Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton

Published: 1993

Genre: urban fantasy thriller

Length: 266 pages

Setting: St. Louis, present

Interest: It’s the first book in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. I don’t remember how I found the series in the first place, but I do love some urban fantasy.

Summary: Anita Blake raises zombies for a living, but she’s also on retainer to the police for the new supernatural squad, RPIT. She’s convinced to look into the murders of vampires that’s occurring in the city. Turns out, Nikolaus, the current Master of the City, is trying to make a power play and take Anita as her servant. Jean Claude, the manager at the shapeshifter/vampire strip club in the District, uses Anita to keep them both safe, giving Anita two marks to save her life, but also start the process of making her his human servant. Turns out, Zachary, a fellow animator, is behind the vampire killings, which he did to feed a gris gris used to keep himself alive. Zachary tries to kill Anita, but she flees the cemetery with the help of Edward, an assassin specializing in “monsters” (vampires and shapeshifters) because humans are too easy. Edward also helps Anita kill Nikolaus, making Jean Claude Master of the City.

Final thoughts: A great book that I blew through in a day. I couldn’t put it down. It’s also been turned into a comic by Marvel. It introduces all the main characters of the series, and sets up an antagonistic relationship between Anita and Jean Claude. Jean Claude wants Anita for his human servant, but Anita hates vampires and thinks they should all be killed. It does get pretty exciting as we try to figure out who’s killing the vampires, and how Anita will survive the confrontation with Nikolaus.

Title comes from: The name of the strip club run by Jean Claude.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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