This is an old favorite of mine, picked up when I was in my teens, and published in 1978 when vampires were still monsters that made your pulse race not because they were sexy, but because they were likely to devour you. In these days of Buffy and Twilight I think we've gone much too far in the other direction, but back when I encountered Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's humane vampire Saint-German, it seemed fresh. And what impressed me most back then wasn't the vampire side of this book--it was the historical fiction side. This is set in Renaissance Florence, and Lorenzo de Medici, Botticelli, and the sinister monk Savonarola are all featured here. The vivid picture painted of the flowering of the Renaissance threatened by religious fanaticism made quite the impression on me. For some reason I never picked up another of the Saint-Germain books--this is part of a series, and not even the first one, but the second (Hôtel Transylvania was the first.) This one does stand alone though, and writing up this review makes me want to seek out others in the series for a Halloween read.