unsettling, insatiable, unfeeling yet often strangely attractive . . . what is it about vampires? From nineteenth-century archetypes to twenty-first century gallery interns, you'll find plenty to get your teeth into (and no more puns, promise) in our list of some of the best vampire books.


by Genevieve Cogman

Book cover for Scarlet

Revolution's a bloodthirsty business. . . particularly when the aristocrats facing the guillotine also happen to be vampires. Genevieve Cogman's latest adds magic and even more mayhem to the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel, the alter-ego of an English dandy secretly rescuing those condemned to die during the French Revolution. In Scarlet he's a member of the 'sanguinocrat' vampire nobility class and has an ace up his sleeve: Eleanor, a lowly maid from an English estate with a striking resemblance to Marie Antoinette. As she travels to France, ready to impersonate the French Queen and help rescue the Royal Family, Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they’re both out for blood.


by Bram Stoker

Book cover for Dracula

Bram Stoker's creation may not be the first literary vampire (he's predated by Polidori's The Vampyre and Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, amongst others), but he's certainly the most famous. While Dracula and his nemesis, Van Helsing, are regularly reinterpreted, updated and adapted, the original novel is very much of its time. Told via letters, diary entries and newspaper articles, it explores and reflects the fears that dominated Victorian society: the corruption of morality, unrestrained sexuality, irrationality and the foreign. But don't let this fool you into thinking it won't frighten the twenty-first century reader just as much. 

Masters of Death

by Olivie Blake

Book cover for Masters of Death

If further proof was needed that Olivie Blake can write about pretty much anything, her upcoming book is about an estate agent. Only this realtor's a vampire, the house for sale is haunted and the medium she’s hired to help is a fraud. As vampiric real estate professional Viola and secret charlatan Fox try to solve the mystery of the ghost’s death, they are drawn into a quest that neither wants nor expects. And they'll need the help of a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel and a love-stricken reaper to complete it. A witty, gripping page-turner.

All These Bodies

by Kendare Blake

Book cover for All These Bodies

Aimed at older readers of YA, this is the tale of a gruesome killer in the American Midwest, who leaves bodies completely drained of blood. When a Sheriff in Minnesota locates a suspect, Marie Catherine Hale, it doesn't seem possible she's done this alone: she's fifteen, and tiny. She also won't talk to anyone except Michael Jensen, the Sheriff's son, and aspiring journalist. As Marie shares her confession, Michael is torn. To believe her is to question everything he's ever known. And yet she seems so convincing. . .

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

by Grady Hendrix

Book cover for The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires

Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this entertaining horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town. One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbour, bringing the neighbour’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, it starts to become clear that James may be a bit of monster.

Interview with the Vampire

by Anne Rice

Book cover for Interview with the Vampire

Famously adapted into the film starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and a young Kirsten Dunst, this was American writer Anne Rice's debut novel. Its premise is simple: in a darkened room a vampire named Louis de Pointe du Lac tells his 200-year-long life story to an unnamed reporter, a life story cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood.

Carry On

by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for Carry On

Proving that vampire novels don't have to unrelentingly dark, readers of Rainbow Rowell's YA mystery love story (with monsters) and its sequels, Wayward Son and Any Way the Wind Blows 'come for the make-outs and stay for the magic' (The Atlantic). Simon Snow wants to relax and enjoy his final year at (magical) high school, but his girlfriend has dumped him, his best friend is annoying and his longtime nemesis is mysteriously missing. Plus there are vampires. It seems that when you're the most powerful magician in the world, there's quite a lot to do before you can relax. 

Woman, Eating

by Claire Kohda

Book cover for Woman, Eating

Lydia is hungry. The only thing she can digest is blood, and it turns out that sourcing fresh pigs' blood in London – where she is living away from her vampire mother for the first time – is much more difficult than she'd anticipated. Also much more difficult than she'd anticipated: the humans. She knows that they are her natural prey, but she can't bring herself to feed on them. In order to get on in the world, Lydia needs to reconcile her demon and human sides. But first of all, she really must eat something. An enjoyably fresh take on the vampire narrative.