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I'm trying to remember the name of a book I once borrowed from the library over two decades ago.

All I remember of this book is the main character was female and there was a line in the book where her boyfriend began saying, "A rose by any other name" and she cut him off and said, "still smells like the sex organs of a thorny shrub." to prove her point about the perceptions created by one's choice of words.

I believe in the beginning of the novel she was a detective and was investigating a vampire but she did not know vampires existed. But it's been so long I could be mistaking that with another book.

I really enjoyed this book and would like to buy a copy, but I have been searching for two decades to no avail. I'm hoping someone out there can help.

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    Are you sure this book contains science fiction and/or fantasy elements? If so, what were those elements? Commented Apr 25 at 16:49
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    Not sure, I believe in the beginning of the novel she was a detective and was investigating a vampire but she did not know vampires existed. But it's been so long I could be mistaking that with another book. I can tell you for certain that sci-fi and fantasy are the ONLY types of books I borrow from the public library. Commented Apr 25 at 16:53
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    I’m voting to close this question because it doesn't seem to be about scifi or fantasy.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Apr 25 at 17:21
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    It is about a novel in the sci-fi / fantasy genre. Commented Apr 25 at 17:24
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    @TJSeverino indeed, after your clarification and seeing the answer (which must be correct given the details), I see this is fantasy. I'm retracting my close vote.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Apr 25 at 18:17

1 Answer 1

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This is Wyrm (1997) by Mark Fabi.

"Gee, I kind of like the name 'Maggie.' There's an old Rod Stewart song..."

Her eyes flashed at me. "Michael, don't you dare call me by that name. I swear I'll stop speaking to you."

"Okay, okay. But, after all, a rose by any other name would smell--"

"Like the sex organs of a thorny shrub."

"What?"

"You see?" she smirked. "What you call something does make a difference."

The book's blurb describes a fairly pedestrian killer computer game cum Internet virus plot with a slight millennialist bent:

As the new millennium approaches, cults, sects, and crackpot prophets flood the worldwide media. But for Michael Arcangelo none of their catastrophe theories are more frightening than the Goodknight virus. Michael suspects it is the work of a mysterious programming genius, who designed it to create a computer role-playing game so real it can kill. Now Michael and his team of techno-wizards must descend into a harrowing and convoluted world of reality and fantasy. But what they discover is even worse than they could have ever imagined. For the so-called game is already out of hand, the virus has taken over the Internet, harnessing the power of the millennial frenzy already sweeping the world. And if they don't find and defeat the twisted mastermind responsible, humanity will wake from its worst nightmare to find the end of the world is truly here.

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    Please check your email. I've sent you a message. Commented Apr 29 at 16:07

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