The One Where The Twins Almost Get Offed by a Werewolf: “Love and Death in London”

20 Oct

As you may have guessed from my lengthy absence, Francine never answered the call to Bring Margo Back From the Dead. My heart is pretty much broken. After all, previous tales had filled me with great confidence in Francine’s ability to resuscitate Margo.

So because I am the vengeful type, I am going to go to town on one of the most redonkulous books in Sweet Valley history:

“Love and Death in London”

Shame on you, Francine. I’m going to snark this like a polaroid picture.

Let’s begin with the cover, which is probably the high point of the book.

I’m going to take a stab and suggest that the 35-year-old high class call girls in trench coats outside the Big Ben are Wakefield twins [no doubt on some top-secret assignment entrusted only to them by the Scotland Yard].

And judging by the god-awful bangs and over-zealous rouge on the twin motif, I’d reckon this book was printed circa-1993. Please note that Elizabeth looks one inch taller and one pound skinnier than Jessica. Bitch.

And as for the half naked werewolf scaring off the random brunette and her gay bestie….lets just leave that one, for now.

Elizabeth and Jessica have ditched their regular summer jobs at the Sweet Valley News for the greener pastures of London.

Elizabeth is her usual annoying self and waxes poetic about famous architects and the Great Fire of 1666 and St Paul’s Cathedral.

They move into a student boarding house where there are like, kids from all over the world! Wow! Conveniently, Elizabeth’s old French toyboy, Rene Glize is ALSO at the exact same boarding house at the EXACT same time! Maybe they will sneak out and drink tequila and have sex in the common room? But no, we have to wait another five years before she returns to London and jumps in bed with a duke.

The twins begin their illustrious jobs at the esteemed London Journal. Because a Wakefield wouldn’t get out of bed for a tabloid paper. Jessica is pissed about being assigned as a social columnist. Uh, no offence Jess but you’re INTERNS. 16-year-old undergraduate interns at that. Fuck her self-entitlement complex gets to me. Also, isn’t social commentary pretty much Jessica’s dream job? Swanning around London snapping Pippa Middleton or Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Or in those days, the likes of Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley??

But worry not – within their first week our twins are promoted to senior fucking crime reporters, which not only involves chasing leads on the nation’s biggest murders but also taking on the job of the entire Scotland Yard. I guess some inferior, non-Wakefield plebs can take on those pesky tasks of reporting on petty theft at the Oxford Street 7-11 or a pommy breaching an AVO.

Gold star, you two.

But we couldn’t have such wonderful criminologists in town without an epic crime. And so, in London that week there is a spate of brutal attacks on humans and dogs which are suspiciously like the work of a werewolf. Beware the full moon, bitches.

There is more to this wonderfully transparent mystery:

Elizabeth befriends/cheats on Todd with a sensitive beatnik type called Luke Shepherd. Luke is strong and kind and poetic and they make electric shocks together and all that shit, but the real appeal lies in his dark obsession with werewolves.  Hmm…something tells me there’s a link here. Given that Elizabeth is an amazingly perceptive journalist, you would think she might come to the same conclusion when he takes her out to a restaurant known as “The Slaughtered Lamb.”

Also, Luke is a fucking tool, because he leads Elizabeth to the conclusion that a werewolf is behind all the killings. Luke is an idiot. And surely Liz is too much of a skeptic to believe him? No! It’s all very logical, you see. What creature other than a werewolf would be capable of tearing the throats out of innocent Londoners?

[Man, if only they’d written this a couple of years later. I can just imagine Jessica’s headlines:

“Did a Werewolf Kill Diana?” or, “What Camilla REALLY Gets Up to When the Moon is Full”].

But I digress. Back to this riveting mystery.

The killings go on and on, with no end in sight. Mainly because they have two sixteen year olds on the job, and the policeman in charge of the investigation is a bumbling fool called Seargent Bumpo. [This is making Twilight look like the work of Bram Stoker.]

But back at the hostel, some of the twin’s housemates have mysteries of their own.

Elizabeth is intrigued by social justice advocate Lina, who has headed to London all summer to work at a soup kitchen. She wears rags and looks somewhat familiar. Coincidentally, the young British Princess Eleina [who I’m guessing is Will and Harry’s cousin] has gone missing, and her face is all over the papers. Do you need a hint? Oh wait, you’re more than five.

There is also a snobby bitch called Portia who appears nightly at the Globe theatre. Only she’s not really a snob at all – she was just acting the whole time. All the time. Taking the Stanislavski method WAAAAY too far, methinks.

Jessica, meanwhile, is getting around with Lord Robert Pembroke, who is pretty much the English aristocracy’s version of Bruce Patman. She also gets VERY disappointed that Picadilly Circus doesn’t have any clowns. Dumbass.

