Le Fanu, J. Sheridan.
Carmilla is the story about a young, lonely woman in Austria named Laura, who becomes enamored with the titular Carmilla; a strange, mysterious, and ultimately dangerous woman who has come to stay with Laura and her father. I absolutely loved this novel. Carmilla establishes a lot of what we know to be the vampire mythos today, and you can definitely see how it influenced Dracula by Bram Stoker. It also had incredibly vivid prose and imagery, and the mounting tension between Laura and Carmilla was exquisite. My one complaint would be that the ending was slightly abrupt, but otherwise Carmilla is a excellent and worthwhile novel.
Gemma Turner (Queen's Square Library)