The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #4)

( 867 )

Overview

Anita has fallen for the leader of a local pack of werewolves. She's survived a lot, but this love thing may kill her yet.

The local pack of werewolves comes to prenatural expert Anita Baker for help after a number of their pack come up missing--probably because she is dating the leader of the pack. Anita has survived a lot, from jealous vampires to killer zombies, but this love thing may kill her yet. From the author of Circus of ...

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The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #4)

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Overview

Anita has fallen for the leader of a local pack of werewolves. She's survived a lot, but this love thing may kill her yet.

The local pack of werewolves comes to prenatural expert Anita Baker for help after a number of their pack come up missing--probably because she is dating the leader of the pack. Anita has survived a lot, from jealous vampires to killer zombies, but this love thing may kill her yet. From the author of Circus of the Damned. Original.

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Editorial Reviews

Jayne Ann Krentz
A real rush...a heady mix of romance and horror.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515134520
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/24/2002
  • Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 197,740
  • Product dimensions: 4.34 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and mother. Her bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels include Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Blue Moon, Burnt Offerings, The Killing Dance, Bloody Bones, The Lunatic Café, Circus of the Damned, The Laughing Corpse, and Guilty Pleasures. She is also the author of A Kiss of Shadows and A Caress of Twilight. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.

Biography

The vampire genre has enthralled readers ever since Bram Stoker introduced a certain Transylvanian count over a century ago. Since then vampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has.

Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. "I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror," she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. "Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howard's short story collection [Pigeons From Hell]. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction I'd ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write."

Furthering Hamilton's burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masters's The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying.

Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, "necromancer," and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre.

Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamilton's books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. "I [want] a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers," she says on her website. "Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I don't want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development."

Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy.

Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series.

Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamilton's consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.

Good To Know

One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, "Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that you've had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling."

Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits -- she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets.

In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:

"I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better."

"I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people."

"Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere."

"I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didn't take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home."

"I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day."

"I like to read other people's works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can."

"I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laurell Kaye Klein (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 19, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Heber Springs, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.A., Marion College
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

It was two weeks before Christmas. A slow time of year for

raising the dead. My last client of the night sat across from

me. There had been no notation by his name. No note saying

zombie raising or vampire slaying. Nothing. Which probably

meant whatever he wanted me to do was something I

wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do. Pre-Christmas was a dead time of

year, no pun intended. My boss, Bert, took any job that

would have us.

George Smitz was a tall man, well over six feet. He was

broad shouldered, and muscular. Not the muscles you get

from lifting weights and running around indoor tracks. The

muscles you get from hard physical labor. I would have bet

money that Mr. Smitz was a construction worker, farmer, or

something similar. He was shaped large and square with

grime embedded under his fingernails that soap would not

touch.

He sat in front of me, crushing his toboggan hat, kneading

it in his big hands. The coffee that he’d accepted sat cooling

on the edge of my desk. He hadn’t taken so much as a sip.

I was drinking my coffee out of the Christmas mug that

Bert, my boss, had insisted everyone bring in. A personalized

holiday mug to add a personal touch to the office. My mug

had a reindeer in a bathrobe and slippers with Christmas

lights laced in its antlers, toasting the merry season with

champagne and saying, ‘‘Bingle Jells.’’

Bert didn’t really like my mug, but he let it go, probably

afraid of what else I might bring in. He’d been very pleased

with my outfit for the evening. A high-collared blouse so

perfectly red I’d had to wear makeup to keep from looking

pale. The skirt and matching jacket were a deep forest green.

I hadn’t dressed for Bert. I had dressed for my date.

The silver outline of an angel gleamed in my lapel. I

looked very Christmasy. The Browning Hi-Power 9mm

didn’t look Christmasy at all, but since it was hidden under

the jacket, that didn’t seem to matter. It might have bothered

Mr. Smitz, but he looked worried enough to not care. As

long as I didn’t shoot him personally.

‘‘Now, Mr. Smitz, how may I help you today?’’ I asked.

He was staring at his hands and only his eyes rose to look

at me. It was a little-boy gesture, an uncertain gesture. It sat

oddly on the big man’s face. ‘‘I need help, and I don’t know

who else to go to.’’

