Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Plot Type: UF
Kiss the Dead (6/2012)
"Beauty, an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Outtake," e-novella, 5/2012)
BOOK 21: Kiss the Dead
OVERVIEW OF THE ANITA BLAKE WORLD
BOOK 20: Hit List
At this point in the series, both Edward and Anita are U.S. marshals with the preternatural division. As the story opens, Anita and Edward are in Seattle searching for the serial killer of gold weretigers. They soon figure out that the whole serial killing thing is in reality a plot to get Anita away from her protectors back in St. Louis. The culprit is, once again, the Mother of All Darkness (aka Mommy Darkness), the first vampire, who has had a hate-hate relationship with Anita for years. Mommy D. is using the Harlequin (whom we met in the eponymous book 15) to kill the weretigers and capture Anita. The Harlequin are an extremely powerful and deadly group of lycanthropes who have served as enforcers for the Vampire Council, but were created originally by Mommy D. and remain loyal to her. Mommy lost her body back in book 17 (Skin Trade) when it was blown up, but she retains her spirit, which she wants to inject metaphysically into Anita's body.
In this book, Anita must continue to contend with the usual disparagement from the local cops. (For some reason, they think she's a slut because she sleeps with a house full of were-creatures and vampires. Go figure!) She also must deal with Edward's lethal sidekicks: Bernardo, a Native American womanizer, and Olaf, a very scary psychopath who believes that Anita is destined to be his "girlfriend." Olaf's "girlfriends" have all been petite, dark-haired, young women whom he tortured and killed after the bedroom antics were over. Needless to say, Anita has always tried to stay as far away as possible from Olaf. Near the end of the book, Olaf has a life-changing run-in with a lycanthrope, so we know that his future interactions with Anita will be even scarier.
Predictably, Anita adds one more love slave to her entourage: Ethan, a tiger who combines four lycanthropic tiger strands in his DNA (red, blue, white, and gold). If you're like me, you hate to see these handsome, vibrant guys turned into Anita's lust zombies, but what's a girl to do when the ardeur kicks in?
Hamilton has also written ANITA BLAKE short stories:
Marvel Comics has published a series of graphic novels based on the series.