Our story ends with Lord Robert inviting the twins over to stay at his manor. I’m sure he was doing a Prince Harry and thinking BINGO, but Liz goes and brings Luke the Werewolf along. That night, Jessica is the victim of a brutal attack when someone attempts to cut her throat. The book actually leaves on a high note, detailing how her limbs are all tangled, and she’s pulseless and soaked in blood.

“Elizabeth knew her tears would never end; her pain and sorrow could never be soothed. Her beloved sister was dead- murdered!”

Will Jessica die or is it just a hickey???? Only the second book of the story arc will tell…

Stay tuned for our super Halloween edition in the coming week!


11 Responses to “The One Where The Twins Almost Get Offed by a Werewolf: “Love and Death in London””

  1. K. La October 20, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Yes! Love it! Oh, but wait… let me guess… somewhere along the way, the twins are caught in a terrible thunderstorm and stumble upon a castle out in the countryside, and are invited inside by a group of extraterrestrials who all have a penchant to sing and dance by holding onto their hips and moving like they’re all horribly constipated? *tee hee!* (Sorry, couldn’t help it. But it would be pretty funny to see Jess try to dance in those red sequined shoes and spin around without falling onto her ass. Or try to outshine the master of the castle… a “Who Wore It Better” with side-by-side pictures of well-known corset and stockings outfit…

  2. josiejo October 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Hardi ha! Luke is sooo stupid. I cant believe he actually told Elizabeth to watch out for a werewolf. But is he actually a werewolf or does he just think he is. Either way it’s a terrible terrible book. Margo would poke a stick at that guy and laugh.
    Great recap as usual :] So glad your back Winston !

  3. Olivia October 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    How does Liz call herself a reporter when she has no percepion. At all.

  4. Laura Kate October 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Would you believe that thanks to this book – the first ever guy I dated (when I was like 14) was named Luke, and my friends and I nick-named him “The Werewolf”. I don’t know if that’s sad – but it sure still makes me giggle!
    I’ve read this mini-series several times. I don’t tend to like paranormal books nowadays. And I actually partially blame that on Francine. I can handle say, just werewolves in a book. Or just vampires. But mix them and my brain goes THAT’S NOT PLAUSIBLE! (Yeah, I know THAT’S where I draw the line… four dopplegangers is fiiiine)
    Great post as usual Winnie!
    Laura-Kate xo

    • winstonegbert October 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Yeah just imagine Twilight’s popularity if they’d had a werewolf story arc….THEN a vampire story arc…
      Speaking of, I was lucky enough to interview a former SVH ghostie and editor, one J.E. Bright, earlier this week and he had an awesome story about some deleted scenes from the vampire story arc. Apparently Enid had a massive orgasm after getting her blood sucked by Jonathon Cain, but it was too R-rated to include in the final book.

      • winstonegbert October 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

        Also LOL at “The Werewolf”. Reminds me of a patient I once had called Enid, and [in my head] nicknamed “The Drip.” I believe I even wrote a note to myself “rechart The Drip’s medications.”
        Hopefully your Luke kept his claws to himself.

  5. Samantha October 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Don’t give up yet, Winston! We’ve still got some fight in us. We owe it to Margo.

    As for this book, um, well. I guess we should applaud the ghostwriters for having the chutzpah for writing not one, but THREE books based on a werewolf. I guess that’s what we should do. Or ridicule them instead, whatever. I wish they attempted a miniseries on a unicorn.

    I remember barely anything about this book, mostly just a slaughtered Yorkie dog and the twins immediately becoming co- captains of the Scotland Yard. Same old SVH.

    • winstonegbert October 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

      A Unicorn miniseries….with an actual Unicorn, not just a Janet Howell based club would ROCK. Why didn’t they think of that?

  6. Fran October 28, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    I am embarrased to admit that I loved this miniseries when I was younger…. and I still do. Don’t judge me!

    • winstonegbert October 28, 2011 at 6:22 am #

      Don’t be embarrased! All the snarking I do is mixed with a real nostalgia for this series, and I hope it comes across that way in written form! [though sometimes it sounds a little nastier.]
      I not-so-secretly LOVED all the out-there supernatural plots of the mid-90s. Crazy Freddy? Hell, yes!

      • Laura Kate October 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

        Oh I loved Crazy Freddie… The mid 90s were like the golden age for SVH… And honestly they’re the ones I read the most. I’ll devour a mini series on the weekend! The more outlandish the storyline, the more I liked it! I loved your comment about your patient “The Drip” I laughed! Pulled my SVH board game out on the weekend. I literally had to show the rules to everyone and say “Yes, I’m not making it up, it’s in the rules that Jessica goes first!” We play the grown up version though – go to detention, do a shot.
        That’s so cool that you got to interview a former SVH ghostie! I’m super excited to read the interview! Have a great weekend and a fab halloween – stay away from those haunted burial grounds though!
        Laura Kate

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