‘‘Exactly what kind of help do you need, Mr. Smitz?’’

‘‘It’s my wife.’’

I waited for him to continue, but he stared at his hands.

His hat was wadded into a tight ball.

‘‘You want your wife raised from the dead?’’ I asked.

He looked up at that, eyes wide with alarm. ‘‘She’s not

dead. I know that.’’

‘‘Then what can I possibly do for you, Mr. Smitz? I raise

the dead, and am a legal vampire executioner. What in that

job description could help your wife?’’

‘‘Mr. Vaughn said you knew all about lycanthropy.’’ He

said that as if it explained everything. It didn’t.

‘‘My boss makes a lot of claims, Mr. Smitz. But what

does lycanthropy have to do with your wife?’’ This was the

second time I’d asked about his wife. I seemed to be speaking

English, but perhaps my questions were really Swahili

and I just didn’t realize it. Or maybe whatever had happened

was too awful for words. That happened a lot in my business.

He leaned forward, eyes intense on my face. I leaned forward,

too, I couldn’t help myself. ‘‘Peggy, that’s my wife,

she’s a lycanthrope.’’

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 867 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(548)

4 Star

(232)

3 Star

(67)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 873 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    Anita Blake

    The Anita Blake series is by far my favorite series out there. The complex personalities and evolution of the characters is amazing. Laurell K. hamilton writes a book that creates a whole new world for us to get sucked into. Once you pick up one of her books, you can't put it down. And once you finish one you just have to immediately start the next one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Once again.....

    Another great one from Laurell. This series is drawing me in the more and more I read it. With more characters, exciting twist and turns and the adventure and excitment that Anita Blake seems to get herself into really captures the moment. With a twist of a love story this series is a must read from book 1 to 17!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2005

    Not New, But Great as Always

    Anita Blake is always a great read from cover to cover. I have read every one that has been written. They need to be read in sequence to get the full effect and growth of the chacters. My advice is to buy them all and start from the start, they are worth the expense. I have read and reread my set every time she puts a new book out.A Fabulouse Writer! A must have for all vampire fans!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Great series

    As a lover of supernatural themed fiction, I know how easy it is for books with these themes to get silly. But so far, I am still enjoying every word of this series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    This is a great series...

    I love this series. It's so rare to see such a rich and complex female character who can kick butt while still struggling with personal moral dilemmas. There is some great action scenes and sexual tension and the supernatural aspect is just a little extra fun thrown in there. I highly recommend this series and this book was no different. This is Anita's first real intensive foray into the Lycanthrope community and she finds it can be just as bothersom and tough to survive as the vampire community.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    I can't believe...

    so many people love Anita Blake. I originally picked up the series because it had recieved such great reviews, but I regret my descision. Anita is just plain annoying. She's always whipping out her guns whenever someone walks NEAR her! I just cannot like her. Jean-Claude is a great character, but his saying 'ma petite' EVERY SCENTENCE is annoying beyond belief.
    Richard may be the most annoying character besides Anita. He's always playing the martyr, which I find sad.
    I also find it sad that Anita couldn't even stomach his being a werewolf, but tries to console herself about it.
    This book is only good if you're alone and need something to occupy your time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    RE: The Lunatic Cafe

    This was an interesting book which showed us more of Anita's boyfriend Richard and how he rules his pack. It introduces characters that explain why the pack and Richard are where there are now and how Anita is able to grow more understanding and help them all. Anita is very clever in this one a lot of the times using her mind and her power over her weapons and in the end does what is best for all sometimes at a cost to her. Good plot and fun to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    Werewolf or Vampire?

