Hamilton abandons her Los Angeles Faerie Princess/private detective Meredith Gentry to return to her long-running St. Louis heroine, Anita Blake, who hunts rogue vampires, sleeps with a werewolf lover, and at times reanimates zombies (as last seen in Narcissus in Chains, 2001).
A licensed vampire executioner, Anita herself bears the mark of the wolf and has left a love union with ravishingly beautiful vampire Jean-Claude, her Master, and Micah, shape-shifting King of the St. Louis Leopard pack. As it happens, Anita’s union with these two lovers has had a synergistic effect in deepening her own powers and insight into the supernatural. She’s also mixed up with her ex-fiancé Richard, an Alpha werewolf, although the two have been apart for a month. All this is set slightly in the future, and Anita is a consultant both for the city and for federal agents bent on investigating preternatural crime. In an ironic scene, we watch her reanimate a corpse to determine whether its previous inhabitant died of a self-inflicted gunshot, a question that bears legally on his will and insurance. When Anita is visited by master vampire Asher, she finds she’s up against the European Council of Vampires, which has sent knockout gorgeous but dangerous Musette to check on Jean-Claude. Musette represents Belle Morte, the 600-year-old fountainhead of modern bloodsuckers, to whom Jean-Claude bears allegiance. Does Belle Morte want to move in on St. Louis? Asher warns that killing Musette—or, heaven forbid, Belle Morte—is simply not done. Anita is never logical about her love life, especially her ties with Richard, who dumped her because he longs to be human and she’s much too bloodthirsty and comfortable with monsters. The feds call Anita in when something un-human perpetrates a series of murders. As with the SM joint Narcissus, the new deaths turn on a fun center, Cerulean Sins, an erotic video store for vampires that leads us to father-abused child vampires Valentina and Bartolomé.
Sexy as a blue vein.