    Dating an alpha werewolf isn't all it should be, but then again dating the Master Vampire has it's downs, but when Anita's asked to help look for missing were's she also finds out about some certain movies that are quite illegal, and finds out few of Richard's not so boy scout feelings!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2014

    Mesmorizing

    Can't get enough of her style of writing.
    Biggest fan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Fun read

    A fun and fast read. Completely engrossing. I especially liked the way Ms.Hamilton creates a society of supernatural beings, completely different from the popular horror story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Cashier stand

    Here

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Elizabeth Peter's Peabody Series and the rest of the Anita Blake series

    Hamilton has her own unique spin on vampires and werepeople. Her world keeps expanding and I love it!!!
    Raina is scary!
    Marcus is confusing - I don't think he even knows what he wants from his pack.
    And, of course, Jean-Claude and Richard are just dreamy.
    You don't realize what is going on because so much happens in the first 10 chapters. It isn't until Anita goes in with guns ablazing (like always) that you realize that there is something wrong and she's into some deep trouble.
    This book is action packed from start to finish, and you really need to read it like a journal to make sense of everything. Hamilton does good twists and turns and the ending is definitely unexpected.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Sveta

    Hello! I'm Sveta Darkwood, and I hoping to get a job here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Mike

    Thank you my name is mike you hired me fr the manager postion

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Holly

    (Your welcome!) And now Im hiring Dawn and Jackson as well. So feel free to start working.
    (Everyone: Paychecks will come out this Saturday.)
    And I normally rp in secret. So because of school, sports, homework, and adults I am not always able to be on so if Im gone Mike (the manager) will be in charge!
    ~Thanks! Holly, owner and worker

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2012

    Overall I really enjoyed this story even though I only gave it 3

    Overall I really enjoyed this story even though I only gave it 3 stars. In general I liked where the storyline was going; i absolutely love Richard, Anita's main love interest. Even though their relationship has been having up and downs, their conflicts stay very true to the character of Anita Blake. Her problems with dating Richard reflect how her character views the world. However, I'm very excited to see where their storyline goes!

    I guess i didn't rate this 4 stars because I didn't feel the story to be a real page turner until the last 25% of the book, but i'll tell you those last few chapters are addictive and fantastic!!!

    Still a good read, but I m being a little harsher with these books considering it is a 21 book series. So don't get me wrong, I <3 Anita Blake!!

    Still a must read :]

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    Anita Blake is a vampire hunter/executioner and an animator. She

    Anita Blake is a vampire hunter/executioner and an animator. She is currently dating Richard Zeeman, a local werewolf and high school science teacher, for the past two months. She enjoys being with him and can see herself with him in the long time unlike Jean~Claude, Master of the City. George Smitz wants Anita to find his wife Peggy, who is missing and a shapeshifter, yet Anita has no experience with a missing persons case and hands it off to Ronnie Sims instead. Anita is called by Sergeant Dolph Storr into an interesting case of murder that was done by a shapeshifter just not sure what variety. Irving Griswold asks Anita to help him out with the local alpha werewolf and Richard. He tells Anita that he is in rock and hard place between them both which makes Anita mad at both of them. Anita refuses to acknowledge Marcus as dominant over her which pisses Marcus off but Anita doesn't care. Marcus wants Anita to look into 7 more missing lycanthropes besides Peggy Smitz. Anita is asked by Elvira Drew for help in locating wererat for her book and tells her that she will have to get back to her on that. Bert and Anita need to have a chat about client lists again. Richard asks Anita to marry him which she says yes but is not sure about it now. Jean~Claude's date Gretchen tells Anita that she must tell Jean~Claude that she's to marry another. Anita has done her best to avoid crossing paths with Jean~Claude yet doesn't see a way around doing this. Can Anita solve her case? Will she marry Richard? What about Jean~Claude? What of missing lycanthropes? Your answers await you in The Lunatic Cafe.

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  • Posted June 15, 2012

    Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. I like Anita Blake she is no nonsense heroine. I read it in one sitting. If you like the Southern Vampire books, but something a little more "dark" you'll love these.

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  • Posted May 6, 2012

    I absolutely love the Anita Blake series. This book was not my

    I absolutely love the Anita Blake series. This book was not my favorite in the series so far but was still great and fun to read. The only reason I did not give it a full 5 star rating is due to the fact I that I am not a fan of love triangles. However, this was one of the best love triangles I have read. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery with some paranormal thrown in the mix.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Good

    I can't believe this book has yet to be rated it is great!!! Alot os insight in the way things happen for the shapeshifter underworld!!!

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